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NRF forecasts 140 million customers over Thanksgiving weekend

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — Up to 140 million people plan to or will shop over this Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday), a slight decrease from the 147 million who planned to do so last year. According to a new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Black Friday will be the biggest day of the weekend: 69.1% plan to shop on Black Friday, or approximately 97 million shoppers.

In addition, 43.8% will shop on Saturday (61 million) and 24.2% will shop on Sunday (34 million). And, of those who plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day this year, seven in 10 (69.2%) say they shopped online and in stores on Thanksgiving in 2012. Roughly half (49.1%) will read newspapers for information about upcoming sales events. However, 33.5% will look for special emails from retailers, 27% will follow retailers’ websites and 21.9% will scour coupon websites to look for deals.

According to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, half of retailers surveyed (51.1%) are planning to start their Thanksgiving weekend online promotions at least five days before the big weekend. Recognizing the growing trend among consumers to shop online on Thanksgiving Day, 53.5% of retailers say they will offer online promotions specifically for that day.

During the course of Black Friday weekend, retailers will tout a variety of offers, including special email campaigns (44.2%) and one-day sales (41.9%), but consumers will also benefit from free gift with purchase promotions (23.3%), free standard shipping on all purchases (20.9%), and discounted shipping (20.9%).


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Nordstrom net earnings fall in Q3

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Nordstrom reported declining net earnings during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 despite an increase in net sales. Net earnings totaled $137 million, down 7.5% from $146 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Meanwhile, net sales were $2.79 billion, up 3% from $2.71 billion in the prior year. Same-store sales fell 0.7%. Nordstrom cited the timing of its largest sale event, the Anniversary Sale, as negatively impacting earnings. The Anniversary Sale fell during the second quarter this year but straddled the second and third quarters of last year.

Nordstrom announced plans to open four new Rack stores and relocate one Rack store during the remainder of fiscal 2013. Looking ahead, for fiscal 2013 the company is forecasting a 3.5% increase in total sales, compared to previous projections of a 3%-4% increase, and a 2.5% jump in same-store sales, compared to a previous estimate of 2%-3%.

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Tile Shop won’t restate earnings

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plymouth, Minn. — The Tile Shop says it rejects a report stating its historical financial statements may require restatement along with other accounting irregularities. The company denies these allegations and believes that the financial statements are properly stated and its business practices are appropriate.

The report from Gotham City Research claims Tile Shop overstated its 2013 earnings by 200% and also failed to disclose that its largest supplier, Beijing Pingxiu, is a related company. Gotham City Research, which specializes in short-selling stock, said it believes Tile Shop will not get any further loans from its creditors until these issues are resolved.

In a press release, Tile Shop said it was unaware of previously undisclosed changes of the ownership of Beijing Pingxiu and it has suspended its relationship with the company. Tile Shop also said this issue had no material impact on its inventory purchases. The company also reaffirmed the guidance of net sales ranging from $227 million to $237 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $60 million along with the opening of 20 new stores for the year ending December 31, 2013 provided on October 30, 2013.

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