FINANCE

Jos. A. Bank offers to acquire Men’s Wearhouse

BY Marianne Wilson

New York – Jos. A. Bank Clothiers has put in an offer to acquire Men’s Wearhouse for about $2.3 billion in a $48 per share all-cash offer, Reuters reported.

The acquisition would create a men’s apparel powerhouse with over 1,700 stores across the nation. Jos. A. Bank said Men’s Wearhouse was reviewing the proposal, according to the report.

Jos. A. Bank is partnering with Golden Gate Capital on the offer. The investment firm would make a $250 million equity investment in the company.

In June Jos. A. Bank said it was considering strategic opportunities to enhance shareholder value, including acquisitions.

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FINANCE

IBM: Mobile sales up 60% in Q3

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Online mobile sales were strong in the third quarter as mobile percentage of online sales increased more than 60% year-over-year. Led by strong gains in home goods and department store, mobile traffic for U. S. retail overall reached almost 32% in the quarter, up more than 50% while online retail sales overall grew close to 10%.

Those are some of the key findings of the IBM Retail Online Index, part of the cloud-based IBM Analytics Benchmark. The report is the only third quarter retail data available given the government shutdown, which has suspended the Census Department’s online survey collections.

Other findings Of the IBM survey include:

  • Mobile percentage of sales were near 14%, a 60% increase over third quarter 2012.
  • Online retail sales overall grew close to 10%.
  • The Apple iPhone generated more online traffic than any other device at close to 12% of retail traffic.
  • The iPad was a close second, generating 10.3% of traffic.
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OPERATIONS

Survey: Store associates would benefit from video training

BY Marianne Wilson

San Bruno, Calif. — Over 35% of respondents received no formal training, and 28% were asked to read a manual or a handbook, according to a recent study of retail store associates by Qumu, a provider of secure multimedia content management and delivery solutions. The survey also revealed that retail employees are looking for improved executive communication to provide them with a greater understanding of company strategy (57%), more connectedness to the company community (47%), and understanding of activity in other stores (46%).

The survey also put a spotlight on video training. Ninety-four percent of store associates recognize the benefit of receiving video training, suggesting that video is a ripe communication medium for retailers to embrace, according to the report. The associates outlined a wide range of benefits to training by video-on-demand as opposed to current training methods, including receiving training a time and location of convenience and when most effective (57%), increased sales performance (49%), better customer experience (44%), and better staff retention (47%).

"Video is fantastic way to engage people who work in retail stores," said Vern Hanzlik, senior VP and general manager, Qumu. "When you think about the demographic of store employees, you are looking at a huge number of ‘digital natives’ whose lives revolve around You Tube, social channels, mobile and connected experiences."

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