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Gap same-store sales beat expectations

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Gap Inc. substantially improved upon its June 2012 same-store sales performance and beat analyst expectation with a 7% increase in same-store sales last month. In comparison, the retailer’s same-store sales were flat in June of last year and were only expected to rise 4.7% in June of this year, according to estimates from Retail Metrics.

Sales at Gap’s Old Navy helped drive the overall increase. Same-store sales at Old Navy rose 13% in June as a result of seasonal summer promotions.

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Meijer survey: Back-to-school spending looks strong

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Consumers will spend the same or more on back-to-school shopping this year as they did last year and many will also finish back-to-school shopping early.

A survey Meijer conducted of its customers reveals 90% of shoppers plan to spend the same or more than they did last year and 40% will have completed their back-to-school shopping before the school year begins. Median spend will range between $101-$150 per student and $201-$250 in total.

In addition, 15% of parents expect students to help pay for a portion of school expenses and nearly 30% will get help from grandparents

Other trends revealed by the survey include an increased emphasis on electronics, apparel, art supplies, licensed products, neon accessories and light-up products.

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Furniture groups take their show on the e-commerce road

BY CSA STAFF

Furniture chains of North America have united — in the digital space, that is — in the form of a re-launch of Furniture.com.

Described as a “unique online shopping experience powered by the merchandising and service capabilities of top brick-and-mortar furniture chains,” the partnership includes RoomsToGo, Schottenstein Stores and Leon’s Furniture of Canada.

The retailers will provide sourcing, warehousing and delivery capabilities for the e-commerce site, planned to be re-launched later this year.

“Furniture has been called the last remaining $1 billion e-commerce opportunity,” said Carl Prindle, president and CEO of Furniture.com. “Capturing this complex opportunity requires a ‘wow’ customer experience that can only be delivered by marrying leading technology with the scale and expertise of world-class furniture chains. We’re excited to bring together the best in the business and make this a reality.”

Jay Schottenstein, head of Schottenstein Stores, said that this new partnership “enables e-commerce innovation and collaboration between the largest furniture retailers in North America.” He added that furniture’s migration online reminds him of another industry — shoes — where he owns leading offline and online retailer DSW. “For years, we were told no one would buy shoes online,” said Schottenstein. ”It took the right model to catalyze the online shoe industry. Furniture.com is that catalyzing model for furniture.”

The site uses e-commerce technology from Blueport Commerce, an e-commerce solution for the furniture industry.

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