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MarketLive honors the best in e-commerce

BY CSA STAFF

PETALUMA, Calif. — MarketLive, a provider of e-commerce technology and services for high-growth merchants, has announced the winners of its annual MarketLive Merchant Awards, honoring the top performing e-commerce sites across MarketLive’s customer base of America’s leading retail brands. The awards were presented at the MarketLive Summit 2013 in Sonoma, Calif.

MarketLive awards winners in three key categories: MarketLive Performance Index Top Performer Awards; Intelligent Selling Awards; and The Ken Burke Award of Excellence. The award recipients were honored this morning at an awards ceremony held as part of the tenth annual MarketLive Summit in Sonoma, CA. The conference allowed the winning companies to showcase their ecommerce strategies and tactics before an audience of more than 200 leading retail peers and industry experts.

And the winners are…

Highest Conversion Improvement: Design Within Reach — the leading retailer of modern design furniture and accessories.

Highest Engagement Improvement: Berkshire Blanket — the largest designer, producer and importer of premium quality blankets, throws and soft home goods.

Most Innovative Strategy: Intermix — the leading retailer and fashion authority, providing its high-end clientele with fashions and accessories from a mix of the hottest established and up-and-coming designers

Most Engaging Content Strategy: Johnson & Johnson — multi-national manufacturers of pharmaceutical, diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and biotechnology products, as well as personal hygiene products.

Best Site on the Rise: Eastland Shoes — makers of American heritage-inspired casual leather footwear, since 1955.

The Ken Burke Award of Excellence: Cost Plus World Market — importers of casual home décor and furnishings, housewares, gifts, jewelry, decorative accessories, international wines, gourmet foods and beverages from more than 50 countries.

"I’d like to publicly congratulate this year’s award recipients and thank them for sharing their best practices and winning strategies with everyone attending the Summit," said Ken Burke, founder and chairman of MarketLive. "These companies set a high bar for excellence among retailers, and we are very proud to call them all MarketLive customers."

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Destination Maternity maintains profit outlook despite sales slip

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA — Destination Maternity its total sales for the second quarter fell 2.1% to $134.9 million from $137.8 million. The company attributed the drop to the closure of all of its remaining leased departments within Babies “R” Us stores in October, along with the closures of underperforming stores.

Despite the sales drop, Destination Maternity said it now expects its second-quarter profit to fall in the top half of its previously projected range of 38 cents to 44 cents per share, crediting tight management of its expenses.

The company said sales during the month of March were probably hurt by unseasonably cold weather in many parts of the country, the company said.

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Cold weather puts chill on March sales

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — L.Brands, parent of Victoria’s Secret, reported better-than-expected 3% sales in same-store sales for March. Zumiez Inc. and Buckle Inc. also both reported better-than-expected numbers.

But other retailers were hampered by a colder-than-normal March, which caused many shoppers to put off buying warmer-weather clothing, and an early Easter. At The TJX Companies, same-store sales fell 2% in March, a bigger drop than was expected.

“Due to the year-over-year timing of Easter, we had not planned March to be a strong month against last year’s high increase, and our comparable store sales were in line with our expected range,” said Carol Meyrowitz, CEO, TJX Companies, Inc. “This was despite the extraordinarily cold weather across most regions in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In regions of the U.S. where weather was not an issue, we saw comp sales increases. Further, overall business trends improved as the weather became warmer.”

Cato Corp. said its March same-store sales were down 11% hurt by the fact that Easter fell earlier on the calendar than last year. It said it expects a corresponding benefit when it reports April sales next month, and that looking at its two-month combined results will be the best way to measure its sales trend.

Stein Mart Inc. said its same-store sales fell 2.8% in March, falling short of Wall Street predictions. The company said sales were hurt by cold weather and an earlier Easter holiday.

"This year, more than ever, it will be important to combine March and April sales results to get a true picture of our spring selling season due to this year’s Easter calendar shift," said CEO Jay Stein.

Fred’s Inc. said its sales fell 3%, more than expected. The discounter cited cool weather and the timing shift in the Easter holiday.

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