The following is a report we research and study from ChainStoreage.
Report: Consumer credit-card use bounces back in January
February 9, 2011 Atlanta — A report released Wednesday by First Data Corp., which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, found that more consumers opted to pay with credit cards in January.
According to the First Data SpendTrend report for January 2011, transaction growth on credit cards was at a 13-month high in January and year-over-year credit dollar volume growth was the second highest in over a year.
Consumer credit increases for third straight month
February 8, 2011 Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve said that U.S. consumer borrowing rose in December for a third consecutive month, led by the first increase in credit-card charges in more than two years as holiday sales improved.
Credit rose by $6.1 billion to $2.41 trillion after increasing a revised $2.02 billion in November, according to Federal Reserve data. Economists projected a $2.4 billion increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Borrowing remains below the peak of $2.58 trillion in July 2008. For all of 2010, credit contracted.
Survey: Rebate activity on rise among consumers
February 8, 2011 Lewisville, Texas — New research indicates that rebate programs are rising in favor with consumers and continuing to grow as a strategic approach for marketers. According to Parago, the nation’s largest rebate provider, 47% of consumers submitted a rebate in the past 12 months, up from 37% in the prior year.
Also, consumers who submit rebates do so frequently, with 40% of consumers surveyed submitting more than five rebates per year. Finally, 83% of consumers responded that price was an important factor when shopping for gifts during the recent holiday season, and 34% took advantage of a rebate deal during the holidays.
Report: Retailers added more jobs in January
February 7, 2011 Washington, D.C. — A report released Monday by The Conference Board said that retail employers expanded their work forces in January.
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index increased 0.2% to 100.5, the highest level in two years. The measure rose 7% from a year earlier.
Report: Kronos retail labor index reaches near two-year high
February 7, 2011 Chelmsford, Mass. — Kronos on Monday announced the release of its Retail Labor Index, which showed a February increase to 4.2% from 3.85% in January. (This metric is defined as the percentage of job applications that result in a hiring, normalized within a scale of 0 to 100. A level of 3.0% means that for every 100 applications received, three hirings occurred.)
February’s metric is the highest the Index has been since August 2008 when it reached 4.45%, according to Kronos.
Despite confidence in economy, survey finds consumers not spending more this Valentine’s Day
February 4, 2011 LOS ANGELES — According to PriceGrabber survey on consumer purchasing decisions for Valentine’s Day, 52% of Valentine’s Day shoppers indicate that the economy will not have any effect on their purchasing decisions for Valentine’s Day 2011. Despite their confidence in the economy, 78% of survey respondents indicate they will not spend more money on Valentine’s Day shopping this year compared with last year. The remaining 22% of consumers plan to spend more on Valentine’s Day shopping this year.
The most popular Valentine’s Day expense among women was greeting cards, with 62% of female Valentine’s Day shoppers planning to purchase greeting cards this year. Forty-two percent of female shoppers anticipate spending money on an evening out, and 26%will purchase candy.
Urban Outfitters selects MID Retail’s Advanced Allocation Software
February 10, 2011 Indianapolis — MID Retail announced Urban Outfitters has selected MID Advanced Allocation Software to forecast and distribute merchandise for all store locations across its Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People brands. The MID solution was designed to help multi-store, multi-sku retailers increase accuracy, efficiency and profitability. The system includes both pack and size optimization modules for accurate sku-level allocation and replenishment.
The Urban Outfitters brands differentiate themselves by offering a unique product assortment in a distinctive environment in their 350 stores throughout North America and Europe and through catalogs and websites.
Key Talbots executive leaving
February 10, 2011 Hingham, Mass. — The Talbots said in a regulatory filing that key executive John Fiske is leaving the company.
Fiske, 46, was named the chief stores officer of the company in March 2009 after serving as a human resources executive. He was part of a management team that was put in place to improve business results.
7 For All Mankind to open stores in Canada
February 9, 2011 Los Angeles — 7 For All Mankind announced it will open its first fully owned store in Canada in March, at Chinook Centre in Calgary.
The company said it plans to open two to three stores annually in Canada during the next four to five years.
Gap adds eight more European countries to online presence
February 9, 2011 San Francisco — Gap said Wednesday that it has expanded its Gap and Banana Republic online presence to eight additional European countries through its dedicated European e-commerce sites.
Gap debuted the dedicated sites in the United Kingdom in August 2010 and then expanded to include nine additional European countries in October 2010. The newest announcement brings the total reach of it European e-commerce business to 18 countries.
Jones Group reports revenue rise in Q4
February 9, 2011 New York City — The Jones Group reported Wednesday that revenues for the fourth quarter rose 12.5% to $874 million, from $777 million in the year-ago period.
The company attributed the fourth quarter performance to the June 2010 acquisition of the Stuart Weitzman business, as well as increases in various business segments.
Liz Claiborne names Juicy Couture CEO as business development exec
February 7, 2011 NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne said Friday that Edgar Huber, CEO of Juicy Couture, will be assuming a new position as executive VP global business development for Liz Claiborne, effective Feb. 14.
The company said Huber will continue to report to William L. McComb, CEO, Liz Claiborne.
American Apparel names new CFO
February 7, 2011 Los Angeles — American Apparel announced Friday that it has named John J. Luttrell as executive VP and CFO, and moved its current CFO Adrian Kowlewski into the position of executive VP corporate strategy, effective Feb. 7.
Luttrell was previously CFO of Gap’s Old Navy brand.
Bebe reports Q2 loss
February 4, 2011 Brisbane, Calif. — Bebe Stores reported a loss for its second quarter as bad weather cut into sales and it closed some stores.
The clothing company posted a loss of $2.7 million for the quarter compared with a profit of $2.4 million in the same period last year. Revenue fell 2% to $132.7 million for the period that ended Jan. 1.
Rachel Bilson launches home line at Macy’s
February 10, 2011 NEW YORK — Macy’s has announced the launch of “Edie Rose Home,” an exclusive tabletop collection designed by actress Rachel Bilson, now available at select Macy’s stores nationwide and on macys.com.
“I was on what seemed like an endless search for really cute dishware and tabletop items when I thought it would be fun to design what I was looking for. I have a passion for dishes and thought it would be a great opportunity to design exactly what I wanted — cute and stylish entertaining and dining ware that is affordable,” explained Bilson.
JCPenney partners with teen site for new apparel line
February 10, 2011 PLANO, Texas — JCPenney has joined forces with teen and tween online community Stardoll.com for the launch of the first-ever, exclusive Stardoll brand of clothing and accessories. This exciting, new brand will launch in 300 JCPenney stores and on jcp.com for the 2011 back-to-school season.
Stardoll.com is online community for girls that lets them create and dress their own personalized “MeDoll” avatars and use them to interact with other girls.
Macy’s raises $16.25 million through holiday campaigns
February 9, 2011 NEW YORK — Macy’s announced that it has donated $16.25 million to various charitable organizations as a result of its 2010 Thanks For Sharing and Believe holiday campaigns.
“Our Thanks For Sharing and Believe campaigns are successful year after year,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s EVP marketing. “We at Macy’s continue to be inspired by the millions of customers who support these programs each year with their generosity and goodwill. We’re proud to announce that $16.25 million was donated as a result of this year’s efforts.”
William Ackman, Steven Roth named to J.C. Penney board
February 9, 2011 Plano, Texas — J. C. Penney Co. announced Wednesday that its board of directors has elected William A. Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, and Steven Roth, chairman of the board of Vornado Realty Trust, as directors.
The appointments had been previously announced on Jan. 24.
J.C. Penney expanding in-store digital experience
February 7, 2011 Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney Co. is expanding its in-store digital presence by rolling out its “findmore smart fixture” to more than 120 stores across the United States. The kiosk has a 42-inch touch screen store that links store shoppers directly to the retailer’s website and its 250,000 online products.
Using the findmore kiosk, shoppers can check the availability of merchandise in-store and at nearby locations, and scan bar codes on in-store items for more product information and features. They can also e-mail images and information about an online item to themselves or a friend.
J.C. Penney launches in-store Modern Bride shops
February 4, 2011 Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney Company has launched a new exclusive concept, Modern Bride, in its stores and online.
The concept, a collaboration with Conde Nast, is designed to cater to today’s bridal customer. Located in the rear of the fine jewelry department to provide an intimate customer experience, the Modern Bride in-store shops are detailed with their signage, distinctive fixtures, in-case lighting, displays and packaging, along with specially trained associates.
Target partners with Lady Gaga
February 10, 2011 Minneapolis — Popular recording artist and fashion icon Lady Gaga has partnered with Target Corp. to offer an exclusive deluxe edition of her new album, “Born This Way.”
The album will be released on May 23. Target’s exclusive deluxe edition includes three additional studio songs and five remixes, and will be available at stores nationwide and on Target.com. Consumers can also pre-order the album and download the first single and title track free at Target.com beginning at 8 a.m. CST on Feb. 11 through midnight, Feb. 26.
Report: Wal-Mart in talks to partner with Indonesia’s Matahari
February 8, 2011 Jakarta/Singapore — Wal-Mart Stores is in talks to become a partner of Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Putra Prima to develop its hypermarts, according to Reuters.
South Korea’s Lotte Shopping Co. has withdrawn from talks for a deal with Matahari, the report said. Matahari last month said it will seek a “global partner” to develop its hypermart business.
Report: Big Lots to explore possible sale
February 8, 2011 Columbus, Ohio — Multiple news sources reported late Monday that discounter Big Lots is exploring its options, including a potential sale. No reports have yet been confirmed by the retailer.
According to Bloomberg, which cited an unnamed source, Big Lots is exploring a possible sale of the company after receiving interest from buyout firms. Big Lots has a total enterprise value of $2.6 billion, according to Capital IQ.
Report: Target to pay $22.5 million in California waste case
February 7, 2011 Oakland, Calif. — A report Friday by the Los Angeles Times said that Target Corp. will pay the state of California $22.5 million to settle claims that the retailer improperly disposed of waste.
According to the report, Target allegedly violated California’s hazardous waste laws by improperly disposing of pesticides, bleach and other potentially toxic items by pouring it down drains and throwing it into trash bins. A tentative agreement with the state’s attorney general calls for the company to train employees on proper waste disposal methods and hire a compliance auditor, in addition paying the monetary settlement.
Kohl’s leads retailers in EPA Green Power list
February 4, 2011 Washington, D.C. — Kohl’s Corp. ranked second on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership’s latest ranking of the Top 50 partners using the most renewable electricity.
Kohl’s joined the top-ranking Intel as the only two partners using more than 1 billion kWh of green power. The retailer increased its green power purchase to more than 1.4 billion kWh of green power annually.
Hhgregg net income surges 18.4% in Q3
February 8, 2011 Indianapolis — Appliance and electronics retailer Hhgregg reported Tuesday that net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 18.4% to $26.9 million, compared with $22.7 million in the year-ago period.
Net sales increased 30.6% to $653.7 million. Same-stores dropped 6.2%.
Best Buy offering free ‘future proofing’ for one week
February 7, 2011 MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy announced that through Feb. 12 it is offering customers its buy back program for free. To promote the offer, Best Buy has launched a multi-media campaign that began with its Super Bowl spot featuring Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Justin Bieber.
Best Buy officially launched buy back in January as a solution for customers who want to keep up with the greatest gadgets but are concerned that their gear will become obsolete, the company reported. Best Buy customers may purchase the buy back program when buying a new product at Best Buy and redeem it at a later time, for up to 50% of the original purchase price paid in the form of a Best Buy gift card, as long as the device is in good working condition and includes all original parts.
Whole Foods Q1 income jumps 79%, same-store sales up 9.1%
February 10, 2011 AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market’s first quarter net income surged 79% to $88.7 million, on an increase in customer visits and a rise in average transactions. The natural and organic foods grocer raised 2011 profit outlook on its strong results, which beat expectations.
Sales for the quarter, ended Jan. 16, increased 14% to $3.0 billion. Same-store sales were up 9.1%, the highest level in four years. On a conference call with analysts, Walter Robb, Whole Foods’ co-chief executive officer, said average weekly sales per store for all stores increased 9% to $621,000, translating to sales per square foot of approximately $856.
Stop & Shop debuts fuel cell technology
February 10, 2011 Quincy, Mass. — The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. announced it is using fuel-cell technology, at its store in East Torrington, Conn.
The fuel cell, a UTC Power PureCell System Model 400, was supported with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program and is the first fuel-cell utilized by Stop & Shop. It is expected to generate over 90% of the store’s electric energy.
Stater Bros. profit decreases in fiscal Q1
February 9, 2011 San Bernardino, Calif. — Supermarket retailer Stater Bros. Holdings said Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Dec. 26 dropped to $1.3 million, compared with net income of $6.7 million in the year-ago period. The prior year results included an after-tax gain of $4.7 million.
Sales declined 2.3% to $899 million in the first quarter. Same-store sales also decreased 2.3%.
Supervalu continues foray into private-label beer biz
February 8, 2011MINNEAPOLIS — In the wake of Walgreens’ Big Flats 1901 entry, Supervalu recently introduced its “high quality, low-price” private-label American lager Buck Range Light.
Buck Range Light, which retails for about $5.99 for a 12-pack, will roll out in Supervalu banners nationwide, including Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods and more.
Whole Foods helps customers know their meat
February 7, 2011 AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods announced that it is providing shoppers with a new level of transparency about how farm animals are raised by now offering beef, pork and chicken certified under 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system.
Weis posts 2010 sales gain
February 4, 2011 SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday reported an 8.7% increase in its fiscal-year 2010 net income to $68.3 million for the 52-week period ended Dec. 25, and said its earnings per share for the year increased 21 cents to $2.54 per share, compared with the same period a year ago.
The central Pennsylvania grocer reported a sales increase of 4.1% for the year to $2.6 billion. Comparable-store sales were up 1%.
Home Improvement & Office Products
Staples Advantage introduces sustainable kitchen, janitorial products
February 9, 2011 FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples Inc., announced its new Sustainable Earth by Staples janitorial paper products and compostable kitchen items including cups, plates and cutlery. According to the company, the products were developed using renewable resources, such as plant-based plastics and sugarcane, as well as recycled fiber and post-consumer content. By using innovative materials, these products have earned leading environmental certifications byGreen Seal and Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)
Lowe’s announces executive moves, promotions
February 9, 2011 Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. said Wednesday that it has made several key promotions and moves in its human resources, legal, merchandising, logistics and information technology areas.
Maureen K. Ausura was promoted to executive VP human resources, from senior VP in the same capacity.
Crate and Barrel and Marimekko plan shop-in-shop, e-commerce rollout
February 7, 2011 New York City — Crate and Barrel, along with Finnish textile and design company Marimekko, said Friday they are extending their longtime collaboration to roll out more than 20 shop-in-shops in Crate and Barrel stores across the United States and Canada over the next three years.
The launch kicks off this spring with four new shop-in-shop locations: New York (Madison Avenue), Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, a Marimekko e-commerce ‘shop’ will be added to the Crate and Barrel website later this season, according to both companies
4Q sales improve at Applebee’s, IHOP
February 9, 2011 Revitalization efforts and higher checks boosted fourth-quarter sales at DineEquity’s Applebee’s and IHOP brands, despite declines in guest traffic, the company said Wednesday.
In a preview of results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, DineEquity said a 2.1-percent price increase helped build check averages despite falling guest counts at the 2,000-unit Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar.
Restaurateurs love a Monday Valentine’s Day
February 9, 2011 Valentine’s Day is always a boon to the restaurant industry as many couples celebrate by going out for a romantic dinner.But having the holiday fall on a Monday, as it does this year, is especially good for business, according to many restaurateurs.
The National Restaurant Association said Wednesday that 70 million Americans are expected to celebrate Valentine’s Day at a restaurant this year, making Feb. 14 the second most popular holiday for dining out behind Mother’s Day.
Taco Bell offers free tacos on Facebook
February 9, 2011 Taco Bell launched a taco giveaway Tuesday for its fans on Facebook, just weeks after defending itself against charges that its taco meat isn’t beefy enough.
Calling it the “world’s largest free taco offer,” Taco Bell said fans who “like” Taco Bell’s Facebook page can print a coupon for one free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco, which typically sell for about 99 cents.
McDonald’s global comps up 5.3% in January
February 8, 2011 Global same-store sales at McDonald’s Corp. increased 5.3 percent in January, including a 3.1-percent increase in the United States, the company said Tuesday.
McDonald’s other regions also drove its global increase, with a 7-percent same-store sales jump in Europe and a 5.2-percent rise in the company’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, or APMEA, division.
Longtime McDonald’s exec Jack Daly dies
February 7, 2011 McDonald’s Corp. said its longtime chief public-relations executive, Jack Daly, died Saturday at the age of 62.
Daly, who spent nearly 20 years with the Oak Brook, Ill.-based quick-service chain, oversaw global public relations. He died of cancer Saturday at his home in Hinsdale, Ill.
Applebee’s largest franchisee may be sold
February 7, 2011 Apple American Group LLC, Applebee’s largest franchisee with 269 restaurants, is close to being sold by investor group Weston Presidio to GS Capital Partners, sources close to the deal said Monday.
The sources, who asked not to be named, told Nation’s Restaurant News that North Point Advisors is handling the sale process, which began last fall, and that bids have been competitive, including 10 serious contenders for the franchise group.
Dollar Stores, Warehouse Club & Other Retailers
Report: Blockbuster may try to sell itself
February 10, 2011 New York City — Blockbuster plans to put itself up for sale after a disagreement with its creditors, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The report, which cited unnamed sources, said the chain could not agree with creditors on a plan to get cash to help it exit bankruptcy protection. According to the Journal, a bidder could offer more than $300 million for the chain plus assuming debt and leases.
DSW to acquire Retail Ventures
February 9, 2011 Columbus, Ohio — DSW said Tuesday that it will acquire its largest shareholder Retail Ventures and turn it into a wholly owned subsidiary, helping to simplify its relationship.
According to the shoe retailer, the two companies signed a merger agreement, under which DSW will give stockholders 0.435 of a DSW share for each share they hold of Retail Ventures.
HP store features Scala digital-signage solution
February 8, 2011 Vancouver, British Columbia — Scala and 10net Managed Solutions announced Tuesday the installation of their digital-signage solution at the first HP Store in Canada.
Located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, The HP Store Vancouver features experience pods and an HP digital-signage display at the checkout consisting of three side-by-side 47-inch LCD HP LD4700 screens mounted on a curved wall and powered by an HP Z400 Workstation.
Performance Bicycle announces six new store openings
February 8, 2011 Chapel Hill, N.C. — Performance Bicycle, the nation’s largest specialty bike retailer, announced that in April it will open six new stores in four states nationwide.
The expansion includes stores in Sacramento and Berkeley, Calif.; Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin, Texas; Atlanta, and the company’s first ever store in Idaho, in Boise.
The Pantry narrows loss in Q1
February 8, 2011 Cary, N.C. — C-store operator The Pantry said Tuesday that it narrowed its loss for the quarter ended Dec. 30 to $12.2 million, compared with a loss of $26.1 million a year earlier.
Merchandise same-store sales increased 1.3% for the quarter.
Barneys CEO unveils renovation plans
February 7, 2011 New York City — Barneys New York CEO Mark Lee said Monday that he has plans to launch a renovation program for existing stores as well as an overhaul to the retailer’s website.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Lee said at a Monday morning breakfast that changes will be substantial, as the retailer has the largest renovation budget for existing stores that Barneys has seen in at least seven years.
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Joshua Brown, CCIM | Haag Brown Commercial Real Estate | Jonesboro | Arkansas
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