Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Target’s holiday plans include free online shipping, new apps and pop-up store

Target Corp. on Wednesday fired the first retail salvo of the holiday season, announcing that, for the first time ever, it is offering free shipping on all online purchases—no matter the amount—from Oct. 22 through Dec. 20. The free shipping offer comes early in the holiday shopping timeline, reflecting retailers’ concerns about what is expected to be a highly promotional season.

Target’s shipping offer is one of many initiatives the retailer is offering this holiday season as it looks to regain its footing from its performance last year, which was hampered by news of its data breach. . . . more

Which Big Retailer Hasn't Reported a Major Breach -- Yet?

Every week it seems, another major U.S. retailer says it's been hacked. Today, Staples said it was investigating a potential credit-card breach. Two weeks earlier it was Kmart. Three weeks earlier it was Supervalu and Albertsons. A month ago it was Home Depot. The list is longer than the checkout line at Target, which was breached late last year.

What may not be apparent amid the deluge of bad news is who's not on the list. While scores of household names have fallen victim to hackers, some pillars of U.S. retail have managed to stay out of the headlines. So far.. . . more

Mattress retailer Sleepy’s opens its 1,000th store

Sleepy's is celebrating the opening of its 1,000th store in promotional material.Sleepy’s has opened its 1,000th store.The mattress retailer said that store is its showroom in Joliet, Illinois.
“It is with great pride that we announce our thousandth-store milestone,” David Acker, Sleepy’s president, said in a news release. “Sleepy’s has been around since 1957, and we are very proud of this latest accomplishment. It won’t stop here.”. . . more

Market Basket back on track after delays

Market Basket’s newest store opens Sunday at 7 a.m. in Revere — more than a year after it was completed and ready for business in July 2013.

The store’s opening — and progress on others — was stalled by infighting among Market Basket’s directors and share­holders that triggered the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and a six-week employee uprising in his support this past summer.. . . more

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Holiday Shopping to Happen Early and Often

Procrastinators be forewarned – you might be lonely this holiday shopping season. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) latest consumer tracking survey, about 35% of consumers have or will have started their holiday shopping by the end of October. Roughly three out of five shoppers will begin shopping by Thanksgiving this year, and by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend 86% will have started making purchases. So what about those procrastinators? They are few and far between – with only 1% of respondents indicating they will start their shopping on Christmas Eve.

But while consumers might be starting early, they won’t necessarily be completing their gift buying just yet, as only 10% of shoppers say they will finish before Thanksgiving Day. That number will increase significantly by December 15, however, as two-thirds of consumers expect to have their shopping “wrapped up” by that point.. . . more

Why Neiman Marcus picked a New York neighborhood

Here’s why the smart folks at Neiman Marcus picked the Hudson Yards location:

Companies want in. The area is being called “the new commercial district on the Far West Side of Manhattan,” not only by Hudson Yards developers Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group, but in articles in The New York Times.. . . more

Vitamin Shoppe in talks to hire bank amid activist pressure

Vitamin Shoppe Inc, the nutritional supplement retailer under activist shareholder pressure to consider a sale, is speaking to investment banks about hiring a financial adviser, according to people familiar with the matter.

The scope of a bank's mandate is not yet clear, and Vitamin Shoppe may decide against such a move, the sources said on Monday. However, the talks illustrate the retailer is trying to formulate a response to requests made by some big shareholders.. . . more

Total online Thanksgiving Day sales to top $1 billion

Total online Thanksgiving Day sales will top the $1 billion mark this year for the first time ever, increasing year-over at least 23.4%, with most purchases made after 6 p.m., according to, a website providing information regarding holiday sale pricing, shopping tips and news.

But while shopping on Thanksgiving may be growing in popularity, Black Friday is the still the king, according to

“We predict a 19.7% increase in online total sales on Black Friday as we expect the total purchasing figures to rise from $1.198 billion in 2013 to $1.434 billion in 2014,” the company said. . . . more

Family Dollar sets Oct. 30 date for Dollar Tree vote

Family Dollar Stores Inc. has set Oct. 30., 2014 as the date for stockholders to vote on a proposed merger agreement with Dollar Tree Inc. Family Dollar has not yet set the time or location of the vote.

Family Dollar agreed to sell its outstanding shares to Dollar Tree for $74.50 per share, or about $8.5 billiion, in August.. . . more

Shopping centers respond to ‘demand for experience’

Community shopping centers are evolving to become more than service providers to a neighborhood or trade area.  Designed and merchandised correctly, they are fostering a sense of community and building experience.

Chain Store Age talked with Mac Chandler, director of the Western Division at Regency Centers, about how community shopping centers have evolved to reflect today’s consumer preferences. . . . more

Sears Holdings Announces Seven Lease Agreements With Primark

Sears Holdings Corporation announced today that it has entered into lease agreements with Primark, a leading fashion retailer in Europe, for seven standalone stores.  Sears will continue to have a significant presence in six of these locations with a streamlined store format of up to 100,000 selling square feet at each store.

Pursuant to the terms of such agreements and subject to customary conditions, Primark will lease from Sears Holdings a total of approximately 520,000 gross square feet of retail space (approximately 400,000 net square feet retail space) in mall-based stores located in the Northeastern United States.  The space is expected to be delivered to Primark over the next 12 to 18 months.  . . . more