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First Data reports steady dollar volume and transaction growth in January

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Mild weather over much of the country spurred increased retail card spending growth in January, according to First Data Corp.’s SpendTrend, which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was 7.0% in January, while overall transaction growth was 7.2%. Mild winter weather nationwide resulted in lower energy demands, providing consumers with additional income to spend at retailers.

Average ticket values overall declined -0.2% in January after posting -0.1% growth in December. Credit card spending growth resumed in January after consumers closely watched their spending over the holidays.

“Retailers benefited from the mild weather in January. Reduced energy and home heating expenses combined with lower food inflation provided consumers with extra income to spend on discretionary categories such as clothing and home goods,” said Silvio Tavares, senior VP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.

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Zumiez moving e-commerce operations to Kansas

BY Staff Writer

Everett, Wash. — Zumiez Inc. will move its e-commerce fulfillment operations from its headquarters in Everett, Wash., to Edwardsville, Kansas, in May to accommodate their growing online business and to increase the speed of product deliveries to online customers.

“As a company, we continually evaluate opportunities to increase the speed of delivering products to our customers while also improving our costs. The move to Kansas means that, across the continental U.S., our customers should receive their Zumiez order in three days or less," said Marc Stolzman, CFO, Zumiez.

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The press release never said Cornell was retiring

BY CSA STAFF

Recently departed Sam’s Club president and CEO Brian Cornell is a little like legendary Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown in that both walked away from their professions at the height of their careers. However, unlike Brown who gave up football for good after his best season ever, no one is expecting Cornell to stay retired.

At only 52, Cornell is in the prime of his executive leadership years, and he’s coming out of a couple of really solid years at Sam’s Club. So while news of his departure last month was unexpected and surprising, no one will be surprised in the months ahead if his name shows up near the top of an org chart of a major corporation based in the Northeast. The first company to pop up on the list of potential suitors is PepsiCo where Cornell spent 13 years prior to Sam’s and his CEO stint at Michael’s. Cornell knows PepsiCo wel,l and the company knows him too as former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Steven Reinemund has served on the Walmart board since 2010.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Cornell was in talks with PepsiCo to join the Purchase, N.Y.-based company in a senior leadership capacity. Such a move is conceivable as the press release announcing Cornell’s departure from Sam’s never said he was retiring, only that he desired to relocate to the Northeast for family reasons.

“After 30 years of asking my family to follow me all around the globe, it is time to put them first,” Cornell said. “My wife and I want to put down roots in the Northeast and live in the same ZIP code as our children – not just occasionally seeing them in hotels and restaurants.”

They were probably nice hotels and restaurants, but still not the same as being home. And if Cornell was in line to eventually succeed Doug McMillon as president and CEO of Walmart International he would have been in for several years of extensive international travel overseeing Walmart’s expanding global operations. Whether that was in the cards for Cornell had he stayed at Sam’s is unclear, but it was the path that McMillon took when he moved from being CEO of Sam’s to CEO of international. The assumption of those with familiarity with Walmart’s senior leadership structure is that McMillon will eventually be given additional responsibilities creating the need for new leadership in the international area, which will now need to be satisfied by someone willing to live out of a suitcase for three years.

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