OPERATIONS

Citi Trends announces executive management shifts

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Savannah, Ga. — Citi Trends said Thursday that its president and CEO David Alexander has resigned the company, effective immediately, and will be replaced by prior CEO Ed Anderson, who led the retailer from 2001 to 2009.

Anderson is currently the chairman of the board and will continue to serve in that capacity.

The company also announced that it has hired Jason Mazzola as executive VP and chief merchandising officer. He was previously chief merchandising officer for an internet flash sales company.

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FINANCE

Survey: Americans to spend $11 billion celebrating Super Bowl

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — Survey results released Thursday by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, and conducted by BIGinsight, found that 173 million people will watch the Super Bowl football game on Sunday, Feb. 5, the most in the survey’s eight-year history and up from an estimated 171 million last year.

Consumer spending for the Super Bowl will reach an all-time high, too, with the average game-watcher expected to shell out $63.87 on related merchandise, apparel and snacks, up from $59.33 last year. Total Super Bowl spending is expected to reach $11.0 billion.

“With a few weeks of anticipation ahead of them, it seems millions of Americans are already planning to have a knock-out good time for Super Bowl XLVI,” said Mike Gatti, executive director, RAMA. “Hot on the heels of a solid holiday season, many retailers will look to meet consumer demand and expectations with big promotions on party essentials, including 3D televisions, team décor and apparel, and, of course, food and beverages.”

Grocery, apparel, electronics, sporting goods and home furnishing stores can expect to see their share of Super Bowl-related spending as sports fans head out to buy food and beverages (71.3%), team apparel or accessories (8.6%), decorations (6.4%), and furniture or a new entertainment center (2.4%).

Of those planning to watch the game, nearly 63.6 million (27.1%) are planning to attend a party, up from last year’s 61.2 million, and another 35.9 million (15.3%) plan to throw a party, also up from the 34.9 million who said they would host a party in 2011.

Of those planning to watch the game, at least 5.1 million (5.1%) will buy a new television specifically for the big day, compared with 4.5 million last year and the 3.6 million who said they would do so in 2010.

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FINANCE

U.K. retail sales fall at fastest pace in nearly three years

BY Katherine Boccaccio

London — A report released Thursday by the Confederation of British Industry said that U.K. retail sales fell in January at the fastest pace in almost three years, reversing an increase in December when discounting by stores drew shoppers.

The gauge of annual sales growth fell to minus 22, the lowest since March 2009, from nine in December, according to the report.

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