BJ’s Hits the Web
BJ’s Wholesale Club, Natick, Mass., unveiled its first on-line store last month in time for the holidays. The site, featuring items that are not sold at its bricks-and-mortar stores, offers electronics, jewelry and gifts. All BJ’s members can shop BJs.com and, for a limited time, non-members can do the same for free.
“We are proud to deliver an on-line shopping solution that complements our in-club shopping experience and enhances the value of BJ’s membership,” said Herb Zarkin, chairman and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club.
As a part of the initial launch, BJ’s is offering a 41.21-carat total-weight diamond necklace, with 68 diamonds, for $249,999.99.
Shop While You Work
Most e-commerce shopping happens during work hours, according to CyberSource Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of electronic-payment and risk-management solutions. The peak shopping hour during a recent high-volume week (Dec. 3-9, 2006) was 1 p.m. PST, 4:00 p.m. EST. On-line transactions typically hit their low point between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. PST (2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. EST).
The highest volume on-line shopping days are Mondays and Tuesdays, with Saturday and Sunday typically showing the lowest volumes, the company said.
“On-line shopping is not only getting bigger, it’s becoming more of a 24-hour phenomenon,” said Doug Schwegman, CyberSource director of market and customer intelligence.
For example, for the period Dec. 3-9, 2004, the difference between the lowest and highest number of transactions was roughly 300%. In 2006, that difference has decreased to approximately 160%.
“We believe several factors are at work: first is the widespread availability of broadband that allows people to conveniently shop from home, and second is the globalization of e-commerce,” he said.
The growing popularity of buying digital goods also increases the number of shoppers from other time zones shopping at U.S. sites, CyberSource reported.
Ahold U.S. to Accept Bids on Foodservice Unit
Columbia, Md., Royal Ahold is expected to start accepting bids on its U.S. foodservice division, which has been plagued by financial woes in recent years, in early 2007. Among the companies expected to show an interest in the division are Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
Nine West Opens International Flagships
New York, Nine West Group, a division of Jones Apparel Group, opened flagship locations this December in Tokyo, Moscow and Vietnam as part of a global expansion initiative that began in early 2006. The new stores marked the debut of the company’s updated store format, which is designed to strengthen the brand’s fashion presence in footwear, accessories and handbags.