FINANCE

Neiman Marcus Q1 sales, profit rise

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dallas — Neiman Marcus Group reported Tuesday that earnings for the first quarter rose to $127.8 million, compared with $122.8 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose to $1.07 billion for the quarter, from $1.00 billion last year. Same-store sales climbed 5.4%.

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FINANCE

Chase: Cyber Monday online sales up 22% from last year

BY Michael Johnsen

New York — Cyber Monday continues its importance, driving a nearly 22% increase in year-over-year online sales, Chase reported Tuesday as part of its latest Holiday Pulse report. Monday sales beat Sunday, the next highest day, by a margin of 26.7%.

"Any way you look at the data, there’s no doubt that web retailers had a strong Thanksgiving weekend, which culminated in a very strong Cyber Monday with web sales up nearly 22% over last year," said Sucharita Mulpuru, VP, principal analyst, Forrester. "The lower average ticket values and higher number of transactions means that retailers had a lot of free shipping offers with low thresholds. The biggest challenge at this point is for retailers to keep the momentum going through December as a lot of consumers are probably ‘shopped out’ for the next couple of weeks."

Year-to-date, e-commerce sales are up 15.3%. This is in line with the season predication from Forrester that online shoppers in the U.S. will spend 15% more this holiday season.

Looking at combined Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday results, Pulse recorded a nearly 31% year-over-year growth. This may suggest that merchants are expanding available offers and shoppers, equipped with mobile devices, are responding in large numbers. Based on 2011 Pulse results, the Pulse expects to see continued strong online shopping activity throughout ‘cyber week.’

In-store sales for the three-day period including Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday were up year-over-year by 2.1%, with transaction volume increasing 2.6% and average ticket dropping by 0.5%. Furniture stores, sporting goods stores and wholesale clubs all saw year-on-year growth of 6% or more.

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REAL ESTATE

Target holiday tour across Canada heralds planned store openings

BY Alaric Dearment

Mississauga, Ontario — Target will sponsor a tour across Canada that will visit more than 20 communities ahead of the planned opening of its stores in the country, the retailer said Tuesday.

The tour will start in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and conclude in British Columbia in the middle of December. Target plans to open 124 stores in Canada starting in March and April 2013.

"We are excited to be celebrating the holidays with Canadians from coast to coast," Target Canada director of marketing Livia Zufferli said. "We’ve planned surprises in more than 20 communities across the country in the hopes of creating unforgettable memories and giving Canadians a taste of what they can expect when Target opens in 2013."

Target purchased the leases for the Zellers store chain from the Hudson’s Bay Co. in January 2011. Since then, it has worked to convert the stores to Target stores and also boosted its presence in Canada. On Nov. 6, the company announced it would sponsor a competition for up-and-coming Canadian fashion designers, and last week, it announced it would donate up to $1 million to Canadian charities through its Give With Target program.

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