FINANCE

Prospects bright for holiday sales among luxury consumers

BY Marianne Wilson

Stevens, Pa. — Luxury consumers picked up their pace of shopping in the third quarter, with luxury spending up 25.8% over last quarter, according to Unity Marketing’s Luxury Tracking Survey. "The first half of 2012 showed affluent consumers restrained in spending on luxury goods and services, but spending rebounded strongly in the third quarter survey with signs pointing to rising demand during the critical fourth quarter," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.

Over half (52%) of affluent consumer surveyed feel they are financially better off today than twelve months ago; this measure hasn’t been this high since first quarter 2011.

“Rising even more sharply is the percentage of luxury consumers who feel the country as a whole is doing better now as compared with three months ago,” Danziger said. “Some 37% of affluent surveyed feel the country is now moving in the right direction, up 15 percentage points from last quarter."

Unity Marketing is optimistic about prospects for the fourth quarter especially for retailers that attract affluent consumers, including both the upper-middle income HENRYS (high earners not rich yet with incomes $100,000 to $249,999) and the luxury-leaning ultra-affluents (top 2%, incomes $250,000 and above).

“These affluent consumers are the economy’s ‘heavy-lifters,’ accounting for only 20% of U.S. households, but over 40% of all consumer spending,” Danziger said. “They drive the consumer economy overall and are the primary customers for retailers like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Tiffany."

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REAL ESTATE

tvsdesign celebrates opening of fifth largest retail center in China

BY Marianne Wilson

Tianjin, China — Global architecture and interior design firm, tvsdesign, celebrates the opening of Galaxy Mall, the retail portion of Tianjin’s new Cultural Center District, which opened in October 2012. With 360,000 square meters of total building area, Galaxy Mall ranks among the top five largest retail complexes in China, and is more than 80% leased.

The complex opens out to the cultural activities and pedestrian flow of the grand promenade linking the grand Theater and Opera House to the east and the museums, art gallery and library to the south. The central lake extends into the retail site as the water feature flows down a dramatic waterfall and into the below grade retail.

The retail center features five floors rising to a height of 30 meters above ground and a single below grade level linked to the adjacent subway terminals and underground parking. Creating a concept for the interior of the Galaxy Mall organized around four distinctly unique shopping experiences with the Sun, Moon, Star and Earth Courts, tvsdesign conceived of a unique feature in each court with shopping and dining opportunities.

The complex’s focal point is a crystalline building of feature restaurants. This faceted glass building is the sculptural icon of the Commercial Complex, creating a complementary building edge for the buildings across the lake while maintaining the visual prominence and importance of the Opera House.

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FINANCE

NCR to acquire Retalix

BY Staff Writer

Duluth, Ga. — NCR Corp. announced a definitive agreement for NCR to acquire Retalix Ltd., a leading global provider of innovative retail software and services, for a cash purchase price of $30.00 per Retalix share, for a transaction value of approximately $650 million.

NCR said the addition of Retalix will strengthen NCR’s global leadership position in the retail industry, and builds upon its successful integration of Radiant Systems into the NCR portfolio of solutions. This acquisition demonstrates NCR’s commitment to its strategy and continued transformation to a hardware-enabled, software-driven business model, delivering solutions that materially improve business processes while enabling seamless consumer experiences across touch points, locations, and channels. The transaction is expected to accelerate NCR’s corporate strategy by increasing the portfolio mix of higher-margin software and services, enabling increased value for our customers, and continued growth and improved margins for NCR shareholders.

“Retalix is a strong, strategic fit for NCR and the combination of our two companies will drive significant value for both our shareholders and customers,” said NCR chairman and CEO, Bill Nuti. “Retalix’s market-leading software and services capabilities will enhance NCR’s retail solutions, creating a world-class portfolio of offerings. That innovation, plus the addition of exceptional talent to our team, positions NCR as the global leader in retail innovation.”

NCR also expects to use Retalix’s software to accelerate the development of NCR’s enterprise software platform, creating new software modules that can be used across the retail industry and leveraged across NCR’s financial, travel and hospitality industries on a global scale.

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