FINANCE

comScore: Total online spending sets record $32.6 billion

BY CSA STAFF

Reston, Va. — Retail e-commerce spending for the entire November — December 2010 holiday season reached $32.6 billion, marking a 12% increase versus last year and an all-time record for the season, according to comScore.

“The 2010 online holiday shopping season was a memorable one in which we saw spending rebound strongly from the recession of 2008 and 2009, and slightly exceed even our early expectations,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “We saw spending increase at a rate of 12% for the season, outpacing our forecasted 11% growth, and set a new holiday season record as total e-commerce spending reached $32.6 billion.”

According to Fulgoni, retailers targeted many of their holiday promotions even earlier than usual in 2010 and reaped the benefits.

“The season will be remembered for an exceptional Cyber Monday, which was the first billion-dollar spending day in history, and the first time we’ve witnessed Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year,” he added. “And of course, we cannot forget the impact of free shipping, which was used in more than half of all e-commerce transactions this season, up significantly from last year.”

For the first time since comScore began tracking e-commerce activity in 2001, Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 29) ranked as the heaviest online spending day of the year at $1.028 billion. It also registers as the first online spending day on record to surpass the $1 billion spending threshold. Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 13) ranked as the second heaviest day at $954 million, followed by Monday, Dec. 6 at $943 million. Free Shipping Day (Friday, Dec. 17) ranked fourth at $942 million, while Thursday, Dec. 16 rounded out the Top 5 with $930 million. Eight days in total surpassed $900 million in spending this holiday season.

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OPERATIONS

Starbucks debuts new logo

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Starbucks unveiled a new logo Wednesday, dropping the circle with the words “Starbucks” and “Coffee” that surround its signature mermaid.

Starbucks, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, said the changes represent a fresh look for the company as it begins the next chapter in its history and emphasizes selling Starbucks-brand products in supermarkets and other channels beyond its retail stores.

“Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all," Howard Shultz, Starbucks’ president and CEO, said in post on the company’s website Wednesday. "Now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage and also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth.”

The company says its brand has become so widely recognized that it no longer needed to reinforce its name at every turn. And the wordless logo is also better suited to the company’s expansion beyond coffee into a wider range of business lines and into international markets.

Click here to see the new logo.

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REAL ESTATE

Saks to close Denver store

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Saks on Wednesday announced it plans to close its Saks Fifth Avenue store located in the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colo., on March 19. With the closing, the company will have closed seven Saks Fifth Avenue stores since July 2010.

Steve Sadove, chairman and CEO of Saks, commented: “We routinely assess the productivity, profitability, and potential for each store in our portfolio and may conclude a closing is appropriate from time to time. Our strategy is to deploy our resources in our most productive stores and to close underperforming stores, when feasible.”

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