FINANCE

McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales climb 0.2%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – McDonald’s reported a slight 0.2% increase in U.S. same-store sales for October 2013. Same-store sales rose 0.5% globally, which also includes a 0.8% increase in Europe and a 2.8% decline in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.

"Around the world, we are focused on providing the menu quality and choice, customer service and affordability that are the hallmarks of the McDonald’s experience," said McDonald’s president and CEO Don Thompson. "We remain confident in the fundamental strength of the McDonald’s System and our ability to drive initiatives that will deliver the greatest benefit for our customers."

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Walmart.com to sell two winning ‘Get on the Shelf’ products

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Bruno, Calif. — Walmart announced today the two grand prize winners of its Get on the Shelf contest, Elvis Presley Home Bedding Collection and SKRIBS Customizable Wristbands. As grand prize winners, both products will be sold on Walmart.com and receive additional online marketing support. They will also be introduced to the Walmart Stores’ Merchandising team for store shelf consideration.

“Get on the Shelf has given American entrepreneurs and businesses the rare opportunity to showcase their product innovation to a broad set of new customers,” said Kelly Thompson, senior VP of merchandising for Walmart.com. “Through this exciting process, our customers have chosen items that we are excited to add to our online assortment at Walmart.com. Congratulations to both Grand Prize Winners who have demonstrated creativity, persistence and a true understanding of what America wants to see on the shelves at Walmart.”


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FatWallet predicts Black Friday promotions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Beloit, Wis. – Online coupon provider FatWallet predicts a larger selection and assortment of lower-priced Black Friday deals in 2013 as compared to the previous year. Notable predictions include:

HDTVs: Expect new 4k TVs to push down the price of older 1080p TVs with some 60" models under $400 and select doorbusters featuring 40-50" TVs to fall lower than $300. Thinner, lighter, higher quality models will be bundled with soundbars, blu-ray players and possibly Netflix or Hulu Plus subscriptions to make for smart hidden savings.

Laptops: Expect a host of low end laptop models, including Windows 8 touch enabled laptops to drop around $200 as tablets continue to become the more preferred everyday computing device.

Tablets: Expect Amazon to discount their new Kindle HDX 9" tablet to around $300-$325 to compete with Apple iPads, and Samsung tablets, and shoppers can already find Nexus 7 tablets for under $200.

Smartphones: Apple’s iPhone 5C will be eventually be available for free with a 2 yr contract from select mobile carriers and some "phablets," like Samsung Galaxy Notes and Sony Xperias, are expected to be advertised at their lowest price ever, especially when factoring in FatWallet cash back.

Deals under $20: Don’t under estimate loss-leader bargains as they are what make Black Friday the best time of year to save the most money. Expect a record selection of deals under $20 (12,000+), half of those under $10 and hundreds of "buy one, get one" style of offers from big-box stores.

Bundles and Sales: Bundled product deals, whether including extra accessories, software, games, gift cards, store rewards, etc., will be plentiful and some of the best values of the holiday season. Niche apparel brands like Diesel, Kate Spade, Jos A Bank and Columbia will keep making big strides to pull in holiday shoppers with generous, timely online discounting needed to compete with Macy’s $10 off all $25 purchases and Kohl’s expected 30% off site-wide with additional $15-$20 Kohl’s cash

"Many major retailers will showcase more than 1,000 Black Friday deals each with aggressive pricing, and price matching," states Brent Shelton, FatWallet Shopping Expert. "Apple and Samsung will garner a lot of the holiday product buzz, but each year there are great discounts offered from newer brands looking to catch the eyes of Black Friday shoppers.”


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