FINANCE

The Container Store completes IPO; adds four board members

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas — The Container Store Group, Inc. has completed its IPO of 14.375 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $18 per share, including 1.875 million shares sold in connection with the full exercise of the option to purchase additional shares granted to the underwriters.

The shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on November 1, 2013 under the symbol “TCS.” In connection with the IPO, four new directors have joined the board of directors: Robert E. Jordan, executive VP & chief commercial officer of Southwest Airlines and President of AirTran Airways, Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Markets, and Rajendra (“Raj”) Sisodia, the FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business at Babson College.

J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities and Jefferies acted as joint book-running managers for the offering, and Guggenheim Securities acted as co-manager.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Wal-Mart web glitch gives consumers huge deals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – A glitch on the U.S. website of Wal-Mart reportedly provided consumers with enormous discounts for a short time on the morning of Nov. 6. According to Reuters, treadmills that normally cost hundreds of dollars were selling for $33.16 and widescreen computer monitors were selling for $9.

Wal-Mart has not said how many discounted items were sold before the glitch was discovered. The retailer has also said it will not honor any sales resulting from the glitch, but will give those consumers a $10 gift card.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Adobe survey: Online holiday shopping looks strong

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. — Despite the shortest shopping season since 2002, online sales look strong for the upcoming holidays. A new survey from Adobe predicts record growth for online sales on Thanksgiving with $1.1 billion and Black Friday with $1.6 billion, increases of 21% and 17%, respectively.

An Adobe survey done in conjunction with this year’s Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast shows that consumers are motivated to shop online primarily by the search for good deals, followed closely by the allure of free shipping. The survey is based on input from 400 consumers who plan to spend at least some of their budget online this year. Survey results and additional predictions from the report include:

Mobile: Mobile optimized retailers will transact more than 20% of their sales via smartphones and tablets, a 47% increase year over year. The average retailer can expect only 14% of mobile-driven online revenue, a 40% increase year over year. Mobile devices will be leveraged even while consumers are in a retailer’s physical store, with nearly four in ten consumers reporting that they have shopped online while in a store.

Social Media: While Adobe is predicting that only two percent of purchases will come directly from social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter, social continues to play a more significant role earlier in the purchasing journey. Thirty-six percent of consumers stated that they will turn to social media when making their purchase decision.

Spending: The majority of consumers expect to spend the same amount in 2013 as they did last year, but online shopping continues to take a bigger share. Consumers report being most likely to shop online for apparel and accessories, followed closely by books, music, videos, and toys and hobby items.

Showrooming:
In store price checking, commonly referred to as showrooming, will become the norm. Thirty five percent of 18-34-year-olds already leverage mobile devices to compare prices while in stores, well above the 22% average.

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