February retail sales up 1.1%, exceeding expectations
New York — Retail spending in the United States rose a better-than-expected 1.1% in February, the highest increase since September, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Sales, excluding gasoline, building materials and autos, rose 0.4%. Industry experts said the rise indicates that consumer spending is holding up even in the face of the higher payroll tax.
“While gasoline prices helped lift the overall sales in February, core retail sales were also strong and demonstrate the resilience of consumers in a slowly recovering economy,” said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “Recognizing the continued challenges consumers face, retailers remain nimble, adjusting marketing, promotions and product assortments to earn their share of consumer spending.”
In addition to gasoline sales, home improvement and grocery retailers saw substantial gains in February, while sales at department stores, sporting goods retailers and home furnishing retailers slipped over the previous month.
Spending increased 0.2% at apparel stores, and 0.5% at general merchandise stores, the most in almost a year. Non-store retailers saw a 1.6%.
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Ulta Beauty names CFO
Bolingbrook, Ill. — Ulta Beauty has appointed Scott Settersten as CFO and assistant secretary, effective immediately. Settersten will report to Dennis Eck, interim CEO.
Settersten has been acting CFO and assistant secretary since October 2012. He joined Ulta Beauty in January 2005 as director of financial reporting.
Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, Settersten spent 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a certified public accountant serving in various senior manager roles in the assurance and risk management practices.
Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Field & Stream banner to debut in fall
Pittsburgh — Dick’s Sporting Goods will debut its Field & Stream concept this fall, opening the first store in Cranberry Township, Pa.
Named for the iconic brand that for more than 140 years has been synonymous with outdoor experiences, the Field & Stream store will carry outdoor equipment, accessories and services in hunting, fishing, archery, camping and more, and provide an array of related in-store services.
"Dick’s Sporting Goods originally began as a bait and tackle shop, and the Field & Stream store will build upon both brands’ heritage to provide an excellent customer experience for outdoor enthusiasts." said Joe Schmidt, president & COO, Dick’s Sporting Goods.
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