J. Crew to make Asia debut in 2013
Hong Kong — A Tuesday report by Bloomberg said that J. Crew will open its first Asia store – in Hong Kong – as early as 2013. CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler told the news service that the retailer is also seeking sites in Beijing and Shanghai.
“We feel that we’re ready to go international,” said Drexler. “Going international is a strong learning curve and it could distract us from building our business in the United States, but we feel that the time is right now.”
Drexler also said that the company will open a store in London next year, ahead of Hong Kong, according to the report. It presently doesn’t have any stores outside the United States and Canada.
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Survey: Consumers more trusting of sharing information with retailers than social networks
San Mateo, Calif. — A survey by The E-tailing Group and MyBuys found that consumers are more comfortable sharing data with retailers than they are with social networks, especially if it enhances the shopping experience.
While many consumer advocates stress the need for tighter regulation in regard to consumer privacy and the use of consumer data, the majority of survey respondents (55%) responded that they are “mostly willing” to provide shopping preferences to trusted retailers in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience. In contrast, 52% of consumers responded that they are “much more concerned” or “somewhat more concerned” about sharing the same data on social networks.
“Today’s consumer is a savvy operator who expects a tailored online experience. The irony is that they’re more comfortable sharing shopping preference information with retailers than they are with social networks, which were designed for this type of exchange,” said Robert Cell, CEO of MyBuys. “The onus is clearly on retailers to leverage this privilege responsibly to deliver on the promise of a better experience. The data strongly shows that doing so results in a better shopping experience for the consumer, increases brand loyalty, and makes it a win-win for both consumers and retailers.”
When asked about specific types of information they would share, 63% of respondents said they would share the types of offers they prefer; 61% said they would share the brands they buy; and 60% would share the products they purchase.
On the mobile front, consumers remain more cautious. In fact, 76% of consumers indicated they have mixed feelings or find it somewhat undesirable to be geo-targeted on their mobile device.
“Online privacy is a complex issue and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer, but consumers are willing to share data when there is an equitable value exchange," Cell added.
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Toys ‘R’ Us announces new and renovated stores in 21 markets
Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us on Tuesday said that by the end of 2012 it will have opened eight new stores and remodeled 13 existing locations to the side-by-side Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us model.
The retailer said the 21 stores across 13 states are representative of its strategy to bring both concepts together in an integrated store format.
"As we continue to invest and build upon our portfolio of stores by integrating Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us under one roof, our strategy has provided the opportunity to capture customers at their family’s earliest stage and grow with them through childhood," said CEO Jerry Storch.
By the end of 2012, the Toys “R” Us said it expects to operate 204 side-by-side stores nationwide, accounting for nearly 25% of its store base.
Also, as part of the integrated strategy, Toys “R” Us said it has updated a number of existing locations by renovating interiors and exteriors during the integration process. Stores began opening in March and will continue opening through November, the retailer said
The side-by-side strategy first debuted in 2006, and range in size from 30,000 sq. ft. to 70,000 sq. ft.