News

2011 Store Construction & Outfitting Survey

BY CSA STAFF

For the second year in a row, retailers’ expansion plans are on an upward trajectory, according to Chain Store Age’s 2011 Store Construction & Outfitting Survey, an annual survey of retail building activity and development costs. In other findings, the cost of lighting, signage, roofing and other store-outfitting systems decreased compared with last year. The good news, however, was tempered by concerns over the rising costs of construction materials and labor.

The exclusive survey, conducted by Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, compiled results from retail chains across the country. The study examined such items as expansion plans, construction costs, store size and energy costs. It also tracked the costs of store outfitting and support systems, including lighting, flooring, signage, fixtures, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

Click here to download the 2011 Store Construction & Outfitting Survey.

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News

Sam’s Club to offer free children’s health, ID screenings

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club is helping parents prepare for the back-to-school season by offering free children’s health and ID screenings at stores nationwide on July 9.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., shoppers can take advantage of the screenings, which will include blood pressure, body mass index and vision checks, as well as fingerprint kits and DNA swabs. The tests, valued at $100, will be conducted by certified technicians from Carmen Ingle and Associates. Additionally, fingerprint kits will be administered by the in-club technician, while the DNA swab kit can be administered in Sam’s Club or taken home by a parent.

The in-club children’s health and ID screenings are sponsored by Band-Aid, Clif Kid, Dial, G2, L’il Critters, Neosporin and Neo To Go! The brands will provide samples on site, Sam’s Club said.

"Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of children’s extra free time by scheduling health checkups," Sam’s Club SVP Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "As the summer continues and kids are out playing, we know that safety is also important to parents, so Sam’s Club is offering a special joint health and safety screening to help protect children in the event they are ever lost. At Sam’s Club, we are proud to provide our members with quality health solutions for the entire family."

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OPERATIONS

IBM Coremetrics Report: Online holiday readiness

BY Marianne Wilson

Leveraging the social and mobile channels to present a unified cross-channel experience is one of the keys to maximizing online holiday sales this year, according to the IBM Coremetrics Fourth Annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report.

“Segments of social media users who browsed your site or (put products in shopping carts) but abandoned them are ideal for retargeting via personalized e-mail or display ads,” the report states. It notes that Coremetrics research shows that visitors from social media sites have a 10.7% conversion rate, more than the 5.2% conversion rate for all visitors, and 3.9% for mobile.

The study advises retailers to ensure their sites are easy to use via mobile devices, noting that 7.6% of e-commerce visits already come from consumers using mobile devices. The number is expected to increase to double digits by this year’s holiday shopping season.

Providing an in-depth analysis of key trends in online shopping and usage based on data from more than 500 leading U.S. retailers, the report offers best-practice guidance on how to adapt to fast-moving trends during the critical holiday season.

Key trends identified in this year’s report include:

  • Mobile phones are the consumer’s best friend, both when it comes to browsing (or researching a purchase) and when it comes to buying online or even in stores;
  • The use of social media as a shopping tool is skyrocketing;
  • Consumers are willing to spend more money on more items — carting and ordering are hitting record highs;
  • But consumer attention continues to decline and bounce rates remain high.

The complete report can be downloaded for free here.

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