REAL ESTATE

C-store total poised to surpass 150,000 units

BY Staff Writer

New York — The latest data from Nielsen shows the number of U.S. convenience stores continues to expand and last year set a new record with 149,220 units.

That figures is up 1,094 units from the prior year so the increase amounts to only a 0.7% gain, according to the 2013 National Association of Convenience Stores/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count. Even so, the growth is noteworthy at a time when overall expansion of selling space in the broader retailer industry has remained stagnant even though the recession officially ended in 2009.

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which now account for nearly 63% of all convenience stores, but the fastest growing segment of the industry is among operators with more than 500 stores. The store count among companies with more than 500 units grew by 8.9% to 21,738 stores, compared with the less than 1% growth that saw units operated by independents increase to 93,819 stores.

Convenience stores now account for 34.8% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, and the total count of slightly more than 149,000 units is double what it was in 1982.

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Apr-20-2013 07:35 pm

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FINANCE

Alex and Ani’s holiday sales see significant boost with help of mobile checkouts

BY Marianne Wilson

Boston — Popular jewelry retailer Alex and Ani implemented a mobile point-of-sale application that all but eliminated customer lines and helped increase sales by 318% over the previous holiday season, Mobiquity announced.

Mobiquity implemented a mobile POS application that allows Alex and Ani to cultivate a stronger relationship with customers, translating into increased sales and loyalty. The application – delivered via Daily Systems’ iAPS sled for iPod touch – offers mobile payment (mPayment) options that markedly improved the checkout process, benefiting both customers and Alex and Ani by shortening long holiday lines.

“Mobile checkouts have given the store environment a more intimate feel, and improved the flow of customer traffic while almost eliminating lines,” said Alex and Ani chief technology officer, Joseph Lezon. “By integrating mobile into our VIOPSYS point-of-sale system, we were able to positively impact the in-store shopping experience during the busy shopping season, which is exactly the kind of positive energy we want customers to associate with the Alex and Ani brand.”

With the mobile POS application, Alex and Ani increased points of checkout from four to 10 in most of its 28 stores across the U.S., and in one store, from five to 25. The resulting increase in sales opportunities allowed Alex and Ani to hire more staff to personally assist customers for the duration of their visit.

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News

Food retail expert assumes interim CEO role at 99 Cents Only

BY CSA STAFF

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — Former Food Lion CEO, and current board member for 99 Cents Only Stores, Richard Anicetti, is assuming the role of interim CEO for the discount retailer. In addition, Michael Fung will join the company as interim chief administrative officer overseeing finance, information technology, real estate and various administrative functions of the company.

In connection with the foregoing changes, Eric Schiffer, Jeff Gold and Howard Gold are no longer employed by the company.

"Since the first 99 Cents Only store opened in 1982, the company has grown into one of the most impressive and differentiated extreme value retailers in the country," said David Kaplan, chairman of the board of directors and senior partner and founding member of Ares Management LLC. "The Gold/Schiffer family has been instrumental in creating this valuable business and establishing the widely-admired culture at 99 Cents Only Stores. As a result, the company has flourished and today is positioned for continued growth and success. The board of Directors thanks Eric, Jeff, Howard and the rest of the Gold/Schiffer family for their contribution and is looking forward to working with Rick, Mike and our dedicated ’99ers’ to continue our growth trajectory while providing our customers with excellent value as well as a fun and exciting shopping experience."

Anicetti has served on the board for the past eight months, and brings more than 20 years of senior management experience in the food retail business, including serving for eight years as president and CEO of Food Lion grocery stores, a subsidiary of the Delhaize Group with more than 1,200 locations primarily in the southeastern United States.

"Over the next several weeks, Mike and I will be working with other members of the senior management team and the board of directors to ensure a smooth transition," said Anicetti. "We expect that business will continue as usual, and we are excited to get to work on fulfilling the company’s vision as one of the leading extreme value retailers in the country."

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