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Apple Opens Third Store in Manhattan

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Apple opened its second-biggest store in the United States on Friday, in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, known for its trendy restaurants and boutiques.

The new store, the third in Manhattan, has an entire floor for technical support, one-on-one sessions and “pro labs”—free classes on how to use Apple computers. Its 46-ft.-long “Genius Bar” can help 100 customers each hour and the store has 50% more space for tech support and education than any other Apple store.

“Where other stores end with a transaction, that’s really where we like to begin,” Ron Johnson, the senior VP who leads Apple’s retail strategy, told Reuters.

There are more than 200 stores in five countries, and Apple said in October it plans to open about 40 outlets in the next year, including its first in China.

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Watts jumping to QVC from Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

WEST CHESTER, Pa. Former Wal-Mart merchandising evp, Claire Watts is joining QVC on Jan. 7, 2008, and will assume the role of president of U.S. Commerce, effective May 1, 2008, QVC announced today.

Watts was with Wal-Mart for the past ten years, serving in a variety of positions, including most recently as evp of merchandising. She has also held executive positions at The Limited, Lands’ End and the May Company.

In her new position as president of U.S. Commerce, Watts will oversee planning, programming, merchandising, broadcasting, TV sales, and QVC.com for the U.S. operation.

 

“Claire brings a wealth of experience from multiple sectors of retailing and has an in-depth understanding of consumers,” said QVC’s president and ceo, Mike George, to whom Watts will report. “Her ability to lead in an open, honest, values-based environment, combined with her innovation and creativity, will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the QVC business.”

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Saks reports 25.7% monthly comps increase

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Saks today announced that owned sales totaled $347.6 million for the four weeks ended Dec. 1 compared to $275.3 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 25, 2006, a 26.3% increase. Comparable-store sales increased 25.7% for the four-week period.

On a year-to-date basis, for the ten months ended Dec. 1, owned sales totaled $2.6 billion compared to $2.2 billion for the ten months ended Nov. 25, 2006, a 16.5% increase. Comparable-store sales increased 14.5% for the ten-month period.

According to the company, its strongest categories for November were womens shoes; handbags; fine jewelry; mens accessories, shoes, and apparel; womens gold range apparel; fragrances; and outerwear. The weakest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue for November were Salon Z (womens large sizes), designer eveningwear, bridal, and cosmetics.

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