FINANCE

American Express report: Luxury spending tightens during holidays

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A report released Wednesday by American Express Business Insights found that the more recent increases in luxury retail spending is tightening in the waning days of 2010.

According to third quarter 2010 Spend Sights Report, which analyzes year-over-year trends across the furniture and home furnishings, apparel and accessories, jewelry and department store luxury categories, after strong increases on luxury apparel and accessories in March and April — 19% and 21% respectively — spending in the remainder of 2010 increased by much smaller amounts showing that consumers and businesses alike tightened their purse strings to preparation for the holiday season.

Overall, consumer spending increased 12% on furniture and home furnishings as many opted to upgrade their current homes rather than risk the unstable housing market. Small and large businesses, however, continued to hold back and decreased spending in this category by 2% and 7% respectively.

Department store spending showed a healthy increase across all segments. Consumers led with a 9% increase while small businesses were close behind with an 8% increase. Large businesses followed with a 7% increase.

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News

J.C. Penney signs on for Swagg mobile application

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — Mobile-commerce enabler Outlier, a subsidiary of Qualcom, announced J.C. Penney as its latest retail partner for Outlier’s recently released mobile application, Swagg. The application, providing shoppers with mobile access to retail special offers and customer loyalty programs.

"Customers are increasingly turning to mobile experiences to assist with their shopping needs," said Tom Nealon, group executive VP of J.C. Penney. "Using the Swagg application, members of our JCP Rewards customer loyalty program will be able to view their account directly from their mobile device, allowing them to conveniently check their points and access their $10 monthly reward coupon on the go."

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OPERATIONS

Sidney Kimmel to become non-executive chairman of Jones Group

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The Jones Group said Thursday that its founder and chairman Sidney Kimmel will serve as non-executive chairman, effective Jan. 1.

The transition from executive chairman will mark the end of the 40th year since Kimmel founded the company, according to Jones Group.

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