OPERATIONS

iInside webinar on retail traffic analytics set for Oct. 30

BY Dan Berthiaume

Yorba Linda, Calif. — Jon Rosen, executive VP of indoor location analytics technology provider iInside, will provide an in-depth review of how retail traffic analytics work, how retailers benefit from precise shopper traffic insights, how traffic data is operationalized to drive revenue, and how to choose between the many indoor petitioning methods available during a live webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 9:30 a.m. PDT.

The presentation will also cover how department-level conversion analytics, operations and staffing support, real-time connections to stores’ mobile apps and other powerful applications can be better achieved and managed through interior location analytics.

“Retailers measure some things exceptionally well, such as revenue, same store sales and profit," said Rosen, who leads iInside’s business and corporate development efforts along with market strategy. "Until now, however, what shoppers did inside the store was practically a mystery. “Today’s most successful retailers have implemented indoor location systems to significantly improve performance; power better and faster marketing, merchandising and store operations processes; and greatly enhance the omnichanel experience.”

Registration for this webinar is free, visit: Brighttalk.com/webcast/10321/91452.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

ShopperTrak: Last four days before Christmas to be among 10 busiest

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Four of the 10 busiest holiday shopping days will occur between Dec. 20 and Dec. 24, and retailers should prepare accordingly, according to ShopperTrak, a leading provider of shopper analytics. Additionally, with a shortened shopping season and only four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas – down from five last year – retailers must be ready to capture holiday spending during a narrower window of time.

ShopperTrak expects consumers will make slightly fewer store visits in November and December this year (1.4% fewer than in 2012), but this trend will not translate into a decline in spending. The company predicts national retail sales this season will rise 2.4%, compared to the same holiday months last year.

Last year’s 10 busiest shopping days accounted for more than one-third (35.7%)) of sales of general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other products (GAFO) for the period of Black Friday (Nov. 23, 2012) through Jan. 5, 2013. According to ShopperTrak, this drove a 3% increase in total GAFO retail sales over the 2011 holiday season.

“Some shopping days – like Black Friday and Super Saturday – are always busy,” says ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “But calendar changes affect each holiday season differently. Because Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year, it will create its own mid-week momentum without compromising the typically high weekend shopper activity. Retailers should anticipate such calendar shifts each year and prepare their marketing, labor and operations accordingly.”

Black Friday (Nov. 29) will lead the way as the single busiest shopping day this holiday season, in both total retail shopper traffic and sales. This will be the tenth year in a row Black Friday produces top-performing sales and shopper traffic, the company said.

ShopperTrak anticipates the final Saturday before Christmas, known as “Super Saturday” (Dec. 21), will be the second-strongest shopping day of the season, followed by Dec. 22, Dec. 20 and Dec. 23.

Stores will see slightly more shopper traffic than last year on Black Saturday (Nov. 30), the day after Black Friday. ShopperTrak expects Black Saturday to rank sixth in shopper traffic and eighth in sales. In fact, ShopperTrak predicts six out of the 10 busiest days will be either a Saturday or Sunday – days shoppers tend to come to stores.

“The four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas are pivotal for retailers,” says Martin. “Though shoppers may wait until the weekends to hit the stores, they will come prepared with information about exactly what they want to buy. Smart retailers will ready their staff to work with an influx of these knowledgeable shoppers this season.”

The following table shows ShopperTrak’s forecasted busiest holiday sales and traffic days in November and December 2013:

Sales Rank Traffic Rank Date
1 1 Friday, Nov. 29 (Black Friday)
2 2 Saturday, Dec. 21 (Super Saturday)
3 3 Sunday, Dec. 22
4 10 Friday, Dec. 20
5 4 Saturday, Dec. 14
6 Not among top 10 Monday, Dec. 23
7 5 Thursday, Dec. 26 (Day after Christmas)
8 6 Saturday, Nov. 30
9 7 Saturday, Dec. 7
10 9 Saturday, Dec. 28
Not among top 10 8 Sunday, Dec. 15

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FINANCE

Sears may spin off Lands’ End and Auto Center; sells five Canada stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – As part of a wide-ranging strategic review of its business, Sears Holdings Corp. is considering spinning off its Lands’ End and Sears Auto Center brands. The company’s Sears Canada subsidiary has also sold five Canadian store leases to Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited for about $383.4 million.

In addition to reviewing expiring leases to see if those stores are profitable enough to make renewal worthwhile, Sears is evaluating separating both its Lands’ End business and Sears Auto Center business. Sears believes separating the management of these two businesses from Sears Holdings would allow them to pursue their own strategic opportunities, optimize their capital structures, attract talent, and allocate capital in a more focused manner.

If pursued, Sears says a Lands’ End separation would not be structured as a sale but rather through a transaction that would allow existing shareholders to benefit from long-term value creation. Sears has begun the repositioning of the Sears Auto Center business around non-tire-related services as tire margins have been compressed industry-wide during the past several years, leveraging the store footprint, the number of service bays and auto technicians. The retailer is in the process of evaluating strategic alternatives for the business to maximize its value for our shareholders.

Sears also provided some updates on its financial performance for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, ending Nov. 2, 2013. For the 12 weeks ended Oct. 26, same-store sales declined 3.7%, with a decline of 4.8% for Sears domestic stores and 2.6% for Kmart stores. The retailer expects a quarterly net loss of between $250 million and $300 million, compared to $156 million in the same quarter in the prior year.

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J.Shaughness says:
Oct-30-2013 12:41 pm

Sears shrinking
The incredible shrinking Sears, fading into obscurity. History shows a retail business model built on downsizing is always fatal. In order to succeed retailers must grow, not shrink. It's past time for Sears to face facts and admit it's only asset is it's real estate, which is becoming less valuable each day.

J.Shaughness says:
Oct-30-2013 12:41 pm

The incredible shrinking Sears, fading into obscurity. History shows a retail business model built on downsizing is always fatal. In order to succeed retailers must grow, not shrink. It's past time for Sears to face facts and admit it's only asset is it's real estate, which is becoming less valuable each day.

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