FINANCE

Deloitte spending index rises in February

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, released Monday, rose in February, driven primarily by the slight improvements in real home prices and initial jobless claims, according to the company.

The Index attempts to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

“Despite the small gains in the Index, the recent sharp rise in energy prices could weaken consumer purchasing power in the months ahead,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index. “The stabilization in real home prices may also be temporary given the persistent strain on the housing market. On the upside, should the slow but steady improvement in employment continue, it may help offset price increases.”

The Index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices — rose to 4.02 %, from an upwardly revised gain of 3.92% a month ago.

“Unsurprisingly, some retailers are concerned about rising costs and whether they can avoid passing them on to consumers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader, Deloitte LLP. “Retailers should consider costs across the entire supply chain, from strategic sourcing at the back end to the technologies and analysis they use for monitoring inventories and product movement at the front end.”

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OPERATIONS

Chico’s names senior marketing exec

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Myers, Fla. — Chico’s FAS announced Monday that it has named Celia Rao Visconti as senior VP of marketing.

She will report directly to Cinny Murray, brand president of Chico’s, and will oversee the brand’s marketing strategy and initiatives.

Rao Visconti was previously executive VP and chief marketing officer for New York & Co.

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News

Target by the numbers

BY CSA STAFF

Target recently filed its annual report on form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here’s a look at some interesting facts and figures contained in the document:

  • Target employed 355,000 “team members,” last year, a figure that swells to 400,000 during the holidays.

  • The company operated 37 distribution centers, including four food distribution centers and maintains 27 international sourcing offices in 18 countries

  • The company’s three largest states by sales and store count are California, 248 stores, Texas, 148 stores and Florida, 125 stores. Target’s home state of Minnesota has the fifth largest number of stores with 73 units.

  • The average age of Target’s 11-member executive team is 49.8 years.

  • Same-store sales grew by 2.1% last year, after declining by 2.5% in 2009 and 2.9% in 2008.

  • REDcard credit or debit products were used on 5.9% of purchases at Target last year.

  • Target sells food in 713 of its 1,750 stores, consisting of 251 SuperTarget locations and 462 stores featuring the PFresh format.

  • Nearly $1.3 billion was spent on advertising last year representing 1.9% of total sales of $67.4 billion. That was an increase from the prior year when advertising expense of $1.167 billion represented nearly 1.8% of sales of $65.4 billion.

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