Monday, December 24, 2012

Hobby Lobby asks high court to block morning-after pill rule

Hobby Lobby Stores has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block part of the federal health care law that requires it to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraception pills.

Owned by a conservative Christian family, the arts-and-crafts company argues that the drugs are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb. Company officials say they must decide whether to violate their faith or face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if they ignore the law.. . . more

Is J.C. Penney having a Merry Christmas? Analysts say they found some evidence of success

Is J.C. Penney having a Merry Christmas? Analysts say they found some evidence of success

Analysts who are getting out into J.C. Penney stores are finding some positive signs.

Oppenheimer & Co. issued a note this morning saying Plano-based Penney’s recent promotions are showing “evidence of success.”. . . more

Subdued mood on the last holiday shopping weekend

People crowd the mall for holiday shopping ahead of Christmas at Twelve Oaks Mall on Saturday in Novi, Mich.Christmas shoppers thronged malls and pounced on discounts but apparently spent less this year, their spirits dampened by concerns about the economy and the aftermath of shootings and storms.

Talk about more than just the usual job worries to cloud the mood: Confidence among U.S. consumers dipped to its lowest point in December since July amid rising economic worries, according to a monthly index released Friday.. . . more

Value stores, luxury shops, restaurants to lead retail development in 2013

The value and luxury classes of retail will supply the most construction opportunities in 2013, according to a forecast by Englewood Construction. The Lemont, Ill.-based commercial builder also predicted an uptick in restaurant development and a squeeze on middle-market retail.

While value-based stores and high-end shops meet today’s retail demands, the development of both destinations will look different in 2013. Unlike the segregated past with the big-box value seeker shopping in a completely different locale than the high-end couture spender, said William Di Santo, president of Englewood Construction. He predicts more integration, with these two types of shoppers strolling down the same retail street.. . . more

TJX purchases off-price online retailer Sierra Trading Post for $200 million

The TJX Cos. said Friday it has acquired Sierra Trading Post, an off-price Internet retailer based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for approximately $200 million in cash.

Sierra Trading Post is a privately held company that launched its e-commerce business in 1999. The company has successfully grown its business to more than $200 million in annual revenue, and has a strong organization of approximately 700 associates with substantial e-commerce experience and expertise.. . . more

New entrant in Bay State casino competition

Clairvest Group, a Canadian private equity management firm that operates casinos and racetracks in Canada and the U.S., is the latest company to bet they can win a gambling license in the Bay State.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission chairman Stephen Crosby said Clairvest, a publicly traded-company based in Toronto, met with commission staff and consultants this week in the first step to apply for a license. Cliarvest officials did not specify if they would seek a slot machine parlor or a resort casino license, Crosby said. It was also unclear where Clairvest would look to build.. . . more

Arnold weighing move to Millennium tower on former Filene's site in Downtown Crossing

Rendering of Millennium's plan for a tower over the former Filene's buildingBoston ad agency Arnold Worldwide is reportedly considering relocating to the tower proposed for the former Filene's department store building site in Downtown Crossing.

Arnold isn't the only major Back Bay tenant with a lease set to run out in the next two years. If the ad company commits, it would be a significant step forward for Filene's developer Millennium Partners and the Downtown Crossing business district.. . . more

Friday, December 21, 2012

Michigan Consumer Sentiment Fell to Five-Month Low in December

U.S. consumer confidence fell in December to a five-month low as Americans grew more concerned about the possibility of higher taxes next year.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index decreased to 72.9, the weakest since July, from 82.7 in November. Economists projected a final reading of 75 for December, according to the median of 66 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Today’s figure was lower than a preliminary report earlier this month.. . . more

EBay Enters Physical Stores With Mobile Applications for Macy’s

EBay Inc., owner of the world’s largest Internet marketplace, is teaming up with Macy’s Inc. and Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. as it goes after revenue from shoppers who are out and about, not just online, during the holidays.

EBay is building mobile technology for retailers that helps consumers find and navigate stores and use discounts. The Macy’s application, for example, senses when shoppers enter a store, sends a mobile coupon and gives directions to the right department to make a purchase.. . . more

Amazon keeps pressure on bricks and mortar retailers

Bricks and mortar retailers like Nordstrom Inc and Walgreens have found a way to deal with growing pressure from Amazon, by joining forces with small e-commerce companies.

Through acquisitions, investments and partnerships with smaller, emerging start-ups, large retailers are breaking into new markets and tapping into the social media and marketing expertise of the firm's often tech-savvy founders.. . . more

Walgreen 4Q profit falls 55% after Express Scripts spat

Walgreen Co posted an unexpected decline in quarterly profit on Friday as the largest U.S. drugstore chain worked o n winning back former customers an d changed how it accounts for its first international acquisition.

For the first 8-1/2 months of 2012 Walgreen could not fill prescriptions for patients on Express Scripts Holding Co benefits plans be cause of a contract dispute between the companies, w hi ch meant millions of customers switched to other pharmacies to get their medications. Walgreen is trying to lure them back with offers such as $25 gift cards.. . . more

Super Saturday could surpass Black Friday

Shopper analytics firm Experian FootFall said Thursday that the final Saturday before Christmas – Super Saturday – could eclipse Black Friday as the top performer this holiday season.

Historically, Black Friday and Super Saturday are the two strongest shopping days throughout the holiday season, with Black Friday typically finishing just ahead of Super Saturday. Due to the 2012 calendar shift that provides an additional two days to spend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, FootFall said it anticipates consumers will flood various retail locations and boost performance by taking advantage of sales and promotions during the final weekend of the season.. . . more

Online spending week sets $7 billion record

comScore reported Thursday that the most recent week achieved record-setting levels of online spending, eclipsing $7 billion in sales for the first time ever. Four individual days surpassed $1 billion in spending, led by Green Monday at $1.275 billion.

According to comScore, holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 46 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season has reached $35 billion, marking a 13% increase vs. the corresponding days last year.. . . more

Development at former Polaroid site in Waltham to feature supermarket, Starbucks, among others

Developers of 1265 Main St., the former Polaroid site in Waltham, have announced a number of its finalized commercial tenants for the 280,000 square foot planned mixed-use plaza, including Market Basket, Starbucks, Marshalls, TD Bank, Bonefish Grill, and Jake-n-Joes Sports Grille.

The developers will be submitting consideration for drive-through uses to the Waltham City Council in the near future, they said in an email to Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy.. . .more

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rite Aid reports nearly $62 million profit

Rite Aid beat analyst expectations in third quarter 2013 as the generic wave and retention of Express Scripts customers helped drive better-than-expected adjusted EBIDTA and produced the company's first profitable quarter in five years.

The company reported sales of $6.2 billion, a 1.2% decrease compared with third quarter 2012's $6.3 billion due to the introduction of new generics and store closings. Same-store sales decreased by 1.5%, as a 2.7% decrease in pharmacy comps due to new generic introductions offset a 1.1% increase in front-end comps, though same-store prescriptions filled increased by 3.6%, including the addition of new prescriptions from the dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts. . . . more

Best Buy digital head leaves company

Best Buy Co. announced Wednesday that its president of digital operations Stephen Gillett is leaving the company to take a COO post at computer security company Symantec, effective Friday.

Best Buy said that Gillett’s responsibilities will now be divided up among CFO Sharon McCollam, online and global e-commerce president Scott Durchslag, and senior VP U.S. retail Shawn Score.

Source: Chain Store Age

Bed Bath & Beyond Q3 profit beats, sales disappoint

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. reported Wednesday that profit for the quarter ended Nov. 24 rose almost 2% to $232.8 million, from $228.5 million last year, edging Wall Street expectations.

Revenue increased 15% to $2.7 billion, just missing analysts’ forecasted $2.73 billion in revenue. Same-store sales rose 1.7%.. . . more

ShopperTrak lowers holiday sales forecast

A report released by ShopperTrak on Wednesday revealed a downwardly revised holiday forecast indicating a 2.5% year-over-year sales increase.

According to ShopperTrak, although week-over-week numbers improved, year-over-year statistics are stumbling. For the weekend ended Dec. 15, retail foot traffic rose 15.1% week-over-week, and sales increased 16.4% week-over-week.. . . more

Why We Really Browse in Stores, But Then Buy Online (Hint: It's Not Price)

Brick-and-mortar retailers like to grumble about customers who use their stores as a showroom for their later purchases on and other online sites.

But what if online price-cutting isn’t the main cause of “showrooming”?

 A new survey points to another cause of customers’ decision to leave a store and shop online instead.. . . more

Massachusetts unemployment rate holds steady at 6.6 percent for November

The Massachusetts unemployment rate held steady at 6.6 percent in November after four straight months of increases, the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported.

During the month of November, the local economy lost 1,100 jobs, the office said. From November 2011 to November 2012, jobs are up 46,600 in the Bay State.. . . more

1 Kendall Square for sale; owners hope for $360m

One Kendall Square is on the market for $360 million. The retail, office and cinema complex includes several restaurants. Hungry Mother, a popular nearby eatery, is reportedly moving in. The owners of the One Kendall Square office, retail, and cinema complex in Cambridge are putting the property up for sale, seeking to cash in on rising demand for real estate in the fast-growing district.

Beal Cos. and Rockwood Capital are hoping to get upward of $360 million for the nine-building complex, which includes offices, laboratories, eight restaurants, a parking garage, and the Kendall Square Cinema. They paid $210.5 million for the complex in 2006, and have since made more than $64 million in improvements.. . . more

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Portwalk's final phase ready to break ground

Preliminary site work at the third phase of Portwalk kicked off Tuesday, paving the way for completion of the major Portsmouth downtown development that already includes a Residence Inn by Marriott and Residences at Portwalk.

The final phase will consist of a five-story, mixed-use building abutting Hanover and Deer streets and Maplewood Avenue. The building, which was approved by city land-use boards earlier this year, includes room for a hotel, residential units, mixed retail/restaurant use, a surface-level parking deck and a one-story underground parking garage.. . . more

Susan Sarandon & Co. set to score Boston locale for pingpong club

A pingpong “social club” chain backed by Academy Award-wining actress Susan Sarandon is seeking a location in South Boston’s bustling Fort Point neighborhood.

Win by 2 LLC is in lease negotiations to open a franchised SPiN Galactic club on Summer Street. Plans filed with the city call for 10 pingpong tables, a DJ booth, two bars, lounge seating, a commercial kitchen to serve lunch and dinner and lockers at the 250-254 Summer St. locale.. . . more

Gaming panel gives tribe more time to clear casino hurdles

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has 90 days to nail down a new deal with Gov. Deval Patrick or the state gaming board may open up the sole southeastern Massachusetts casino license to commercial bidders.

“This will give the tribe a last shot,” Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said today.. . . more

Tesco’s Faulty Site Selection Decisions Might Make Disposing of U.S. Stores Challenging

Disposing of its U.S. portfolio might prove challenging, however, as one of the main reasons Tesco failed in America had to do with poor site selection strategy, according to multiple retail consultants.

“They were building stores that didn’t necessarily match the demographics they were trying to attract,” said Mark Heckman, principal with Mark Heckman Consulting. “I just don’t feel the combination of their merchandising, their store layout and product selection clicked with the consumer.. . . more

Once Proudly Web Only, Shopping Sites Hang Out Real Shingles

Andy Dunn was fierce about the Internet-only model of his apparel company, Bonobos, after helping to found it in 2007. He gave a speech, “The End of Apparel as We Know It,” arguing that stores were a bad economic decision. As he told a news channel in 2009: “We keep men out of retail stores when we know that men fundamentally don’t enjoy shopping.”

How times have changed.  . . . more

Hong Kong, New York are world’s most expensive retail destinations

A report released Tuesday by CBRE Group found that Hong Kong and New York City rank number one and two as the world’s most expensive prime retail markets.

U.S. gateway markets have benefited from strong tourism demand and have also recorded significant rises in prime rents. Gains were witnessed particularly in New York City, where rents on Fifth Avenue increased 17% quarter-over-quarter.. . . more

Harvard University and Boston developer propose mixed-use for Allston parcel

Harvard University and Boston developer Samuels & Associates have proposed a residential and retail development at North Harvard Street and Western Avenue in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, but neighborhood opposition could stand in the way.

Barry’s Corner Residential and Retail Commons would be built on a 2.67-acre lot that Harvard owns. If approved, it will feature 325 apartments, 45,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, 180 below-grade parking spaces and 41 on-street parking spaces on two new streets created within the project site. It will also include a 3,600-square-foot park.. . . more

Upper Crust pizzeria locations head to bankruptcy auction today

Leases and related assets are up for grabs Wednesday at as many as 10 locations of the Boston-area gourmet pizza chain Upper Crust, part of the once high-flying company's bankruptcy proceedings.

More than 60 potential bidders have reportedly expressed interest in buying the defunct pizza chain,  including a shadowy private equity firm, former employees of the pizza chain represented by labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan, and an estranged co-founder of the company.. . . more

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No easy answers for a Neiman Marcus IPO

Savvy exit or gutsy risk? That's the question observers are asking as talk escalates along Wall Street that the private equity owners of Neiman Marcus are preparing to take the company back into the public arena, just as sales are starting to slow. TPG and Warburg Pincus, who took the retailer private in a $5.1 billion deal near the peak of the market in October 2005, have been waiting seven long years to exit their investment, with an IPO being the quickest and easiest option – at least it was until about a month ago.

But some investors are questioning the timing of such a strategy now. Many wonder if the recent pullback in luxury sales is a temporary anomaly or the start of a deeper downward spiral.. . . more

Nordstrom plans two East Coast Rack locations

Nordstrom Inc. said it plans to open two discount Rack locations on the East Coast next spring: One in downtown Washington, D.C. and the other in Columbia, Md.

Nordstrom said the 35,000-square-foot downtown Washington, D.C. Rack will be located at the 1800 L Street, NW building. The 40,750-square-foot Columbia Rack will be located at the Columbia Crossing shopping center that is owned and operated by Kimco Realty Corp.. . . more

Best Buy's Brian Dunn is the worst CEO of 2012

A couple months ago, Bloomberg Businessweek did a cover story where Best Buy was characterized as a "Big Box Zombie." Now, Bloomberg is dinging former CEO Brian Dunn for being one of the people primarily responsible for the company's zombified state.

In "The Worst CEOs of 2012," Dartmouth business professor and author Sydney Finkelstein puts Dunn at the top of his third-annual list of the worst executives in the world.. . . more

Dick's Sporting Goods suspending firearm sales

A sporting goods chain says it's suspending sales of modern rifles nationwide because of the school shooting in Connecticut.

Dick's Sporting Goods also says it's removing all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown, where the massacre took place.. . . more

Poll: Should Mall Stores Have Armed Guards?

Friday’s murder of 26 people including 20 children by a gunman in Newtown, CT, and more gunplay at a mall outside Portland a few days before prompted Patch to take a new look at the use of an armed guard at  C.D. Peacock’s Northbrook Court jewelry store.

A year ago, Patch observed the guard and asked readers how they felt. A majority supported the idea. Patch wants to know if recent events have changed minds in the area. Patch is running a new poll and will publish the results next week.. . . more

Walmart Says NYT's Allegations Of Corruption In Mexico Part Of Ongoing Probe

World's largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said Monday that the allegations of corruption at Walmart de Mexico store is part of the "ongoing investigation of potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" that it began more than a year ago.
The company revealed this in a statement released in response to the December 17 New York Times Article about allegations of corruption in Mexico. The company said the article referred to events in 2003-2004 involving the permitting and licensing process for a Teotihuacan, Mexico-based Walmart de Mexico store.. . . more

Many bidders offer dough for Upper Crust

The bids are piling up like pizza toppings ahead of tomorrow’s auction of the bankrupt Upper Crust chain.

“We received a substantial number of bids,” said Boston attorney Mark DeGiacomo, the trustee overseeing the pizza chain’s bankruptcy case and auction of assets. He declined to reveal the number of bids or bidders’ names.. . . more

Monday, December 17, 2012

Staples president and COO resigns

Staples Inc. announced Monday that its president and COO Michael Miles has left the company, effective Feb. 2.

Miles has accepted a position with Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners.. . . Source: Chain Store Age

Five-day online spending total surpasses $5 billion

Survey results released Monday by comScore revealed that the most recent work-week saw four individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Green Monday with $1.275 billion.

comScore, which has monitored holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 44 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season, reported that to date $33.8 billion has been spent online, marking a 13% increase versus the corresponding days last year.. . . more

This could kill Everett's casino: Part of the Monsanto site is in Boston

Steve Wynn says he wants to build a casino on 37 acres in Everett, Mass. Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria agrees that a casino would be a great use for 37 acres, formerly owned by Monsanto Chemical, on the Mystic River. But the site they have in mind is only 35 acres – and 5 of them are in Boston.

Believe it or not, Boston's city limit stretches over the Mystic River, encompassing a narrow finger of land on the Everett side, between the former Monsanto site and Route 99. This hadn't been reported until this morning, but it looks like Wynn Resorts and DeMaria would have to go through that finger – and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino – to pull the first busload of tourists into their planned palace of chance.. . . more

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Competition grows as grocery chains, new entries battle for N.H.'s food dollars

Regardless of whether their shopping list includes microwaveable burritos or organic stone-ground wheat crackers, consumers in New Hampshire now have more choices than perhaps ever before of where to buy their groceries.

Traditional supermarkets like Stop & Shop, Shaw's, Hannaford and the Market Basket chain are increasingly facing stiff competition from club stores, drug stores, convenience stores, department stores and food co-operatives and farmers markets.. . . more

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wal-Mart and Kroger interested in Hostess Brands

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co. are among the bidders for assets being sold by Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said a person familiar with the matter.

There are about two dozen bidders, said the person, who asked not to be named because the process is confidential. Last month, financial adviser Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners LP said the liquidation sale may generate about $1 billion. . . . more

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index retreats

After nearly a year of steady gains, the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index (Index) fell in November due to a slowdown in the rise of new home prices and an accelerating decline in real wages. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

“After a period characterized by improving housing data and waning energy prices this fall, the underlying fundamentals for consumer spending are beginning to deteriorate,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index. . . . more

Best Buy extends deadline for offer by Schulze

Best Buy Co. on Friday said it agreed to extend the deadline to Feb. 28 for founder Richard Schulze to make a bid for the company.

The company said it is in the best interest of shareholders to let Schulze and his partners include results from the holiday season in their due diligence review.. . . more

Market Basket expands into Maine

A Massachusetts supermarket chain has announced its first expansion into Maine. Biddeford city officials say Tewksbury, Mass.-based Market Basket is scheduled to open a store next fall. Economic Development Director Daniel Stevenson tells The Journal Tribune the family-owned company plans to invest $11 million to redevelop the former Lowe's store at The Shops at Biddeford Crossing. . . . more

CRE investment environment shows signs of improvement in Q4

Investment conditions for commercial real estate have improved modestly across all sectors, while property values remain flat and transaction volumes fell, according to a national survey by the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute, a commercial real estate network.

Investment condition ratings for all property types including office, industrial, retail, apartments and hotel, improved during third quarter, with the apartment sector receiving the highest score, at 7.6 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest. The hotel and industrial sectors’ ratings rose to 5.9 and 5.6, respectively, followed by the 5.4 rating for the retail sector. The office sector investment rating rose to 4.8.. . . more

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Welcoming Walgreens

Walgreens’ new mega-store that’s set to open in Boston’s Downtown Crossing next spring will take the drugstore chain’s health, beauty and convenience strategy to the next level.

The 25,000-square-foot flagship store has been dubbed the “gourmet Walgreens” by city officials who see it as key to the shopping district’s revival. The retailer replaces a departed Borders bookstore in a structure that once housed a bank.. . . more

Retail group says holiday sales ‘back on track’

The holiday shopping season is off to a respectable start based on November sales results, the National Retail Federation said today.

Although Hurricane Sandy affected various sectors, sales climbed 4.4 percent from November 2011, according to the trade group, which is sticking with its forecast of $586.1 billion in total holiday sales by season’s end, which would be a 4.1 percent increase from last year.. . . more

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Restaurant Industry to Add 1.3M Jobs by 2023

While the operating environment will remain challenging, America’s 980,000 restaurants are expected to post record sales and continue to be a leading job creator in 2013, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast.

Total restaurant industry sales are expected to exceed $660 billion in 2013—a 3.8 percent increase over 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of real sales growth for the industry.. . . more

Sales up 7.7% in Q3FY’12 at Burlington Coat Factory

Comparative store sales at Burlington Coat Factory increased 2.1% and total net sales increased 7.7% to $967.9 million for the three months ended October 27, 2012 compared with last year.

Comparative store sales increased 1.8% and total net sales increased 7.4% to $2,814.5 million for the nine months ended October 27, 2012 compared with last year. . . . more

More holiday jobs this year suggests stronger spending, confidence

In the wake of a mixed national employment picture, there have been a couple of hopeful signs about the economy.

For John Challenger, the CEO of the Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, the good news was hidden in last week's U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that retailers had hired a record number of temporary help for the holiday season.. . . more

Wal-Mart CEO says 'fiscal cliff' affects U.S. shoppers

A large portion of American consumers now know about the "fiscal cliff" and a sizeable number of them expect the debate over it to curb their holiday spending, according to the chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

In the week before last month's U.S. presidential election, only 25 percent of its core U.S. shoppers knew what the term "fiscal cliff" meant, CEO Mike Duke said on Tuesday.

"One week after the election it was up to 75 percent," said Duke, adding that 15 percent of those customers said the debate in Washington would affect what they spend for Christmas.. . . more

Costco reports strong Q3

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Nov. 25 rose 30% to $416 million, compared with $320 million in the year-ago period and surpassing analysts’ forecasts.

Sales increased 9.6% to $23.71 billion from $21.2 billion while same-store sales increased 6% domestically and 7% internationally, excluding fuel sales and foreign exchange effects.. . . more

Dollar General to open 635 stores in fiscal 2013

Dollar General said it plans to open approximately 635 stores in fiscal 2013, including some 20 Dollar General Market stores and 40 Dollar General Plus stores. The company also plans to remodel or relocate a total of approximately 550 stores.

Revenue rose 10.3% to $3.96 billion in Q3  from the year-earlier quarter. Same-store sales increased 4%. . . more

Forest Hills Harvest Co-Op to open today

Boston-Cambridge natural-foods grocer Harvest Co-Op is set to open its Forest Hills store near the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain today at noon.

Harvest Co-Op recently had to move its Central Square store in Cambridge, due to a rent increase. Its existing store at 57 South Street in Jamaica Plain is set to remain open.. . . more

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mass. casino panel weighs key policy questions

Before the state gaming commission can begin awarding casino licenses, it must first come up with a set of rules and regulations for fully implementing the year-old expanded gambling law.

That process will begin on Tuesday with the first of several days of hearings to address dozens of ‘‘policy questions’’ raised by the new law, which allows up to three resort-style casinos and one slots parlor in Massachusetts.. . . more

U.S. Online Holiday Spending up 13 Percent vs. Last Year

omScore , a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 37 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date $26.6 billion has been spent online, marking a 13-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week saw three individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending – Monday, Dec. 3 ($1.117 billion), Tuesday, Dec. 4 ($1.362 billion)  and Wednesday, Dec. 5 ($1.051 billion) – bringing the total number of billion dollar spending days for the season to seven. . . . more

Sex sells, and other retail myths

Commentary: 5 retailers shaping up to be holiday losers

The reviews are in, sort of. Black Friday was a success. Cyber Monday? Not just a day. Or a week. But an entire month. In short, the retail world (version 2012 ) is saved.

Not so fast.. . . more

Toys ‘R’ Us posts wider Q3 loss

Toys “R” Us posted a wider loss for its fiscal third quarter due primarily to an increase in interest expenses. The retailer said it lost $105 million for the quarter ended Oct. 27, compared with a loss of $93 million in the year-ago period.

The company said net sales fell 3.4% to $2.6 billion due to negative effects of foreign exchange rates. Same-store sales fell 4.1% in the United States.. . . more