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One-In-Five Shoppers Plan to Shop Wednesday, Says ICSC

BY CSA STAFF

New York City

The gift-buying frenzy may be over, but Wednesday kicks off the next phase of the holiday shopping season as one-in-five shoppers plan to hit the malls, according to a holiday survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC) and UBS Securities LLC.

The survey, which was conducted between Dec. 13-16, 2007, polled 1,018 adults comprising 510 men and 508 women, 18 years of age and older.

The survey said that 18% of consumers, or nearly one-in-five consumers surveyed, plan to go shopping today. Many of these shoppers are hitting the stores, gift cards in hand, ready to scout out post-holiday discounts and to return or exchange gifts.

In fact, 29% of the gift cards sold during the holiday period are expected to be redeemed the week after Christmas, according to the ICSC.

“Gift cards have transformed the holiday-shopping landscape and they are extending holiday shopping well past Christmas Day,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC chief economist and director of research. “Dec. 26th begins that new phase of the holiday shopping season. The day is expected to be busy for shopping as consumers flock back to the nation’s retailers.”

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Circuit City quarterly loss widens

BY CSA STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. Circuit City’s financial troubles continue, as the company today reported a wider net loss and a sales decrease for the third quarter.

The company reported that net loss from continuing operations for the quarter totaled $208 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to a net loss of $19.9 million, or 12 cents per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

For the third quarter, the company reported that net sales decreased 3.1% to $2.96 billion from $3.06 billion in the same period last year, with consolidated comparable-store sales decreasing 5.6%. Comparable-store sales increased 5.2% for the third quarter 2006.

“We are very dissatisfied with our third quarter results,” said Philip Schoonover, chairman, president and ceo of Circuit City Stores. “We underestimated the financial impact from the disruption of our transformation work, which contributed to lower close rates, reduced attachments of higher margin accessories and firedog services and lower extended warranty net sales as compared with the prior year. As a result, we are reporting lower sales and higher net losses in the quarter than last year’s third quarter.

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Best Buy names human capital evp

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Thursday announced that John Pershing has been named evp of human capital for the corporation.

Pershing will be in charge of recruiting, training, employee relations and employee development for about 140,000 employees at Best Buys operations around the world. The companys legal department also will report to him. He will report to Brad Anderson, Best Buys vice chairman and ceo. His appointment was effective Dec. 11.

John is an engaging and energetic leader who brings a valued combination of field experience and human resources experience to his new role, said Anderson. He is a champion of the unique culture that we have built at Best Buy. John understands how the ecosystems in which our employees work must be continually adapted so that we create relevant experiences for our customers and build great relationships with them. 

Pershing joined Best Buy in 1989 as a retail manager and steadily advanced to positions of increasing responsibility. In 1999, Pershing was named divisional manager, responsible for loss prevention. He was promoted to vp of retail operations for Musicland, a former Best Buy company, in 2002. In 2005, Pershing took on a new assignment as vp of organizational alignment and the corporate transformation efforts necessary to roll out the companys customer-centric business strategy.

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