FINANCE

ComScore: Online spending up 15% in Q2

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — U.S. online retail spending reached $43.2 billion for the second quarter, up 15% over a year ago, according to comScore.

It was the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. The top-performing online product categories were: digital content & subscriptions, consumer electronics, flowers, greetings and gifts, computer hardware, apparel and Accessories. Each category grew at least 16% over a year ago.

“While the second quarter’s 15% growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

Although e-commerce remains strong, comScore is taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed signs of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate, Fulgoni added.

“So, even as commerce increasingly shifts to the online channel, any significant future pullback in overall consumer spending could dampen the strong double-digit growth rates we’ve been experiencing for the year-to-date,” he said.

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OPERATIONS

Lane Bryant launches new branding campaign

BY Staff Writer

Columbus, Ohio — Lane Bryant is launching a new national marketing and brand initiative beginning in September with a comprehensive print ad campaign, a fresh and modern brand logo and color palette, with updated in-store visuals, web and social media sites. This will be the company’s first comprehensive branding and marketing effort since 2008.

Debuting in September issues of select fashion and lifestyle publications, the campaign stars some of the plus size industry’s most notable models. The rebranding also includes Lane Bryant’s exclusive intimate apparel brand Caciqu.

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News

Epicor extends agreement as Ace Hardware’s only recommended POS provider

BY Marianne Wilson

Dublin, Calif. — Epicor Software Corp., a global provider of business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, and Ace Hardware Corp., the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry, announced an extended three-year agreement.

Under the arrangement, Epicor serves as Ace Hardware’s only recommended point of sale solution provider, with Epicor Eagle business management software offered to Ace’s retailer owners.

The extended partnership with Epicor will continue Ace’s trend of supporting individual stores by providing a fully integrated technology solution to its 14 distribution centers in the United States and 4,600 stores around the globe.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Epicor the next three years to enhance Ace store operations by further simplifying processes in the store, and tightening integration between the Epicor store system and Ace business systems,” said Mike Elmore, CIO for Ace Hardware Corp.

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