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Accepting Entries: In-Store Digital Innovation Award

BY Staff Writer

New YorkChain Store Age’s Retail Store of the Year design competition has added a new category for its 2014 awards: in-store digital innovation. Retailers, design firms, vendors and suppliers are all eligible to submit entries.

Click here for more information and for an entry form. Any questions, please email Chain Store Age editor Marianne Wilson at [email protected].

Eligible projects are stores/restaurants opened between November 30, 2012 and December 30, 2013.

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Groupon entices last-minute holiday shoppers

BY CSA STAFF

Groupon is offering last-minute holiday shoppers Grouponvelope and a digital gift voucher. With these new options, Groupon lets local merchants who do not have a gift card program reach customers who are looking for last-minute holiday gift ideas.

“Many merchants don’t have the resources to invest in the same digital gifting solutions provided by national retailers, and they miss out on sales that are important to their bottom line,” said Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky. “Our new gifting solutions create a level playing field for local merchants and effortless last-minute holiday shopping for consumers.”

The digital gift vouchers and Grouponvelope and are available for virtually every deal on Groupon.com, including travel experiences from Groupon Getaways and products from Groupon Goods. Once the purchase process begins and “Give as a gift” is clicked, shoppers can choose “Electronic Style” or “Print Style.”

With “Electronic Style,” the gift giver can choose from four different electronic envelope themes and select a delivery date at checkout. The animated e-card will arrive on the selected delivery date.

With “Print Style,” the gift giver can print out a specially designed gift Grouponvelope that can be cut and folded into a holiday-themed envelope and card. Detailed instructions on how to assemble the Grouponvelope are illustrated here.

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Omnichannel emphasis pays dividends for Finish Line

BY CSA STAFF

Strong third-quarter sales at footwear retailer Finish Line and elevated expectations for the full-year were attributed to the company’s approach to integrated commerce.

Sales for the third quarter ended November 30 increased 22.9% to $364.5 million and same store sales advanced 7.1%. Profits increased to $2.3 million from a prior year loss of $107,000 at the operator 658 athletic footwear stores and 198 branded footwear departments at Macy’s.

“We are very pleased with the top and bottom line performance we delivered in the third quarter,” said Finish Line chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon. “Our commitment to developing a premier omni-channel platform is strengthening both our customer relationships and our brand partnerships while also reinforcing our market leadership position. We are continually adapting and refining our strategies in this rapidly evolving retail landscape to ensure we meet the needs of today’s empowered consumer.”

He added that Finish Line is on the right strategic course and is well-positioned to deliver on its near and longer term goals. As a result, the company elevated its expectations for same store sales growth during the fiscal year ending March 1, 2014 to a range of 3% to 4% from a prior forecast of a low single digit gain. The company now expects adjusted earnings per share to increase 9% to 12% to $1.60 to $1.65 per share, above an earlier forecast that called for a mid-single digit increase.

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