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Magnolia Bakery, six others, open at New York outlet center

BY Al Urbanski

Magnolia Bakery, the Greenwich Village shop that ignited the cupcake craze with its appearance on "Sex in the City," opens this week at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York.

This is the first storefront for Magnolia on the East Coast, aside from its original location. It maintains shops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Honolulu, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates.

Other notable names opening shops recently at the Simon Properties center are Citizen Watch, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Agent Provacateur, and Lladro.

“These brands offer trendy, high-end products with international appeal,” commented Amanda O’Connell, the center’s assistant director of marketing and business development.


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Study: Shoppers willing to increase order to qualify for free shipping

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Forget apparel, electronics and gift cards. Free shipping is expected to be the most-coveted wish among many shoppers this holiday season.

That’s according to the “The September 2016 Holiday Retail Report” from Radial and CFI Group, in which 91% of respondents said they would be willing to increase the size of their online order to qualify for free shipping.

In other findings, 89% of respondents said waiting five to 10 days for their order to arrive is acceptable if it keeps shipping costs low.

And companies better stay on their game as 77% of respondents are likely to share their online shopping experiences on a social media platform, according to the study, with a majority of these individuals expecting a direct response from the retailer.

"Finding that the overwhelming majority of shoppers are willing to increase the size of their online orders to get free shipping may be surprising to many retailers," Sheri Petras, CEO, CFI Group said. "It shows that consumers are more interested in finding value rather than simply pinching pennies.”

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NRF files lawsuit against new overtime rule

BY Marianne Wilson

The National Retail Federation filed suit in U.S. District Court on Wednesday on behalf of the millions of employers and employees who it said will be drastically affected if the Labor Department’s changes to the federal overtime rules go into effect on Dec. 1.

Retailers have argued that the new rule will force employers to reduce hours and base pay in order to make up for increased payroll costs.

“The Labor Department’s extreme and reckless changes to the overtime rules will hobble the career paths of millions of Americans trying to climb the professional ladder,” said NRF senior VP for government relations David French. “Retailers are already struggling to implement this new government mandate before the swiftly approaching deadline, and the automatic update included in the rule would make them do this same dance every three years for as long as they are able to remain in business. This is a massive government overreach of executive authority, and the courts need to put a stop to it.”

Research conducted for NRF shows that the overtime regulations will force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for the added payroll costs, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs.

A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan.

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