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Buyatab to implement eGift card program for Roots

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Vancouver, BC — Online eGift card services provider Buyatab Online said it has been contracted by Canadian lifestyle brand Roots to implement a customer eGift Card infrastructure and marketing program to accompany its traditional gift card program.

The rollout of the eGift card program will be accompanied by an international social media-based launch campaign. Roots customers can now purchase Roots gift cards electronically — in the form of eGift cards — from the Roots website and have them delivered instantly to recipients via email or text message.

“In the past, we’ve received many requests from customers for eGift card purchasing options and so we know the demand for digital gift cards is there,” said James Connell, VP eCommerce and Marketing of Roots, which has over 200 stores in four countries. “Enabling eGift card purchase and redemption on roots.com is a natural extension of our successful traditional plastic gift card program.”

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GE Capital to administrate Dunham credit facility

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Norwalk, Conn. — GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance said it is administrative agent on a $250 million senior revolving credit facility for regional sporting goods retailer Dunham’s Athleisure Corp.

The proceeds will support ongoing working capital needs and new store growth.

“GE Capital’s expertise in lending to retailers and experience in the sporting goods sector made a big difference in this financing,” said Al Blazek, CFO for Dunham’s. “They worked hard to enable us to capitalize on today’s favorable credit markets.”

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NRF: Half of holiday shoppers plan to finish shopping online

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — According to NRF’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly half (49.9%) of holiday shoppers indicate they plan to do the remainder of their holiday shopping online, the highest percent in the survey’s 11-year history. As of Dec. 9, before the most recent weekend, 32 million holiday shoppers had not even started shopping.

“It comes as no surprise that Americans are eager to shop online in the coming weeks as busy schedules and a shift in the calendar have made the convenience offered by retailers’ mobile apps and websites even more attractive this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Recognizing the importance of providing stellar customer experiences for their shoppers, retailers will use every opportunity to promote their products through all their channels at very competitive prices, including exclusive shipping offers and in-store events.”

Driven by low prices and value, 45.4% will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4% will head to discount stores. Others will shop at electronics stores (24.1%), clothing and accessory stores (23.6%), grocery stores (15%) and outlet stores (13.7%).

When it comes to what types of gifts people have already bought, apparel and toys rank high on the list. Half (49.6%) say they have already bought apparel this year, and nearly four in 10 (38.7%) have bought toys. Additionally, holiday shoppers have filled their baskets with electronics (26.6%), home décor or home-related items (18.4%), jewelry (17.5%) and personal care or beauty items (19.6%). Slightly more than one-third (34.4%) have bought gift cards, the most requested gift item of the season.

Many who aren’t finished shopping plan to wrap up by Wednesday (29.2%), 14.2% on Friday, and another 12.3% on Saturday while 10.1% will wait until Christmas Eve.

According to the survey, 9.2% of those celebrating Christmas will shop online that day, up from 4.9% when NRF first asked in 2009. Additionally, 28% will browse the web, 53.4% will cook a holiday meal and 10.5% will go to the movies.

Tablet and smartphone owners will put their devices to work in the coming days. Specifically, 46.6% of tablet owners will research products and compare prices to aid in their purchase decisions, and 36.3% of smartphone owners will do the same. Almost two-in-five (19.4%) smartphone owners will actually purchase items via the device, and one-third of tablet owners (33.1%) will make gift purchases using the device in the coming days.

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