REAL ESTATE

Publix continues to expand in North Carolina

BY Marianne Wilson

Lakeland, Fla. — Publix Super Markets on Friday announced it will enter the Asheville and Cary markets in North Carolina.

The supermarket operator will open a 49,000-sq.-ft store in Asheville, complete with a drive-thru pharmacy, in 2015.

The 49,000-sq.-ft. Cary store is tentatively planned for late 2014.
Publix previously announced its first three North Carolina locations, opening one in Ballantyne in early 2014 and two in the greater Charlotte area, which is slated for a late 2014 opening date.

"Publix continues to aggressively look for additional locations throughout the state of North Carolina as it strives to meet and exceed the expectations of the communities it will serve," the company stated in a press release.

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REAL ESTATE

Rabeanco opens first U.S. store

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Rabeanco, known for quality leather accessories and fashion forward styles, opened its first American storefront, in the Westfield Santa Anita Mall, Arcadia, Calif. It is the first of three U.S. locations the company plans to open in 2013.

Designed by Rabeanco in collaboration with interior designer Yukiharu Takematsu, the 2,000-sq.-ft. store has a modern, chic interior. A 7-ft.-high video display flashes various product and glossy ad campaign images.

Merchandise is displayed atop wooden tables with urethane piano coating. The collections are also showcased on stainless steel plate polished wall displays with marble inlay.

“Southern California will play an important role in Rabeanco’s U.S. strategy with our second store opening next month on North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. The launch of Rabeanco.com two months ago combined with the opening of our Arcadia store provides the foundation for a multi-channel experience for U.S. consumers," said Kevin M. Frain, CFO and head of e-commerce.

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OPERATIONS

Readers pay attention to e-books and social media, prefer Amazon

BY Dan Berthiaume

Portsmouth, R.I. — Readers now prefer e-books to printed paperbacks and use social media to help make purchase decisions, and Amazon.com is the overwhelming first choice for book purchases. Results of a survey of almost 3,000 readers conducted by novelist Marie Force show that 77% of respondents read e-books and 52% read paperbacks, although multiple answers to this questions were allowed meaning some readers may use both formats.

In addition, Amazon.com is the overwhelming favorite book retailer, used by nearly 80% of respondents. Barnes & Noble came in a distant second with 23% of respondents buying books there. Nearly 58% of respondents have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have only done so twice. Twenty-five percent visit a bookstore once a month and 20% visit a brick and mortar bookstore twice a month or more.

Other results indicate the importance of social media, especially Facebook, in promoting books. When asked about where they get their information about authors, readers indicated author websites (63%) and Facebook (62%) were the places they were most likely to go for information. When it comes to finding information about books, 18% listed Facebook as their primary source, followed by retail sites at 17%, Goodreads at 13% and author websites at 13%.

Sixty percent of those surveyed said they do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter, whereas 87% say they follow their favorite authors on Facebook. Also 53% of readers say they are "somewhat" swayed by reviews, and when asked which reviews are most important to them, 50% chose reviews posted by other readers to retail sites

"The results of this survey more or less confirm what some of the more business-savvy authors already knew," said Force. "E-books are a huge and growing part of the market, paperback books still matter to many consumers, the reviews that are most influential to potential readers are those left on retail sites by other readers, and the author name is the brand that matters most in the digital age. We suspected these things, but now we can prove them."

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