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Perry Ellis International launches golf apparel e-commerce site

BY CSA STAFF

Perry Ellis International has launched a new e-commerce site dedicated to selling Callaway Golf Apparel. The callawayapparel.com site offers U.S. and Canadian customers a fully-branded, state-of-the-art online shopping experience, and will be available throughout Latin America by mid-November.

"Callaway continues to be a leading premium performance golf brand worldwide and this e-commerce initiative provides yet another way to market the brand at every touch point, developing cutting-edge systems for engagement and customer satisfaction," commented Oscar Feldenkreis, president & COO of Perry Ellis International.

The e-commerce site will also include behind-the-scenes videos, style and golf tips, social media outreach initiatives, as well as a full collection of men’s and women’s shirts, pants, shorts, outerwear, rain gear and belts for sports enthusiasts, golfers and non-golfers alike.

Callaway apparel can also be purchased at major retailers and green grass distributors, including Belk, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Golfsmith, Nordstrom and Rochester Big & Tall, as well as major golf resorts including Pebble Beach, La Costa, Troon North and Disney Golf Shops.

"We are excited to continue strengthening our partnership with Perry Ellis International," stated Mark Leposky, SVP of global operations for Callaway. "They are leaders in the golf apparel industry and we have utmost confidence that this new dotcom initiative will be successful and mutually profitable for both our companies. We look forward to seeing it unveiled."

Perry Ellis International is a leading designer, distributor and licensor of a broad line of men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and fragrances, as well as select children’s apparel. The company’s collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses and men’s and women’s swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution.

The company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of national and international brands, including: Perry Ellis, Jantzen, Laundry by Shelli Segal, C&C California, Rafaella, Cubavera, Ben Hogan, Centro, Munsingwear, Savane, Original Penguin by Munsingwear, Grand Slam, Natural Issue, Pro Player, the Havanera Co., Gotcha, MCD, John Henry, Mondo di Marco, Redsand, Manhattan, Axist, Farah, Anchor Blue, Miller’s Outpost, Tahoe River Outfitters, Original Khaki Company and Techworks. The company also licenses trademarks from third parties, including Nike and Jag for swimwear, and Callaway, PGA TOUR and Champions Tour for golf apparel.

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Shoppers’ spending intentions contradict NRF holiday forecast

BY CSA STAFF

Shoppers responding to a recent National Retail Federation survey said they expect to spend slightly less this holiday season in contrast to an earlier economic forecast by the trade group which indicated spending during November and December would rise by 3.9%.

The discrepancy between the two figures relates to the manner in which the information was collected coupled with the fact that shoppers’ stated intentions often differ materially from their actual behavior. Even though the recent survey of shoppers shows a 2% decline in average spending per person the 3.9% growth figure for the November and December timeframe is still valid because economic conditions are far from the levels seen in 2009 when sales actually declined.

“Though the foundation for solid holiday season growth exists, Americans are questioning the stability of our economy, our government and their own finances,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “We expect consumers to set a modest budget for gifts and other holiday related purchases as they wait and see what will become of the U.S. economy in the coming months.

Average spending per person this holiday season will decline 2% to $737 from $752, according to the survey of 6,415 consumers conducted October 1-8 by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Conversely, an earlier forecast conducted by NRF based on a wide range of data from the U.S. Commerce Department forecast holiday spending, as defined as the months of November and December, would rise 3.9%.

Regardless of whether either number proves accurate, the more recent survey sheds interesting light on the rapidly evolving behaviors of shoppers in the digital world. For example, more than half of survey respondents said they plan to shop online this season with the average person completing about 39.5% — the highest level ever — of their shopping online. NRF’s digital division, Shop.org, is forecasting online sales will grow between 13% and 15% to as much as $82 billion.

A key enabler of the increased digital activity will be mobile devices. The survey showed that more than half (56.3%) of holiday shoppers say they own a smartphone, and more than one-third (34%) own a tablet — both significantly higher than this time last year. Of those who own a smartphone, 53.8% will use their device to look up store hours, compare prices and purchase products while 63% of tablet owners will use their device to shop, compare prices and look up product information.

While the digital shift is undeniable, two key variables with the potential to exert a powerful impact on spending involve the budget impasse in Washington and the steady decline in gas prices.

For the first time, NRF asked holiday shoppers if the political gridlock in Washington around U.S. fiscal concerns would affect their holiday spending plans and about one third said the situation would somewhat or very likely affect their spending plans. When asked specifically about the overall state of the economy and how it would affect their spending plans, more than half of consumers said the economy would in some way impact how they spend this holiday season. Specifically, 79.5% plan to spend less overall, looking to cut corners and tighten budgets where they can, according to the survey.

Of course, personal financial circumstances tend to be the prime determinant of how much an individual spends during the holidays. So with the price of gas falling steadily and some forecasts calling for sub-$3-a-gallon prices soon American consumers could get a meaningful psychological lift just when retailers need it the most.

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Former Secretary of Defense Panetta to keynote 2014 NACDS annual meeting

BY CSA STAFF

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has announced that former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 NACDS annual meeting, which will be held April 26-29 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“The world remains tremendously complex, and one can only imagine the global dynamics that will be at the top of the news in April 2014. Whatever the headlines, Secretary Panetta is one of the select few who has the firsthand experience to deliver meaningful insights to NACDS Annual Meeting attendees on issues of national security,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE.

Panetta served as the 23rd secretary of defense under President Obama, during which time he oversaw the final removal of American troops from Iraq as well as the beginning of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

Prior to leading the Department of Defense, Panetta served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2009-2011, and most notably was responsible for overseeing the operation that resulted in the capture of Osama bin Laden. Panetta also served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He also represented California’s 16th (now 17th) Congressional District from 1977 to 1993, serving as U.S. House Budget committee chairman for four years.

An advocate for public service, Panetta also co-directed with this wife, Sylvia, the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy based at California State University. The nonpartisan and nonprofit center seeks to instill in young men and women the virtues and values of public service.

Panetta received his bachelors of arts degree in political science and law degree from Santa Clara University. He served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer from 1964 to 1966, and received the Army Commendation Medal.

The NACDS represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchants with pharmacies — from regional chains with four stores to national companies. Chains operate more than 41,000 pharmacies and employ more than 3.8 million employees, including 132,000 pharmacists. They fill more than 2.7 billion prescriptions annually, which is more than 72% of annual prescriptions in the United States. The total economic impact of all retail stores with pharmacies transcends their more than $1 trillion in annual sales. Every $1 spent in these stores creates a ripple effect of $1.81 in other industries, for a total economic impact of $1.81 trillion, equal to 12% of GDP.

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