October same-store sales improve across verticals
New York – Retailers across a variety of verticals reported improved same-store sales during October 2013, compared to the same month in the previous year. Even embattled department store retailer J.C. Penney saw its same-store sales grow for the first time since December 2011, and specialty and apparel retail conglomerate L Brands and discount club retailer PriceSmart reported particularly impressive same-store sales results.
Many analysts have predicted a softening in holiday-related spending this year. While October is too early to say for certain how holiday sales for 2013 will turn out, many retailers began holiday promotions in October and even September, giving some hope for the season.
Retailers reporting October same-store sales include:
- The Buckle: 2.6% increase
- Cato: 3% increase
- Costco: 3% increase
- Fred’s: 1.4% increase
- J.C. Penney: 0.9% increase
- L Brands: 8% increase
- PriceSmart: 8.8% increase
- Stein Mart: 5.8% increase
Brand Keys: Holiday spend down 5% in 2013
New York – The average consumer will spend $825 on holiday purchases in 2013, a 5% drop from last year. According to the new Brand Keys annual holiday survey, only 19% of shoppers surveyed indicated that they started shopping for the holidays in October, 5% fewer than 2012.
Forty-five percent of perspective shoppers indicated they would begin shopping in November, with most consumers (35%) indicating they intended to wait for the traditional Thanksgiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Another 35% of shoppers indicated they will wait until December to shop.
Virtually all consumers interviewed indicated they’d buy some holiday gift online (98%). Other popular destinations include discount department stores (94%, up 4% from 2012), traditional department stores (76%, up 6% from 2012) and specialty and apparel stores (45%, up 5% from 2012). The only traditional outlet that dipped significantly was catalogues (50%), down 18% from last year. Ninety-five percent of consumers plan to buy gift cards.
In addition, 65% of the 15,200 U.S, consumers interviewed indicated that they used, or planned to use, their mobile devices to research shopping options for the upcoming holiday season.
“There’s a different ‘feel’ to the holiday marketplace this year,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys. “It’s calmer. Retailers didn’t start advertising for the holidays right after back-to-school like last year, and consumers don’t feel the pressure they once did. We’re not seeing the ‘Buy Now!’ or ‘Lay-It-Away’ advertising we saw in recent years.”
Former Campbell Soup exec heads to FoodMinds
FoodMinds, a food and nutrition consulting and communications agency, has appointed former Campbell Soup executive Juli Mandel Sloves as SVP and Julie Alessi, RD, as a senior account executive.
Sloves, a 12-year veteran of Campbell Soup Company with more than 20 years of communications experience, was most recently senior manager of global R&D communications at Campbell. Prior to that, she led nutrition and wellness communications for Campbell North America brands.
At FoodMinds, she will be charged with leading strategy and oversight of teams for several accounts, and will collaborate closely with FoodMinds partners and senior executives, including chief science officer Robert C. Post, Ph.D., MEd., MSc., and managing directors Erin DeSimone, MS, RD, and Michelle Kijek.
Alessi most recently worked at Weber Shandwick since beginning her career in 2010. At FoodMinds, she will help to co-manage the FoodMinds internship program. Alessi is a member of the Chicago Dietetic Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
These appointments come a month after USDA executive Dr. Post was appointed as the agency’s first chief science officer.