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And the Unhappiest Shoppers Are…

BY Marianne Wilson

As we head into November, I find myself inundated with holiday surveys, with experts weighing in on everything from the busiest shopping days of the season to the impact of smartphones. To be honest, all of the data seem to blend together after a while, leaving me dizzy with projections and predictions.

A recently released survey by global design consultancy Fitch provides a refreshing break from all the holiday chatter. It’s the type of survey I like best — full of consumer insights. Among the more interesting was that as women age, they find the shopping experience less enjoyable. The most fulfilled female shopper is between 16 and 24 years of age. The results suggest that stores are designed for the young, which translates into a big opportunity for retailers to redress the balance.

The Fitch study is titled “The Joy of Shopping.” But as it turns out, the joy is not the same across the board. Consider these findings:

• The British are the most unhappy shoppers in the world, with only 21% claiming to enjoy shopping.

• The Chinese are most enthusiastic shoppers, with 55% enjoying shopping.

• By category, the highest levels of shoppers’ enthusiasm were found in electronics, with 43% of consumers calling themselves very enthusiastic, while 40% enjoy the experience.

• When it comes to shopping for fashion, 37.4% of consumers are enthusiasts and 51.9% enjoy it.

• There are wide disparities by country when it comes to shopping. Shoppers in the emerging markets of China, India and Brazil are much more enthusiastic and satisfied in their shopping experiences than their counterparts in more mature markets.

The survey also drove home something that too often gets lost in the rush to embrace digital retail: Brick-and-mortar stores are in no danger of going away soon. Shoppers across the world still see physical stores as the most preferred shopping channel. In fact, 54% of respondents rated physical stores as the most preferred shopping channel, while 30% preferred the Web. (The Internet, however, is seen to be significantly more important in emerging markets than in more mature markets.)

That is not to say, however, that retailers can put blinders on when it comes to the future. Don’t think off- or online, according to Fitch; think seamless. The days of silo retail are over. As the study puts it:

“Don’t look at store design or operations in isolation. Consider your retail experience in totality, as a matrix, and look for ways to enhance shopper experiences across channels and mind-states. Help your shoppers move through your experience, effortlessly and on their terms.”

*****

There is still time to enter a nomination for our “Rising Stars: 20 Under 40” awards, which will recognize retailers who are making their marks in their companies and in the retail industry.

To enter, send your nominations to me at [email protected] Please include nominee’s name, title, company, phone number or email address, and a short statement (no more than 200 words) as to why the nominee merits recognition as a “Rising Star.” But remember: Only individuals who are under 40 as of Jan. 1, 2013, are eligible for consideration.

[email protected]

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A guide to the holidays, courtesy of Sam’s Club

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Sam’s Club is hoping to keep its members in good spirits this holiday season, by launching a guide to help them with preparing for the home, entertaining and gift giving. In addition, Sam’s Club has enlisted an all-star squad of "Cheer Guides," national experts in decorating, entertaining and charitable giving who will inspire members with creative, fun ideas that ease the stress of the holiday season.

“As our members stretch every dollar to provide cheerful holiday occasions this year, Sam’s Club will lift spirits with fresh, seasonal solutions at a value that our members can cheer about,” said Charles Redfield, chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club. “By stocking each aisle with quality seasonal décor, exceptional entertaining items and unique and exciting gift selections from now through December, Sam’s Club can give every member the cheerful holiday memories they deserve this year.”

The Cheer Guides include Brooke Peterson, an expert in DIT entertaining and gifting; chef Chris Hammer, a member of Sam’s Club’s chef brigade; Ericka Lassiter, of the Off te Field Players Wives Association, who will offer charitable giving ideas.

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P&G sees increase in 1Q core EPS

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble announced on Thursday a decrease in both first-quarter net sales and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, as core earnings per share rose 5%.

For the July-September period, net sales totaled $20.7 billion, a decrease of 4% compared with the year-ago period — including a negative 6% impact from foreign exchange.

Diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations were 96 cents, a decrease of 5% due to noncore charges of 10 cents. Core earnings per share rose 5%, to $1.06 for the quarter.

“Our first-quarter results put us on track to deliver our commitments for the fiscal year. Results were at the high end of expectations on the top line and ahead of plan on operating profit, earnings per share and cash,” stated chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. “We are continuing to focus on executing our growth and productivity strategy – maintaining momentum in developing markets, strengthening our core developed market business, building a strong innovation pipeline, and aggressively driving cost savings and productivity improvements. We’re confident that this strategy will enable P&G to generate superior levels of shareholder return in both the short- and long-term.”

For the October-December quarter, P&G expects core EPS in the range of $1.07 to $1.13, down 2% to up 4%, compared with prior year core EPS of $1.09. On an all-in basis, P&G is forecasting earnings per share in the range of $1.18 to $1.25, an increase of 111% to 123% versus prior year EPS from continuing operations of 56 cents.

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