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IBM Benchmark data shows Cyber Monday breaking records

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Cyber Monday appears to be well on its way to breaking all previous records.

By mid-day on Monday, e-commerce sales were up 25.6% for this same time period over Cyber Monday 2011, according to findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. The company analyzes the shopping results of 500 retailers nationwide.

Current mobile shopping data for Cyber Monday includes the following:

Mobile Traffic: The number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site is 21%.

Mobile Shopping: The number of consumers using their mobile device to make a purchase is at 10.9%.

Multi-Screen Shopping: The iPhone continues to drive more retail shopping than any other device with traffic reaching 8.3% versus 6.7% and 5.9% for iPad and Android respectively.

Social Sales: Shoppers referred from Social Networks have generated .2% of all online sales on Cyber Monday.

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Versa Capital Management acquires Eastern Mountain Sports

BY Marianne Wilson

Philadelphia — Versa Capital Management, a Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm, has acquired Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), effective immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mark Walsh, a Versa principal and chairman of Bob’s Stores, a northeastern apparel retailer that is part of the Versa portfolio, will serve as chairman of the board of EMS, which operates 69 stores in 12 Eastern states.

“We are pleased to welcome EMS into our organization and to further expand Versa’s retail interests,” said Gregory L. Segall, CEO of Versa Capital, in a statement. “EMS brings a 45-year history of marketing products for serious outdoor enthusiasts; as such, it is a natural fit for our existing expertise in both the retail and outdoor sectors. With a new capital structure and the other resources that Versa can offer, EMS will have many new opportunities to develop its branded products and better serve its customers.”

Plans call for exploring opportunities for Bob’s Stores and EMS to collaborate, and for maintaining all of the current EMS stores. No major initiatives will be considered until after the holiday season.

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Head of S.E.C. to step down

BY Staff Writer

New York — Mary L. Schapiro, the first woman to be permanent chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, announced she will step down on Dec. 14.

Schapiro was appointed head of the SEC by President Obama in 2008, one month after the Bernie Madoff scandal emerged, and she officially took office in 2009 at the peak of the financial crisis. Many experts say her four years were the toughest stretch any SEC chief has faced.

"When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole," President Obama said in a statement. "But she accepted the challenge, and today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people – thanks in large part to Mary’s hard work."

Elisse Walter, an SEC commissioner, will replace Schapiro as SEC chairman for the foreseeable future.

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