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Brookstone names chairman as interim president; appoints COO

BY Marianne Wilson

Merrimack, N.H. — Brookstone announced that Jackson Tai, chairman of the board, will also serve as interim president in the wake of the resignation of Ron Boire, the chain’s president and CEO. The company will undertake a search for a permanent successor for Boire, who resigned from Brookstone, effective Jan. 3, to join Sears Holdings Corp. as its new executive VP, chief merchandising officer and president, Sears and Kmart Formats.

Brookstone also announced that James M. Speltz has been appointed as the company’s VP, COO. Speltz most recently served as the company’s VP business development and supply chain.

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Report: December same-store sales expected to rise 4.3%

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Wall Street analysts expect retailers to report a healthy end to the holiday season, fueled by discounts, improved consumer sentiment and such tactics as extended hours and layaways, Reuters reported.

Twenty-two major chains, from Macy’s Inc. to Costco Wholesale Corp, are likely to post an aggregate 4.3% increase in December same-store sales according to Thomson Reuters.

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ComScore: Holiday online spending up 15% to $35.3 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Consumers spent some $35.3 online from Nov. 1 through Dec. 26, up 15% from last year, according to ComScore Inc.

“Holiday e-commerce spending has remained strong throughout the season, and we have now reached a record $35 billion in U.S. online sales for the season-to-date," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "We can now say with certainty that the $1.25 billion spent on Cyber Monday will rank it as the heaviest online spending day of the season for the second consecutive year, but we should also note that it was accompanied by nine other billion dollar spending days this year."

One of the interesting e-commerce phenomena occurring over the past several years is the dramatic increase in Christmas Day purchases of digital content and subscriptions, a retail category that includes digital downloads of music, TV, movies, e-books and apps. Not surprisingly, as many consumers get new smartphones, tablets, e-readers and digital content gift certificates for Christmas, they spend Christmas Day loading up their devices with new content.

On an average day during the 2011 holiday season-to-date (Nov. 1 – Dec. 26), the digital content category accounted for 2.8% of retail e-commerce sales, but on Christmas Day the category accounted for more than 20% of sales.

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