OPERATIONS

NLRB not likely to act on Wal-Mart protests by holiday

BY Staff Writer

New York — The National Labor Relations Board Federal was not expected to decide before Thursday on whether to seek an injunction on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to stop a union-backed group from encouraging employee walk-outs that are expected to culminate Friday and include protests and rallies outside its stores.

The chain filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. It said the demonstrations organized by union-backed OUR Walmart threaten to disrupt its business and intimidate customers and other store workers.

On Tuesday, OUR Walmart, the organization that has been staging the protests, filed its own charge with the NLRB, saying Wal-Mart was illegally attempting to deter workers from participating in strikes against the retailer on Friday.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NLRB said it was continuing to investigate Wal-Mart’s complaint.

“The legal issues — including questions about what constitutes picketing and whether the activity was aimed at gaining recognition for the union – are complex,” it said.

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Survey: LLBean.com tops in customer satisfaction among online apparel retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

Westlake Village, Calif. — LLBean.com ranks highest among online apparel retailers with a score of 830 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed by LandsEnd.com (829) and Forever21.com (824), according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Online Apparel Retailer Satisfaction Report. The study finds that satisfaction with online apparel retailers is significantly lower among online shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 than among those 55 years of age and older.

According to findings, younger consumers (18-24 years old) who shop online for apparel rely predominantly on price (63%) when selecting an apparel retailer. Notably, a significantly higher proportion of these young consumers use positive reviews of the brand (27%) and recommendations from family, friends or colleagues (19%) when selecting an online apparel retailer than the report average of 19% and 15%, respectively. Conversely, older consumers (55-plus) who shop online for apparel use past experience with a brand (77%) as their primary reason for selecting a retailer, while only 16% use positive reviews of the brand and 11% use recommendations from family, friends or colleagues.

"Younger shoppers, while being driven primarily by price, consider the experiences shared by others more than do consumers in any other age group," said Sara Wong Hilton, director at J.D. Power and Associates.

Here are the Top 10 online apparel retailers in J.D. Powers’ Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking:

1. LLBean.com (830)
2. LandsEnd.com (829)
3. Forever21.com (824)
4. Gap.com (823)
5. RalphLauren.com (814)
6. OldNavy.com (812)
7. VictoriasSecret.com (812)
8. Aeropostale.com (807)
9. AE.com (804)
10. ColdwaterCreek.com (798)

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ICSC/Goldman Sachs survey: 41 million shoppers on Thanksgiving; 
80.5 million on Black Friday

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Seventeen percent of consumers, or 41 million people, plan to take advantage of increased shopping hours on Thanksgiving hours to shop, according to the latest consumer holiday tracking survey by The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.

Black Friday itself is still the most trafficked day of the weekend, with one-third (33%) of consumers, or 80.5 million people, planning to shop that day. The survey also found that over half (51%) of consumers plan to go out and shop at least one of the days of Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday to Sunday).

“The main reason cited by one-third of consumers planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day was that it would be an earlier opportunity to find bargains,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC VP research and chief economist. “The second, third and fourth reasons to shop, which were all equally shared, by those intending to go out on Thanksgiving Day, were [1] that it is something to do; [2] that it is an easier time of day to shop; and [3] that they expect crowds will be smaller than on Black Friday.”

Of those planning to shop on that Friday, 58% cited their chief reason was to buy bargain-priced holiday gifts, while 30% cited bargains for themselves or family, but not necessarily holiday gifts. Thirteen percent of consumers planning to shop on Black Friday were motivated by the energy of the crowds and planned to be window shoppers taking in the experience.

Previous year’s ICSC Black Friday intention surveys suggested that 34% of consumers planned to shop on Black Friday 2011.

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williamson says:
Mar-30-2013 09:57 am

Of those planning to shop on that Friday, 58% cited their chief reason was to buy bargain-priced holiday gifts, while 30% cited bargains for about quran themselves or family, but not necessarily holiday gifts. Thirteen percent of consumers planning to shop on Black Friday were motivated by the energy of the crowds and planned to be window shoppers taking in the experience.

williamson says:
Mar-30-2013 09:57 am

Of those planning to shop on that Friday, 58% cited their chief reason was to buy bargain-priced holiday gifts, while 30% cited bargains for about quran themselves or family, but not necessarily holiday gifts. Thirteen percent of consumers planning to shop on Black Friday were motivated by the energy of the crowds and planned to be window shoppers taking in the experience.

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