STORE SPACES

Divisions Maintenance Group makes largest box plow purchase in its history

BY Staff Writer

Newport, Ky. — Divisions Maintenance Group, a provider of facilities maintenance services for retail properties, recently purchased 19 box plows for its Denver district in preparation for the 2013-14 snow season. This represents the largest influx of box plows purchased by the company in one year for one specific district.

“We’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of retail parking lots over 250,000 sq. ft. that we’re servicing in the Denver area,” said Bill Volz, VP of field operations for Divisions. “Based on historical snow accumulation trends, we knew that we needed to increase the amount of equipment staged and ready for use on the properties.”

Because pricing for snow removal services is extremely competitive for retail properties, the use of box plows is growing in popularity with snow removal companies. They are designed to move maximum yards of snow in minimal time, while maintaining a high level of efficiency and the integrity of the pavement beneath. Ultimately, these plows can push snow up to five times faster than a standard snow plow.

“With the winter weather conditions we’ve seen in Denver in the past few years” said Volz, “snow removal companies have to adjust strategies for snow removal. Ultimately the box plows will help us avoid equipment failures and give our customers a greater peace of mind.”

As the 2013-14 snow season commences, Divisions holds snow removal contracts for over 1,300 retail properties nationwide.

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FINANCE

Amazon makes 2.5 million-plus price changes on a daily basis

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Amazon.com made more than 2.5 million price changes a day throughout November, according to price intelligence firm Profitero. By comparison, in November, Best Buy implemented a total of 52,956 price changes every day and Walmart a total of 54,633 price changes.

Profitero’s analysis revealed that Amazon.com has increased its number of daily price changes 10-fold during the last 12 months. At the beginning of December 2012, the online retailer implemented just 269,113 price changes.

The extent of Amazon.com’s daily price changes is even more significant when compared with the number of daily price changes implemented by brick-and-mortar retailers Walmart and Best Buy. During November, Best Buy made a total of 52,956 price changes and Walmart a total of 54,633 price changes, highlighting the massive price advantage Amazon has over other retailers — and demonstrating why retailers need to monitor their online competitors’ prices every day to remain competitive on the market and avoid losing sales.

“It’s staggering that Amazon.com is making millions of price changes on a daily basis,” said Volodymyr Pigrukh, CEO and co-founder of Profitero. “The sheer scale of these price changes demonstrates why brick-and-mortar retailers need to be using an advanced online price intelligence solution if they want to compete with Amazon.”

Profitero predicts that the number of price changes is only going to increase as the retail landscape becomes more competitive, and so it’s impossible for any retailer to monitor this number of price changes manually.

“To understand where they stand against their competitors’ prices and avoid losing out on sales, retailers need to monitor Amazon’s prices on a daily basis,” Pigrukh said.

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FINANCE

comScore: Online sales from Thanksgiving through Cyber Week up 24%

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — For the holiday season-to-date, $31.5 billion has been spent online, marking a 9% increase versus the corresponding days last year, according to comScore. However, as noted in previous releases, Thanksgiving Day was six days later this year than last and causes more heavy spending days to fall in the year ago period, thereby diluting growth rates at this point.

Green Monday (Dec. 9) saw $1.4 billion in desktop online spending, up 10% versus year ago, representing the third heaviest online spending day of the holiday season-to-date.

Cyber Week, the week beginning with Cyber Monday, posted strong growth online, raking in approximately $8 billion in spending for an increase of 24% compared to the same week last year. The Saturday and Sunday following Cyber Monday saw $1.7 billion in spending via desktop computers, up a robust 71% versus last year. Also noteworthy is that Cyber Week fell just $16 million shy on Dec. 6 of boasting five billion dollar days during the work week. For the period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Week, online buying from desktop computers increased a very strong 24%.

“Online buying for the period since Thanksgiving has been very strong and indicates that e-commerce is on track to meet expectations,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

Fulgoni said it appears that the abbreviated calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas is compelling shoppers to complete more of their online buying during the weekends – with this most recent weekend boasting a big 71% gain from last year, following on the heels of last weekend’s 34% jump.

“The weekend is typically a lighter period of online buying than during workdays, but the weekend surges we’re seeing may be attributable to the effects of showrooming, with the in-store shopping experience increasingly getting disrupted by comparison shopping on mobile phones, leading to more conversions online after leaving the store,” Fulgoni said. “Of course, it’s also likely that many consumers realize the holiday spending clock is ticking and are urgently buying their gifts whenever they have time. And that, in turn, works to the benefit of e-commerce.”

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