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Author inspired furniture on sale at Sam’s

BY CSA STAFF

Sam’s Club is hoping the popularity of author Nicolas Sparks translates to would-be furniture buyers as the warehouse club has launched a new furniture line with a design aesthetic inspired by Sparks’ latest novel.

The six piece collection is said to evoke Spark’s signature coastal Carolina style and is being marketed as the Black Mountain Collection. The collection was inspired by Sparks’ 2013 book, The Longest Ride, and appears in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film based on the novel. The movie stars Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson and will be released nationwide April 10, 2015. Set in Black Mountain, NC., the small town’s rolling hills and natural surroundings serves as a backdrop for the film and are reflected in the furniture line.

“We want the products we offer to help enhance everyday life,” said Cindy O’Connor, senior vice president of general merchandise for Sam’s Club. “The new furniture from Nicholas Sparks is one example of how we combine access to exclusive merchandise with value for our members. The style and versatility of the line provide useful accent pieces or a full collection depending on your home décor and decorating needs.”

Included in the line are a writing desk, a plush chair with ottoman, storage cabinet, leather office chair, bookcase and wooden trunk.

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Apple wins online Christmas Day

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers’ with robust mobile e-commerce capabilities were able to cash in on Christmas Day as sales increased 8.3% compared to the prior year, according to the latest update from IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark report.

In addition to the 8.3 percent in online Christmas Day sales, IBM said mobile device traffic increased 18.6 percent to account for 57.1 percent of all Christmas day e-commerce traffic. Mobile sales increased 20.4 percent and accounted for 34.8 percent of all online sales, according to IBM.

It was a case of shoppers using smartphones to browse and tablets to buy with smartphones accounting for 40.6 percent of total online traffic compared to 15.9 percent for tablets. Meanwhile, tablets accounted for 18.4 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 16.3 percent of total online sales.

However, just because mobile surged in popularity, IBM noted that the desktop is not dead. In fact, desktop PC traffic represented 42.6 percent of all online traffic, and 65.2 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $107.72 compared to their mobile devices at $88.70, according to IBM.

When shoppers were engaged via mobile, Apple ruled Christmas Day. Apple iOS users averaged $97.28 per order compared to $67.40 for Android users and Apple iOS traffic accounted for 39.1 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 17.7 percent of all online traffic. Apple iOS sales accounted for 27 percent of total online sales, nearly four times that of Android, which drove 7.6 percent of all online sales.

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Verizon: Dec. 26 has highest online traffic of holiday season

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – The day after Christmas (Dec. 26) posted the highest traffic for online shopping, with 125 points, since the 2014 holiday shopping season began. According to Verizon Retail Index data, year-over-year, traffic attributed to online shopping was on par (125) with the same day in 2013.

High Internet traffic, attributed to online consumer retail shopping activity, continued Christmas Eve (113) and into Christmas Day (122). Christmas Day was on par with the two highest days, the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and the Sunday before Christma, since the 2014 holiday season began.

However, year-over-year, online shopping remains considerably lower. Christmas Eve was down 13 points compared to the same day in 2013 and Christmas Day was down six points from Christmas Day the prior year.

“Despite an improving economy coupled with increased consumer confidence, clearly the strategy for many retailers was to engage shoppers this holiday season early and often with promotions that became even more aggressive as the season continued,” said Michele Dupre, VP of retail and hospitality for Verizon. “In turn, consumers were unrelenting in holding out for even bigger discounts and expressed that sentiment primarily online. As we close out the holiday season, I suspect that (this) week will generate the highest gains for retailers online that we’ve seen to date.”

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