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Costco and Macy’s take home World Retail Awards

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Two U.S. retailers took home top honors at the 2012 World Retail Awards in London, with Costco Wholesale Club named “Retailer of the Year,” and Macy’s recognized as “Multichannel Retailer of the Year.” The awards were announced as part of the 2012 World Retail Congress.

In other awards, Ikea was presented with the “International Retailer of the Year” award, and Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis, was given the “Outstanding Leadership” award, Marks & Spencer and Woolworths South Africa were joint winners of “Responsible Retailer of the Year” award.

The “Store Design of the Year” award went to Fangsuo Commune, in Guangzhou, China. The “Emerging Market Retailer of the Year” award went to Turkey’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, Teknosa.

The co-sponsors of the 2012 World Retail Congress are Deloitte and Mastercard.

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Hiring survey indicates best holiday job market in five years

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Richmond, Va. — An annual seasonal hiring survey released Thursday by Snagajob indicates that more holiday jobs will be available this year than have been expected in any previous season in the study’s five-year history. 


The survey of more than 1,000 hourly hiring managers with responsibility for seasonal hiring, conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs for Snagajob, included the following highlights:

  • Among hiring managers with responsibility to hire year-end, seasonal workers for the holiday period, 63% will make hires this year, the highest percentage in the Snagajob five-year survey and up 12 percentage points from last year (51%).
  • Significantly more workers will be hired, as hiring managers said they expect to hire 6.1 seasonal workers, on average – a nearly 50% increase over last year and almost 100% over the survey’s low point in 2009.
  • When comparing the hiring managers who expect their fourth-quarter sales to be better than last year with those who expect sales to be worse, the survey showed a net score of +20, indicating an expected sales increase. Last year, positive sales were expected, but only by a +7 margin.

“For the past few seasons, we’ve had to talk about ‘incremental improvements’ being expected in holiday hiring,” said Jason Hamilton, VP of marketing for Snagajob. “But this year, there are strong indications that there should be substantial movement in getting us back to the kinds of holiday hiring levels we were accustomed to prior to the recession.”

According to Hamilton, the survey showed that 24% more hiring managers are hiring this season, and hiring managers, on average, are planning to hire about 50% more people.

“Those indicators taken together point to a vastly improved seasonal job market,” Hamilton said.

Among those who will be hiring, 57% expect to complete their hiring by the end of October – if not sooner – compared with 46% last year. Nearly half (49%) of seasonal workers are expected to be full-time hires, the highest level recorded in the five-year survey. Added to that, hiring managers who will be making hires expect that 50% of their seasonal hires will be able to stay on after the holidays and take a permanent job.

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Town Shoes’ Sterling division goes live with Vision Suite

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Enterprise business solution-provider Jesta I.S. Inc. said Thursday that Sterling Shoes, a division of Toronto-based Town Shoes, has gone live with its Vision Store and Vision Merchandising software.

Town Shoes completed the acquisition of 69 Sterling Shoes stores in April 2012 and immediately launched the selection process for POS and merchandising software solutions that could be implemented by Labor Day weekend.

Town Shoes selected Jesta I.S.’ Vision Store and Vision Merchandising solutions for ease of use, and launched implementation in May.

According to Jesta, all 69 Sterling Shoes stores needed to be simultaneously switched over to the new Vision Store system and taken live, which occurred on Sept. 4.

“The implementation of the Vision Store and Vision Merchandising software for the Sterling stores within such a compressed time frame … underscored the abilities of two companies to work together and ensure smooth implementation of Vision solutions for our core business with minimal impact to the normal operations,” said Peter Gerhardt, Town Shoes CFO.

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