FINANCE

NRF: Father’s Day spending to rise slightly

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — Americans will spend a little bit more on dad this year, stretching their budgets enough to show their favorite man just how much he is appreciated, according to a survey by the National Retail Foundation.

The group, 2013 Father’s Day spending survey, conducted by BIGinsight, found that the average consumer will shell out $119.84 on dad’s gifts this year, up from $117.14 last year. Total spending for Father’s Day is expected to reach $13.3 billion.

According to the survey, those celebrating Father’s Day will spend $2.5 billion on a special outing, $1.7 billion on a new electronic gadget, and $1.8 billion on clothing.

Dad can also expect plenty of gift cards; families will shell out $1.8 billion on the perfect practical gift. Others will splurge on home improvement and gardening tools ($755 million), sporting goods ($710 million), personal care items ($707 million), and even automotive accessories ($592 million).

Department stores remain the preferred shopping location for gift buyers: four-in-10 (40.6%) will look for dad’s gift there. Others will shop at discount stores (31.5%), specialty stores including greeting card/gift and electronics stores (27.3%), and specialty clothing stores (9.9%). Online retailers will see a slight increase in traffic this year; 29.8% will shop online, up from 28.4% last year.

On the digital front, two-in-five (20.3%) of those who own a tablet plan to use their tablet to make a Father’s Day purchase. Overall, more than half (51.1%) of tablet owners will use their device to research products and compare prices, redeem coupons and look up retailers’ information such as store hours and location. Four-in-10 (42.6%) smartphone owners will use their mobile device to research the perfect gift idea and compare prices and look up store information.

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News

Christopher & Banks has ‘strong’ Q1

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Christopher & Banks, a specialty women’s apparel retailer, reported a same-store sales increase of 23% for the 13-week period ended May 4, 2013, as compared to the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2012.

The company’s net sales totaled $109 million, a 16% increase from $94 million for the 13 weeks ended April 28, 2012. During the quarter, the company operated an average of 10.5% fewer stores than during the comparable period last year.

“We are pleased with our strong start to fiscal 2013 as we continue to win customers over with a merchandise assortment that appeals to her tastes as well as her sense of value,” said president and CEO LuAnn Via. “In addition, our marketing programs have garnered a highly favorable response and created excitement in our stores. As we continue to gain traction with our strategic initiatives, we believe we are well-positioned to drive sustainable long term growth and profitability.”

Christopher & Banks Corporation is a Minneapolis-based specialty retailer of women’s clothing. As of June 7, the company operates 602 stores in 44 states consisting of 377 Christopher & Banks stores, 155 stores in its women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks, 44 MPW stores and 26 outlet stores. The company also operates two e-commerce sites.

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REAL ESTATE

Isaac Mizrahi New York opens up shop

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Isaac Mizrahi has returned to the retail scene. Xcel Brands on Friday announced the debut of Isaac Mizrahi New York, in Southampton, N.Y. (Xcel is the designer’s parent company).

"This is a very exciting opportunity for Xcel and the brand,” said Isaac Mizrahi, creative director, Xcel Brands. “It’s great for the consumer to see all products coming together in our own new retail environment."

The 1,200-sq.-ft.store offers a wide range of products including apparel, fragrance, footwear, accessories, pet accessories, and jewelry as well as limited edition swimwear, sneakers, jellies, cover-ups and one of a kind handbags.

“This is the first time that our customers can truly experience the Isaac Mizrahi brand as a whole in one location,” said Robert D’Loren, chairman and CEO, Xcel Brands. “We will use this store for both market and consumer research as we craft our retail rollout plan."

Xcel worked with commercial real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to execute the property lease.

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