OPERATIONS

Dollar General accepting MasterCard credit cards

BY Staff Writer

Purchase, N.Y. — Dollar General is now accepting MasterCard credit cards at all of the nearly 10,000 Dollar General locations across the country, expanding on previous acceptance of MasterCard debit and prepaid cards.

“Dollar General was the first among small-box value discounters to roll out readers for electronic benefits cards and bank debit and credit cards, making transactions even more convenient for customers.

“We are committed to collaborating with our merchant partners to provide an easier, more secure and more efficient payment choice,” said Craig Vosburg, group executive, U.S. Market Development, MasterCard Worldwide. “We believe that the expanded convenience and enhanced customer experience that MasterCard delivers will help support Dollar General’s efforts to drive greater sales and loyalty.”

Over the next year, Dollar General will also begin distributing MasterCard general purpose reloadable prepaid cards in all of its locations.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Empty shelves, long checkout lines among top threats to keeping customers

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Nearly 70% of U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, a leading provider of retail and category optimization solutions. Long checkout lines are another big turnoff (64%).

The study, conducted by telephone by Harris Interactive on behalf of Galleria, also found that women are more likely than men to avoid shopping at a particular retail store if they encounter empty shelves during their visit.

“As we approach Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, retailers need to note that making sure their shelves are fully stocked is critical when it comes to retaining loyal customers,” said Bryan Eckhoff, executive VP sales and account management for North America, Galleria. "The cost of empty shelves can be extremely high. Out-of-stocks can force consumers to migrate from a particular store, risking the loss of the value of an entire shopper’s basket, not just one product. Consistent out-of-stocks may force the permanent loss of that customer.”

Key survey findings include:

  • More than two out of three (68%) U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a particular retail store if they encountered empty shelves;
  • Women are more likely than men to say empty shelves would cause them to avoid shopping at a given store (73% versus 62% respectively); and
  • Nearly two out of three U.S. adults would shun a retail store due to:
    • Long check-out lines (64%)
    • Desired items out of stock (63%)
    • Difficulty finding desired items (62%).

“Statistics have shown that it costs five times more to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing customer,” Eckhoff said. “In the current U.S. economic climate when consumers are more cost conscious than ever, retailers should make every effort to ensure they have the right products, in the right place at the right time to keep their customers happy … and coming back.”

Galleria’s suite of retail optimization software can be utilized by retailers to determine the correct products and quantity of those products to stock in store based on actual consumer demand. This approach minimizes the chances of an item being out of stock, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. The retailer benefits from this with increased sales, minimizing unnecessary inventory and reducing wastage.

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REAL ESTATE

Blakeney announces new leases, expansions

BY Staff Writer

Charlotte, N.C. — CNL Crosland Commercial Real Estate announced two new tenant signings and an expansion for an existing retailer at Blakeney, a retail shopping center in south Charlotte, N.C.

Flywheel Sports is slated to open at Blakeney in January. Accessory boutique Bijuju opened earlier in November, and Creative by Nature Home doubled its square footage and moved into a new space in September.

Flywheel Sports, which will occupy 4,617 sq. ft. on the second level of Blakeney near Banana Republic, is a high-tech indoor cycling studio. Its location at Blakeney marks the company’s 12th studio and second venture in the Carolinas.

Bijuju’s 1,418-sq.-ft. Blakeney accessory boutique is the company’s ninth in the Carolinas.

Creative by Nature Home, which now occupies 2,656 sq. ft. in Blakeney near Coldwater Creek, doubled its footprint and created an expanded show room when it moved from its previous location, which is now occupied by Bijuju.

Blakeney is a 270-acre development zoned for 495,000 sq. ft. of retail to include a mix of local and national retailers with a signature retail component of specialty shops, as well as casual and upscale dining.

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