Friday, November 30, 2012

A power struggle

Richard Schulze is in danger of blowing another deadline.

Efforts by the Best Buy founder to cobble together a buyout offer for the electronics retailer are hitting snags, sapping investor hopes for a bid in the coming days.

Schulze is still a “long ways” from making a firm bid for the struggling electronics retailer, a source close to the process said, as he scrambles to corral private-equity firms into a buyout team.. . . more

Barnes & Noble's Nook loss deepens, book sales slow

Barnes & Noble Inc said the quarterly loss in its Nook division increased as the bookseller increased spending on its e-readers and tablets to keep pace with larger rivals Inc and Apple Inc .

The top U.S. bookstore chain also said on Thursday that sales growth in its core bookselling business slowed in the quarter and declined over the Thanksgiving weekend, as the benefits from last year's liquidation of rival Borders Group waned.. . . more

Supervalu sale talks with Cerberus stalled; shares off 19%

Cerberus Capital Management's pursuit of grocery chain Supervalu has stalled because the private-equity firm has had trouble obtaining the funds for a leveraged buyout, said people familiar with the matter.

Potential lenders are balking because they're concerned over how the Eden Prairie-based chain will manage the increased debt load as revenue shrinks, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Lenders also are pressing Cerberus to put more money into the deal than the firm is willing to, another person said.. . . more

Superstorm Sandy weighs on November retail sales

Weak sales at leading U.S. retailers in early November dragged down their results for the month as the effects of major Northeast storms offset brisk activity over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Retailers on average reported a 1.6 percent increase in sales at stores open at least a year, about half the 3.3 percent rise that analysts had forecast and less than last year’s gain of 3.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.. . . more

Target falters as discounters report a mixed bag in November

Target Corp. saw same-store sales fall in November, hurt by weak sales during the first two weeks. Comps dipped 1%, while Wall Street expected a 2.1% gain. Revenue for the month was essentially flat.

“November sales were below our expectations, reflecting weaker-than-planned sales performance in the first two weeks combined with stronger sales growth across all channels later in the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO.. . . more

Thursday, November 29, 2012

TJX: Same-store sales rose 3% in November

TJX Cos., the Framingham-based company that operates such retail chains as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, said Thursday that same-store sales rose 3 percent in November when compared to sales in the same month a year ago; that gain was “above plan,” TJX said.

An Associated Press story noted that the TJX gain was below outside expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a 3.6 percent increase, that story noted.. . . more

Who Is Filling Those Retail Vacancies?

Unless you have a class "A" space in a great location, it isn't likely that your retail vacancy is going to fill up really fast, even in the improving economy. Leading up to next week's ICSC New York National Conference we spoke with Neill Kelly, president of DJM Realty, a Gordon Brothers Group company that specializes in excess space dispositions. He says that there are only a few sectors of retail expanding aggressively in this environment. And yes, dollar stores are one of them.. . . more

Dollar stores spruce up image, add name brands, but value is less clear cut

Ducking into a dollar store to pick up some a soda and bag of cookies might save you time and effort, but will you save any money?

Since the start of the downturn, major chains such as Dollar General Corp. and Family Dollar Stores Inc. have accelerated their growth by transforming stores with wider aisles, better lighting and more name brands. The result is that they're shedding their image as depots for misfit merchandise and pulling in a wider range of shoppers.. . . more

New jeweler comes to Wellesley

Impulse, a new 1,100-square-foot jewelry in Wellesley's Linden Square. 

The owners of Adamas Fine Jewelry in Newton, Mass. are opening a new store in Wellesley this weekend.

Called “Impulse,” the 1,100-square-foot shop in Linden Square will feature designer jewelry collections from artists including pieces from Mizuki, Dominique Denaive, contemporary necklaces of Lana Jewelry to Suzanne Kalan's rings, or shoppers can choose to personalize their own pieces by Heather B. Moore.. . . more

Retailers that opened early on Thanksgiving night gained advantage

Retailers that opened early on Thanksgiving evening gained an advantage and that promotional activity was about on par with last year, according to a new Moody’s report, “Thanksgiving Weekend: The Early Bird Gets the Worm.”

 “Overall, the trends we observed this weekend are consistent with our expectations of 4% sales growth and 15% online sales growth for the 2012 holiday shopping season,” said Charlie O'Shea, VP -- senior analyst at Moody's and author of the report.. . . more

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Who won the buzz?

The sales figures are in for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Using a sophisticated social media analytics platform, SAP tracked consumer sentiment on these critical shopping days via Facebook, Twitter and 165 million other sites across the social web to identify patterns and uncover revealing shopper insights.. . . more

US economy grew at 2.7 percent rate in summer

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, much faster than first thought. The strength may fade in the final months of the year if Congress and the Obama administration fail to reach a budget deal.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that growth in the third quarter was significantly better than the 2 percent rate estimated a month ago. And it was more than twice the 1.3 percent rate reported for the April-June quarter.. . . more

Crossfit to open in Financial District, Monday

A Crossfit gym is set to open in Boston's Financial District, Monday. The brand, which Crossfit Inc. licenses to local operators, is known for its intense workouts, CrossFit enthusiasts don’t have to worry about being “boxed” in at the newest Boston center for the popular strength and conditioning program.

CrossFit Boston is opening a new 20,000-square-foot “box” — CrossFit speak for a gym — in the Financial District on Monday that’s said to be the largest in the Northeast.. . . more

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

JCP: Doomsday or New Beginning?

Things don’t seem to be going exactly the way JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson hoped they would a year ago.

  You may have noticed the precipitous fall in JC Penney comp store sales which started almost the day the new CEO walked in the door. For the latest quarter ending October 27th, Penney’s comp store sales were down a shocking 26.1%. For the latest nine-month period, comp sales are down 22.3%. During the nine-month period ending October 29, 2011, just days before Johnson was hired, comp stores gained a modest but still positive 1.2%. To be completely honest, in my 30-plus years in the retail industry, I can’t recall any other retailer’s sales even coming close to falling as dramatically in such a short stretch.. . . more

U.S. Retailers Lost $35.28B-plus to Theft in 2011

Employee theft, shoplifting/organized retail crime (ORC) and administrative error are the top sources of loss impacting retailers, according to an annual survey by the University of Florida.

The 2011 National Retail Security Survey found that retail shrinkage in 2011 was 1.42 percent, down from 1.49 percent in 2010. This works out to an approximate $35.28 billion annual loss to retailers because of preventable inventory issues, with 44.2 percent due to employee theft, 25.8 percent to shoplifting and ORC, and 12.1 percent to administrative error.. . . more

Jos. A. Bank profit drops 11.2% in 3Q

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter profit took a hit on Hurricane Sandy, additional price markdowns and shoppers being focused more on the presidential election than on new clothes.

Sales for the quarter rose 11.1 percent, to $223.9 million, compared with $209.6 million in third quarter 2011. Same-store sales, an important measure for retailers that compares sales at stores open at least a year, rose 4.8 percent. Sales through Jos. A. Bank’s website and catalog increased 25.8 percent.. . . more

Urban Outfitters Serves Striped Bass in Bid for Shoppers

Urban Outfitters Serves Striped Bass in Bid for Shoppers Next month, Tommy Bahama is opening a restaurant at its new flagship store in Manhattan. Shoppers will be able to buy one of the chain’s signature tropical print shirts and then order the Macadamia-nut encrusted snapper.

More and more retailers are following the Tommy Bahama model these days, using food and drink to lure customers into stores as sales increasingly migrate online. Urban Outfitters Inc., known for selling hipster threads in college towns, has served lamb merquez and striped bass at its Terrain home-and- garden store in Westport, Connecticut. J.C. Penney Co. plans to add juice bars and coffee shops. Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic has served cocktails to debut new clothing collections, while Ann Inc.’s Loft brand held Friday happy hours.. . . more

Cyber Monday online sales up 22% from last year

Cyber Monday continues its importance, driving a nearly 22% increase in year-over-year online sales, Chase reported Tuesday as part of its latest Holiday Pulse report. Monday sales beat Sunday, the next highest day, by a margin of 26.7%.

"Any way you look at the data, there's no doubt that web retailers had a strong Thanksgiving weekend, which culminated in a very strong Cyber Monday with web sales up nearly 22% over last year," said Sucharita Mulpuru, VP, principal analyst, Forrester. . . . more

Consumer confidence rises to four-year high in November

A report released Tuesday by the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level in more than four years.

The confidence index climbed to 73.7, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 73.1 reading the prior month, indicating that U.S. household spending will keep growing.. . . more

Shoppers flock to stores

WAITING: Shoppers line up at Wrentham...Shoppers visiting stores during what’s become a four-day Black Friday “weekend” thanks to Thanksgiving openings rang up an estimated $22 billion in sales nationally.

Their purchases amounted to a moderate 2.7 percent increase in dollars spent — the largest jump since the start of the Great Recession — according to ShopperTrak, a Chicago company that counts and analyzes foot traffic at stores.. . . more

Developer rebrands shopping center as The Street Chestnut Hill

The Chestnut Hill Shopping Center has...The Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, which is under redevelopment and expansion, has been rebranded as The Street Chestnut Hill.

Owner WS Development announced the new name today, saying it better reflects the 406,000-square-foot shopping center’s transformation into a walkable retail and entertainment destination.. . . more

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Coffee Wars Continue

For years, Starbucks, Dunkin Brands Inc. and McDonald’s have battled to control the U.S. coffee market. All three have come up with new tricks and treats along the way and have had missteps in the process. But the battle rages on. And as it does, it has implications for real estate investors—especially those targeting net lease assets or small strip centers where the chains typically locate.

All three firms have recently reported their latest financial performance with some mixed results.. . . more

Four Things Holiday-Shopping Kickoff Tell Us About the Economy, Consumer Habits

A record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year, according to the National Retail Federation. The average shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year, helping total spending reach an estimated $59.1 billion. Here, four things we've learned from the holiday-shopping kickoff: . . . more

Reallocation of market share remains key retail ratings driver in 2013

Market share defensibility remains a key challenge for many traditional U.S. retailers, against a backdrop of minimal growth and heavy competition, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

In view of the strong growth in online sales and other alternative formats, traditional retailers that are willing and capable of investing in a multi-channel strategy will continue to drive market share gains at the expense of retailers that struggle to maintain relevance in a mature but dynamic sector, the report said.. . . more

South Dartmouth Friendly's closes abruptly

Citing "sluggish sales," a South Dartmouth Friendly's restaurant suddenly shut its doors Monday, leaving 22 workers unemployed.

Friendly Ice Cream LLC spokeswoman Lynn Bolton said the decision was based on lagging business at the store on Dartmouth Street. "The South Dartmouth restaurant was not performing as well as we hoped so we made the decision to close this location ...," Bolton wrote in an email. "We are in the process of placing these employees in other area Friendly's restaurants.". . . more

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vegas mogul Steve Wynn pursuing Everett casino site

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, who failed to persuade Foxborough to accept a lavish $1 billion gambling resort, is investigating land on the Mystic River for a possible casino bid in Everett, which would create a clash among gambling titans for the state’s most lucrative casino license.

Wynn, the creator of iconic hotels on the Vegas Strip, such as Bellagio, the Mirage, and Treasure Island, is expected in Everett this week to personally view the site.. . . more

Versa Capital buys Eastern Mountain Sports

Versa Capital Management LLC, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm, said it has bought Eastern Mountain Sports, or EMS, a New Hampshire-based chain of 69 stores that sells outdoor gear and apparel.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Versa Capital added that no major initiatives will be considered for EMS until after the holidays.. . . more

Reinventing the department store

It's the season for buying.

This holiday season's sales are expected to ring in at nearly $600 billion, as shoppers flood online giants like Amazon, discount stores like Costco, and big box stores like Wal-Mart

Where do fewer people seem to be getting their gifts? Department stores.. . . more

Online and Offline Shopping Surge During Thanksgiving Weekend

Earlier Thanksgiving hours and shopping in both stores and online spurred an estimated 12.8 percent increase in U.S. retailers' sales over the four-day holiday weekend, an industry trade group said on Sunday.

An estimated 139.4 million adults visited U.S. stores and websites from Thanksgiving through Sunday, up from 131 million last year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. Total spending for the weekend rose to $59.1 billion from $52.4 billion last year.. . . more

Walmart workers protest, make no dent in Black Friday sales

As holiday shoppers prepared to battle crowds on Thanksgiving weekend, Wal-Mart workers and supports geared up to protest at stores nationwide, openly criticizing the retailers’ wages, benefits and treatment of employees.

Nine people were arrested in Paramount, Calif., including three Walmart employees, for blocking a busy street. About 1,000 people protested there.. . . more

Apple Stores Top Tiffany's in Retail Sales Per Square Foot

According to RetailSails (PDF), Apple Stores generate more revenue per square foot than stores operated by high-end jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company. That would be impressive in its own right – Tiffany & Co. is the leading retail diamond merchant and came in number two in RetailSails’ metrics. But Apple didn’t just beat Tiffany, it trounced the poor jeweler: RetailSails estimates Apple stores pulled in $6,050 per square foot, compared to $3,017 per square foot for Tiffany & Co.

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According to RetailSails (PDF), Apple Stores generate more revenue per square foot than stores operated by high-end jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company. That would be impressive in its own right – Tiffany & Co. is the leading retail diamond merchant and came in number two in RetailSails’ metrics. But Apple didn’t just beat Tiffany, it trounced the poor jeweler: RetailSails estimates Apple stores pulled in $6,050 per square foot, compared to $3,017 per square foot for Tiffany & Co.

Read more:
Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook
According to RetailSails (PDF), Apple Stores generate more revenue per square foot than stores operated by high-end jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company. That would be impressive in its own right – Tiffany & Co. is the leading retail diamond merchant and came in number two in RetailSails’ metrics. But Apple didn’t just beat Tiffany, it trounced the poor jeweler: RetailSails estimates Apple stores pulled in $6,050 per square foot, compared to $3,017 per square foot for Tiffany & Co.

Read more:
Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook

Apple continues to be by far the most lucrative retailer in the United States in terms of sales per square foot.

Apple’s retail stores make $6,050 in sales per square foot, the most of any American retailer, according to the latest data from RetailSails, which measures the productivity of major retailers each year. In fact, Apple’s sales per square foot are twice that of Tiffany and Co., a luxury retailer, which earns $3,017 in sales per square foot.. . . more

NYSE warns iParty over low stock price

Party goods retailer iParty Corp. said today it has received a compliance notice from the New York Stock Exchange due to the Dedham-based company’s low selling stock price for a substantial period of time.

The NYSE said iParty’s continued listing is predicated on it executing a reverse stock split of its common stock within a reasonable period of time, which the exchange has determined to be no later than May 20, 2013. If iParty does not complete a reverse stock split prior to that time, it could become subject to delisting procedures.. . . more

Allston Urban Outfitters, Petco building sold

A Newton real estate company has purchased a retail and medical office building in Allston for $11.7 million.

An investment affiliate of National Development bought the three-story building at 226 Harvard Ave. from Chicago’s Wrightwood Capital.

The 28,000-square-foot property, built in 2009, is fully leased to four tenants: Urban Outfitters, Unleashed by Petco, Hair Cuttery and Steward Medical Group.. . . more

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Citibank to close nine Massachusetts branches

Citibank will close nine of its 31 Massachusetts branches early next year, the company said today.

The bank would not disclose where the closings will be, other than to say they will be mostly outside Boston and will take effect March 15.. . . more

Supermarket Wars hit Mass.

The spectacular year-old Wegmans Supermarket here is one manifestation of how Massachusetts residents are experiencing a golden era of new competition and choice in the supermarket business.

Under three and a half acres of roof, served by 29 checkout lines, its offers all kinds of prepared food and ready-to-eat meals, restaurant tables and play space, everything from value-pack hamburger to $30-a-pound dry-aged beef, a full-line package store, gluten-free section and discount warehouse aisles.. . . more

J.C. Penney latest CEO email: honor Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday

J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson appealed to our nostalgia with his latest email to customers sent last night.

Penney is bucking the trend and opening at 6 a.m. Friday, that’s two hours later than last year. Penney’s 4 a.m. opening in 2011 was questioned when Kohl’s and Macy’s moved up to midnight.. . . more

Five Tips to Prevent Showrooming from Ruining Your Business

Cross-channel shopping has transformed the way consumers conduct product comparisons. Customers no longer have to drive between stores to determine where to find the item they want at the best price. As a result, many brick and mortar retailers are observing a phenomenon called “showrooming” – consumers use a store to try out a new camera or see how a dress fits before buying the product at a lower price from an online retailer. While showrooming can certainly be damaging to a business, it also presents an opportunity for retailers to rethink their strategy, leverage their in-store advantages and make on- and offline channels complement each other. . . . more

State prods Amazon to collect sales taxes

The Patrick administration is pressing Inc. to begin collecting sales taxes from Massachusetts customers as early as next year, arguing it is no longer exempt under federal law from charging the tax.

Under federal law, online retailers do not have to collect sales taxes from Massachusetts buyers unless the company has a physical presence, such as an office or store, in the state. But officials in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick contend that Amazon’s purchase of a North Reading technology firm, Kiva Systems, earlier this year, as well as its ongoing efforts to recruit engineers for a new office in Cambridge, establish the kind of physical presence necessary to collect the 6.25 percent sales tax.. . . more

Holiday sales to grow 4.5%; earnings to grow at 3.5% to 4.5% in 2012

Retail sales growth in the United States will rebound from the third quarter this holiday season, but will be down on the previous  two years' robust gains, according to a new report by Moody's Investors Service. The study, "Holiday Sales Will Overcome the U.S. Fiscal Policy Grinch," also finds that earnings growth will be slightly stronger.

“We expect holiday sales growth of about 4%, down from 6.5% in 2011," said VP, senior credit officer Margaret Taylor. "But while sales will be down, earnings are on track to grow at 3.5% to 4.5% for the full year 2012, compared with 2.7% last year.". . . more

CVS abandons plan to open a store on Nantucket

Faced with a petition from residents opposed to chain stores, CVS Caremark has set aside a plan to open a store on the resort island of Nantucket, Mass.

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS had hoped to take over the Grand Union supermarket. The Grand Union recently shut down, leaving Stop & Shop the only grocery store on Nantucket.. . . more

NRF tells Congress fiscal cliff fix is needed by Black Friday

Congress is trying to fix the “fiscal cliff” by the end of the year. But NRF is telling lawmakers the real deadline is Black Friday.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay explained in a letter to President Obama and Congress that many retailers make a quarter or more of their annual sales during the holiday season, and that uncertainty about the pending combination of massive tax hikes and spending cuts already has shoppers worried. If Congress and the White House don’t do something before Black Friday, the resulting disruption to consumer confidence and spending could prompt a crisis for retailers and the millions of U.S. jobs the industry supports.. . . more

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fifth Avenue Loses Title as World’s Most Expensive Retail Street

For the first time in 11 years, New York’s Fifth Avenue has been knocked off its spot as the most expensive retail street in the world by Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay.

Commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield reports that rents for retail spaces on Causeway Bay rose 34.9 percent year-over-year, to $2,630 per sq. ft. In contrast, rents on Fifth Avenue rose only 11.1 percent, to $2,500 per sq. ft. That growth rate was below the average for the U.S. retail market overall, which posted a 16.3 percent year-over-year increase in rents.. . . more

Wal-Mart braces for Black Friday crowds - and Black Friday protests

This certainly isn’t the best time for executives at Wal-Mart Stores to confront widespread worker protests. After all, the company is bracing for another crazy holiday shopping season by starting the Black Friday madness this time around at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving (except, thankfully, here in Massachusetts where that would be against the law). Wal-Mart is also trying to minimize fallout from a widening overseas bribery scandal. And the Bentonville, Ark.-based titan of commerce has joined all the other bricks-and-mortar retailers below it on the food chain in the struggle to keep customers from defecting to Amazon and its online brethren.. . . more

Walgreens Offers Unique Black Friday Mobile Coupon

Walgreens is introducing for the first time via the Walgreens mobile app a mystery Black Friday mobile coupon that customers can access for instant, in-store savings. Walgreens also has introduced the latest updates to its mobile app, providing more features and functionality for users. These updates allow for more personalized and relevant experiences for easy access on-the-go or in-store.

Walgreens will provide mobile app users with the ability to receive a mystery offer. When users open the Walgreens app home screen beginning Black Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25, they can “swipe to reveal” exclusive Walgreens offers and discounts on Starbucks Doubleshot® Energy Coffee products at their local Walgreens.. . . more

Some Retailers Planning 'Black Thursday' Opening This Year

That annual staple of Thanksgiving returns this year and it isn’t the turkey.

They call it Black Friday, the largest shopping day of the year.  However, many retailers plan to make it Black Thursday this year, opening earlier than ever so that there is barely enough time to digest that second helping of stuffing, yams, and mash potatoes.. . . more

Best Buy reports 3rd-quarter loss on restructuring charges, slumping sales

Best Buy Co. reported another dismal quarter on Tuesday, recording a loss in the third quarter, hurt by a continued sales slump and charges related to restructuring.

The electronics chain is struggling to reverse a yearslong decline in its business as competition from online stores and discounters increases, and consumers' tastes shift from more profitable items like TVs and desktop computers toward less profitable smartphones and tablets.. . . more

Housing Starts in U.S. Increase to Four-Year High

Housing Starts in U.S. Unexpectedly Increase to Four-Year High Housing starts in October unexpectedly climbed to a four-year high, indicating further improvement in U.S. residential construction.

Starts rose 3.6 percent to a 894,000 annual rate, the fastest since July 2008 and exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 82 economists called for starts to fall to a 840,000 pace. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, eased after surging the previous month.. . . more

Boston's commercial real estate market leading national recovery

Boston’s commercial real estate prices are fast approaching peak levels last seen in December 2007, while the local market as a whole is head-and-shoulders above the rest when comes to rebounding from the depths of the most-recent recession.

That’s according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service, which tracked commercial real estate prices in major markets throughout the United States during the 12 months ended Sept. 30.. . . more

Monday, November 19, 2012

In remaking Penney, CEO making a mess

You should know you have a problem when sales at your stores fall 26.1 percent in one quarter.
That was the surprising decline J.C. Penney reported last week when it disclosed that it had lost $123 million in the previous three months.

However, inside the fantasy world that is the executive suite of J.C. Penney, apparently it was just part of the plan. . . . more

PGA Tour to open first Northeast location

PGA Tour Superstore announced it will open its first Northeast location, in Paramus, N.J., on Nov. 21. The 57,000 sq.-ft. store will offer a selection of golf merchandise and apparel.

Paramus is PGA Tour Superstore's fifteenth retail location. The superstores are owned and operated by Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc., whose controlling owner and chairman is Arthur M. Blank, retired Home Depot co-founder and now owner of the Atlanta Falcons.. . . more

Supervalu in pay freeze at headquarters

Supervalu on Friday said it would implement a pay freeze for all employees at its corporate headquarters.

It also said that it would also reduce or suspend matching contributions to workers’ 401(k) plans, effective next year.. . . more

Consumers to shop via mobile phones on Thanksgiving

Mobile devices will play a pivotal role this Thanksgiving as the holiday transforms into "Mobile Thursday," the day before Black Friday, according to a new online survey by Harris Interactive, conducted on behalf of Digitas, a digitally led, global integrated brand agency.

Twenty-eight percent of smartphone- or tablet-owning adult holiday shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day with their mobile devices, nearly double the percentage from 2011, when only 16% said they would use a mobile device to shop on "Mobile Thursday.". . . more

The season’s top buy at Best Buy: itself

Electronics aren’t the only thing Best Buy is looking to sell at a discount.

As it gears up for the crucial holiday season, the embattled retailer is open to considering a lowered bid from founder Richard Schulze, who in August offered $24 to $26 a share for the chain.. . . more

Lowe’s posts higher-than-expected Q3 sales and profits

Lowe's Cos. said Monday that its third-quarter net income jumped 76%, helped by lower costs and higher revenue. Its adjusted earnings without charges and its revenue both beat Wall Street forecasts.  

Lowe's earned $396 million for the three months ended Nov. 2. That compares with $225 in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 2% to $12.07 billion from $11.85 billion. Same-store sales were up 1.8%.. . . more

Walmarts to be besieged

 Black Friday protests scheduled at stores

Walmart shoppers may get more than they bargained for on Black Friday.

Activists plan demonstrations at Massachusetts Walmarts on the day after Thanksgiving to call attention to the retail giant’s alleged retaliation against employees who speak out for better work conditions and unionization.. . . more

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wal-Mart and Target: A tale of 2 discounters

A customer leaves a Target store in Los AngelesThis holiday season, the biggest discount chains in the U.S. will tell the tale of two very different shoppers: those that have and those that have not.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, on Thursday acknowledged that its low-income shoppers continue to struggle in the economy and issued an outlook for the fourth quarter — which encompasses the holiday shopping period — that falls below Wall Street estimates. On the same day, its smaller rival Target Corp., which caters to more affluent shoppers, said it expects results during the quarter to exceed the Street's projections.. . . more

Retail Industry Expecting the Strongest Holiday Season in Years in 2012

With Black Friday arriving early this year and retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Sears and Toys ‘R’ Us, already announcing controversial Thanksgiving night store openings, it’s time to discuss expectations for the all-important holiday shopping season. Judging by early forecasts, the 2012 holiday season might turn out to be the strongest in years, with preliminary surveys showing that consumers plan to spend more on gifts this year than they did in 2011.

A holiday survey released by ICSC and Goldman Sachs on Nov. 14 found that 19 percent of respondents planned to spend more on gifts this year than last, with an additional 5 percent planning to spend “substantially more.” Toy/game and apparel retailers should see the largest share of those dollars, with 14.1 percent of shoppers indicating they will buy those products.. . . more

CVS revives notion of a general store for the 21st century

Quietly, voraciously, the retail monster once known as Consumer Value Stores has been taking over America. With thousands of stores nationwide and an inventory that ranges from Chia pets to syringes to hummus, the former pharmacy has revived the notion of a general store for the 21st century.

And they’ve done it with dizzying financial results. Last week, Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark reported $1 billion in earnings in just the past three months. That’s $1 billion in nail clippers, Hostess cupcakes and punchy, 4 a.m. shopping sprees for cobalt eyeliner!. . . more

Showrooming here to stay

One-in-five consumers is now "showrooming," according to new research by Aprimo, a Teradata in collaboration with Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. Of those consumers already showrooming, 33% say they ultimately used the information to buy elsewhere. The trend is only expected to continue growing, too, as 96% say they plan to use their smart phone to research prices the same way or more in the future.

"This research confirms what many in the retail industry have suspected: Showrooming is here to stay," said Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and principal analyst for Forrester Research, who helped develop the survey questions and analyze results. . . . more