REAL ESTATE

Baccarat to open New York City flagship in May

BY Staff Writer

New York — Baccarat is set to unveil their newest flagship store in New York City in May 2013 ahead of the iconic brand’s upcoming 250th anniversary.

Located at 635 Madison Avenue at 60th Street, the 2,800-sq.-ft. store — designed by Rafael de Cardenas — will be a new global retail model for the brand, showcasing tableware, lighting, decorative objects and jewelry to reflect the richness of the Baccarat lifestyle and the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

The contemporary design exudes a crisp elegance through a blend of rich woods and dark stones. The entryway’s faceted surfaces reflect the brand’s iconic sparkling chandeliers. Adjacent spaces, wrapped in warm fabrics, create intimate environments for product interaction.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
OPERATIONS

Survey: LLBean.com tops in customer satisfaction among online apparel retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

Westlake Village, Calif. — LLBean.com ranks highest among online apparel retailers with a score of 830 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed by LandsEnd.com (829) and Forever21.com (824), according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Online Apparel Retailer Satisfaction Report. The study finds that satisfaction with online apparel retailers is significantly lower among online shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 than among those 55 years of age and older.

According to findings, younger consumers (18-24 years old) who shop online for apparel rely predominantly on price (63%) when selecting an apparel retailer. Notably, a significantly higher proportion of these young consumers use positive reviews of the brand (27%) and recommendations from family, friends or colleagues (19%) when selecting an online apparel retailer than the report average of 19% and 15%, respectively. Conversely, older consumers (55-plus) who shop online for apparel use past experience with a brand (77%) as their primary reason for selecting a retailer, while only 16% use positive reviews of the brand and 11% use recommendations from family, friends or colleagues.

"Younger shoppers, while being driven primarily by price, consider the experiences shared by others more than do consumers in any other age group," said Sara Wong Hilton, director at J.D. Power and Associates.

Here are the Top 10 online apparel retailers in J.D. Powers’ Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking:

1. LLBean.com (830)
2. LandsEnd.com (829)
3. Forever21.com (824)
4. Gap.com (823)
5. RalphLauren.com (814)
6. OldNavy.com (812)
7. VictoriasSecret.com (812)
8. Aeropostale.com (807)
9. AE.com (804)
10. ColdwaterCreek.com (798)

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Fiscal Cliffhanger

BY Jeff Green

Whatever your political views may be, it’s hard not to think about the impact of the recent presidential election on the consumer psyche, and ultimately our industry. Whether President Obama or Mitt Romney would have been better for the economy in the long run is an issue I’ll gladly leave to the political experts and historians. But I do think that, in the near term, we are less likely to see the big holiday spending numbers that some analysts were predicting.

Though it may have seemed like it over the past few months, the election isn’t the only issue weighing on the minds of holiday shoppers. With the economic recovery just “limping” along, the recent damage and disruption from Hurricane Sandy, and the onslaught of media stories surrounding the potential for next January’s so-called “fiscal cliff,” it’s hard right now for anyone to see the potential for happy holidays. And, although most people probably don’t even understand what the “fiscal cliff” might mean for their finances and families, the weight of repetitive bad news can inevitably take its toll on consumer confidence.

If the retail behavior of shoppers this holiday season is dragged down — even slightly — by all of this bad news, consumer spending could be curtailed enough to have a measurable impact on holiday sales. This makes me think that the widespread sunny predictions we have seen from some analysts showing holiday spending increases of up to 5% may be a little too robust. I suspect that a safer bet would be to dial back the optimism into the 2% to 4% range. One wildcard which could paradoxically help keep cash registers ringing is the fact that many meteorologists are forecasting a slightly chillier than normal holiday season. An early chill in the air may actually spur some sales, as it tends to get people into the holiday spirit a little earlier than if parts of the country are basking in warmer-than-usual temperatures.

No matter how the holiday shopping season ultimately shakes out, the hype surrounding holiday discounts is already in full force and unlikely to change in any significant way. Similarly, I don’t see 2013 expansion and repositioning plans being dramatically altered at this point either, no matter what happens over the next few weeks. While the holiday shopping season has become an increasingly significant chunk of many retailers’ annual sales, even a somewhat disappointing holiday haul shouldn’t necessarily detract from broader economic trends that continue to slowly but surely move in the right direction.

The bottom line is that my crystal ball remains cloudy beyond the end of the year. Because the 2013 “fiscal cliff” represents such profound uncertainty, I think even the most plugged-in retail analysts would be hard pressed to make an accurate prediction without having a better sense of how that issue will be resolved. And, while consumer sentiment is a very important metric with some very tangible consequences, I don’t think the psychological impact of these outside influences will have any long-term negative impacts on our industry. The best advice I can give to retailers and retail real estate professionals is to keep moving forward. We’ve proven to be resilient before. We can certainly prove it again.

What do you think? Please make a public comment below or feel free to e-mail me privately at [email protected].


Click here for past columns by Jeff Green.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...