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IBM: Mobile shopping doubles over holiday

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Armonk, N.Y. — On Tuesday, IBM released its final Benchmark announcement for the 2011 holiday season, detailing a continued strong performance for mobile as well as an overall increase in online spending for December 2011.

According to the report, the U.S. online retail sector delivered 7.5% growth in December 2011 compared to the same period last year. This followed a strong November where both Black Friday 2011 and Cyber Monday 2011 delivered double-digit growth over 2010.

Other key findings of the IBM report included:

  • Mobile traffic experienced significant growth, as 14.6% of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, more than double the rate of 5.6% over this same period in 2010;
  • Sales from mobile devices doubled, reaching 11% versus 5.5% in December 2010;
  • Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (5.2% and 4.3% respectively). Android was third at 4.1%;
  • Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 6.3% compared witho 3.1% for all mobile devices; and
  • By category, department stores online sales were up 18% over last year; home goods reported a 15.6% increase and apparel sales increased 16.3%.

"This past December consumers remained committed to finding the best online deals whether through their PC or mobile device,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Smarter Commerce.

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Nordstrom adds benefits to loyalty program

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Seattle — Nordstrom said Tuesday it has redesigned its Fashion Rewards loyalty program to include added benefits include complimentary services and other point incentives.

As part of an effort to build customer loyalty, the new program – which launched Jan. 1 – includes complimentary alterations up to $100 based on varying benefit levels, triple point days, and Nordstrom Rack point participation.

"Fashion Rewards is a key part of our efforts to provide better service and build long-term relationships with our customers," said Kevin Knight, president of Nordstrom Credit. "We spent a lot of time over the past year listening to customers and looking at how we could improve our Fashion Rewards program.”

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J.C. Penney names chairman of the board

BY Staff Writer

Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney Co. announced Tuesday that Thomas J. Engibous will become chairman of its board of directors, effective Jan. 28.

Engibous was named to the board in 1999 and has served in presiding director and lead independent director roles since 2008. He will assume the chairman’s role from Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, J.C. Penney’s former CEO, who will step down as executive chairman.

Engibous is the retired chairman of Texas Instruments Inc.

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