REAL ESTATE

American Eagle Outfitters to open stores in Japan

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh – American Eagle Outfitters on Tuesday detailed its plans to open Eagle Outfitters and Aerie by American Eagle stores in Japan, in partnership with Sumikin Bussan Corporation. The first store is slated to open in Tokyo’s legendary Harajuku shopping district in the first half of 2012.

AEO has signed an exclusive franchise agreement with Sumikin, a leading marketer, importer and exporter with extensive experience in the fashion industry.

Since opening its first stores outside North America in Dubai and Kuwait earlier this year, American Eagle Outfitters steadily has been pursuing its international strategy, with additional agreements for stores in China, Hong Kong, and Israel, as well as plans for other countries.

“There is tremendous opportunity for sportswear brands in Japan, both domestic and international,” said Gashun Amaya, president, Sumikin Bussan Corporation. “American Eagle Outfitters is increasingly popular among Japanese customers, who have experienced it in their travels to the U.S. and Canada, as well as online.”

The American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie by American Eagle stores in Japan will offer complete seasonal assortments as well as special product custom-designed with the Japanese customer in mind. As with its other franchise partnerships, American Eagle Outfitters will provide merchandising and marketing direction, while Sumikin will handle all operational functions.

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FINANCE

‘Super Saturday’ retail sales increase 15.1% compared with 2009

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago – Boosted by a very weak comparison period, ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) reported that total GAFO retail sales for the last Saturday before Christmas (12/18), or Super Saturday, increased a sharp 15.1% compared with last year, while the company’s retail traffic index (SRTI) reported a similar 10.1% total U.S. foot traffic uptick for the same period.

While Saturday sales and traffic seemed to increase dramatically, a blizzard on the Eastern seaboard significantly slowed spending in parts of the South and in much of the Northeast last year, according to ShopperTrak.

“The year-over-year increases were dramatic but obviously slanted as shopping activity was essentially crippled in the Northeast last year,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “That said, we shouldn’t discard the day as $7.58 billion spent is steady and compares admirably to $7.87 billion spent on Super Saturday 2008 when there was no blizzard.” Martin continued, “At this point we anticipate Super Saturday will represent the second largest traffic day and third largest sales day this holiday shopping season.”

ShopperTrak reports Black Friday sales totaled $10.69 billion which will most likely finish as the number one sales and traffic day for the fifth year in a row. The company also anticipates procrastinating shoppers will flood various retail locations on Dec. 23, bumping the day just above Super Saturday as the number two performing sales day this holiday shopping season. Dec. 23, 2009 also finished number two ahead of Super Saturday.

“The week leading into Christmas is hugely important for retailers as five of the top performing sales days are expected to fall during this period,” Martin said. “Looking back a bit further, the ten days prior to Christmas typically account for anywhere from 31 to 34% of total retail sales for the entire season which makes this a pressure filled few days for retailers.” Martin continued, “Annually we see Black Friday weekend’s strong start as one bookend to the season and the week leading into Christmas as the other. Winning retailers know this pattern well and will have the strategies in place to attract foot traffic and ultimately move sales levels into the black over these upcoming critical days.”

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.

The ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index measures traffic across five separate retail segments including total U.S. retailing. Available as a database or in newsletter format, SRTI reports national and regional traffic trends in a rolling 16 month trend line.

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News

Lumber Liquidators makes exec appointment

BY CSA STAFF

Toano, Va. – Lumber Liquidators announced the appointment of Robert M. Lynch as the company’s president and COO, with an anticipated start date of Jan. 17, 2011.

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