Aaron’s partners with Buxton for expansion strategy
Fort Worth, Texas — Aaron’s has formed a partnership with Buxton, a customer analytics firm, to assist with the retailer’s market expansion and analytics strategy.
“Our partnership with Buxton gives Aaron’s the capability to define optimal custom territories and identify the trade areas and markets where expansion would be the most profitable for us,” said Josh Newman, senior director of real estate for Aaron’s, which operates 1,814company-owned and franchised stores in 48 states. “We are also focusing on our existing network of stores to understand how we can optimize those markets where we already have brand presence.”
As part of this alliance, Aaron’s joins a growing list of organizations utilizing Scout, a web-based site selection and management application developed by Buxton. Scout can be used as a pre-screening tool for real estate location decisions and a comprehensive site management system.
Cardtronics names VP U.S. merchant sales
HOUSTON — Cardtronics, the world’s largest retail ATM owner, announced that Lucia Romanello Crater has joined Cardtronics as the company’s new VP U.S. merchant sales.
Crater has served on the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) "Supplier Board" since 1999 and presently serves as vice chair for the board. NACS is an international trade association representing more than 2,100 retail and 1,500 supplier company members. As Cardtronics’ new VP U.S. merchant sales, Crater is responsible for developing and implementing sales initiatives to maintain and grow the company’s retail client relationships across the United States.
Ms. Crater comes to Cardtronics from US Nutrition, a manufacturer of nutritional bars, where she worked for 9 years, including the last three as director of sales. Prior to US Nutrition, Crater served more than a decade as VP sales at GSP Marketing Technologies, helping convenience store retailers implement signage and database system best practices.
"Cardtronics’ merchant sales team immediately strengthens its channel expertise with the addition of Lucia Crater," said Tres Thompson, EVP U.S. ATM Services for Cardtronics. "Bringing to Cardtronics a proven track record of leveraging sales pipeline opportunities into new revenue drivers for a number of companies, Ms. Crater also has earned tremendous respect within the merchant marketplace. As evidenced by her leadership positions with NACS, Ms. Crater has earned the trust and cooperation of the retail and supplier communities. Those relationships clearly enhance Cardtronics’ position as a value-added service provider to both the convenience store and larger merchant communities."
March a solid month for retail
PURCHASE, N.Y. — Most retail segments showed solid year-over-year retail growth in March, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales.
Electronics sales and department stores showed modest gains while luxury and e-commerce recorded strong growth. Some segments of the restaurant sector also showed strength in March.
“Most retail sectors continued to record solid growth year-over-year, similar to February, although we’re not seeing an acceleration of momentum from February to March,” said Michael McNamara, VP research and analysis, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. The lack of increased momentum in some sectors could be due to calendar shifts, given that Easter falls very late this year.”
Gasoline prices remain a concern as the average price continues to be above $3.50 a gallon,’ McNamara said.
“Compared to March 2010, we’re seeing drivers pump less gasoline,” he said. “Based on what we’ve observed in the last three to four years, high gasoline prices typically result in consumers consolidating shopping trips, shopping closer to home, and making fewer trips to the brick and mortar locations as we get to Saturday. On the other hand, we’ve seen the e-commerce channel benefitting somewhat from this trend.”
Here are details of some specific sectors for March 2011:
Total apparel sales recorded their eighth consecutive year-over-year sales gains, increasing by 4.4% year-over-year. Nevertheless, March’s gain is approximately half of the average growth recorded between September 2010 and February 2011. The only sub-sector posting a loss was footwear, with sales declining 1.6%. The Easter calendar shift may have limited the year-over-year growth in the men’s and women’s apparel segments.
The furniture sector posted a modest increase of 2.4%, its fifth consecutive month of positive growth.
E-commerce continued to grow in double digits, highlighting the continued strength in online sales. The sector posted its fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth, rising by 16.1%, higher than February’s 13.2% increase.
The SpendingPulse Luxury Index, which measures sales at high-end restaurants, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories, was up 8.5%, the largest year-over-year increase since December 2010, and the sixth consecutive month of growth.