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Limited Brands CEO bullish on sales, here and abroad

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Limited Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, could double its $9 billion in U.S. sales during the next five years, chief executive Leslie Wexner said at a meeting with analysts and investors in Manhattan on Wednesday.

The chain also has the potential to reap another $20 billion in sales outside of North America, according to Wexner.

“The opportunity in international is significant,” Wexner said at the meeting. “There’s profitability there.”

Limited Brands will open its first traditional store outside of North America in 2010, a Victoria’s Secret flagship in London.

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NRF: Consumers’ holiday spending to rise slightly

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — Although the uncertain economy is still very much on their minds, Americans will increase holiday spending by approximately 1% this year as they shop less at discounters and focus more on quality and service, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. While the slow economic recovery is still weighing on shoppers, the results offer “glimmers of hope” for the retail industry, NRF president Matthew Shay said, and suggest that consumers won’t only be focusing on low prices and basic necessities this year.

“Consumers will still shop with the economy in the back of their minds, but we are starting to see shoppers take steps toward a new normal,” Shay stated “As Americans open up their wallets for more discretionary gifts like jewelry or take advantage of sales to buy for themselves, retailers will begin to truly believe that the worst is behind them.”

U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, a slight rise from last year’s $681.83, the survey found. Nearly 62% of shoppers say the economy will impact their spending, down from last year’s 65.3%.

As in years past, most holiday gift-givers will spend the largest portion of their budget buying gifts for family ($393.55) and friends ($71.45), with much smaller sums spent on co-workers ($18.26) and others ($34.82). Total spending on gifts ($518.08) is expected to rise 2.1% from last year, which is in line with NRF’s 2010 holiday forecast.

As to the factor that will be most important when shopping this holiday season, the majority of shoppers ranked sales or price discounts (41.8%) or everyday low prices (12.7%) as most important. While those factors either declined or remained flat this year, two other categories rose in importance. The number of people who counted customer service as the most important factor rose from 4.4% last year to 5.3% this year, while shoppers who touted quality as the overriding factor rose from 11.8% to 12.7%.

As a potential sign that discretionary gifts may become more popular, 23% of people will ask for jewelry this year, up 10% from last year. Gift cards will remain the most requested holiday gift this year with 57% of people asking for plastic.

In another sign that shoppers feel a bit of breathing room in their budget, the number of people who say they will make a holiday purchase from a discounter dropped from 70.1% last year to 65.1% this year. Popular holiday shopping destinations will include department stores (54.5%), grocery stores (46.7%), the Internet (43.9%) and clothing stores (33.6%).

Mobile devices such as iPhones and Androids are becoming more popular among consumers, and many shoppers plan to use these devices this holiday season to look for gift ideas, compare prices and find items in nearby stores. According to the survey, over one-fourth of American adults with a smartphone (26.8%) will use these devices to research or make holiday purchases, and that number jumps to 45% among young adults 18-24.

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Target and Wal-Mart among SAP Retail Innovation and Impact Awards winners

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — SAP announced the recipients of the annual SAP Retail Innovation and Impact Awards, which recognize the achievements of SAP customers that have generated significant business results through the implementation of SAP software in 2010. The awards were presented at the SAP Retail Forum 2010, Oct. 13-14, in Las Vegas.

Among the winners were Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores. Wal-Mart was honored with the Best in Class Go Live Award, which recognizes exceptional implementation of SAP software from beginning to end.

Target and Walgreens, both received the Best in Class Innovation Award. The award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within a company by focusing on the technological advancement and economic growth achieved by implementing SAP solutions.

Target, and Walgreens, both received the Best in Class Innovation Award. The award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within a company by focusing on the technological advancement and economic growth achieved by implementing SAP solutions.

Other awards included:

  • Best in Class Value Award — Recreational Equipment, Inc. Given to a company for its extraordinary leadership and/or pioneering in developing, implementing, and promoting value in the company by constantly innovating with SAP technology.

  • Valued Partnership Award — OfficeMax. Demonstrates a joint commitment to success with SAP by collaboration on new, innovative solutions, providing deep domain expertise and communicating strategic value to both customers and prospects.

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