OPERATIONS

Report: Man bought ammunition at Walmart before Friday shooting

BY CSA STAFF

Reno, Nevada A report Monday night said that a gunman bought ammunition at a Reno, Nev., Walmart store shortly before opening fire on three co-workers in the same store.

According to the Associated Press report, which cited police authorities, suspect John Dennis Gillane bought handgun ammunition in the sporting goods department about an hour before three managers were shot on Friday.

The suspect, a former Wal-Mart employee, was armed with two handguns during the videotaped attack but only a semi-automatic pistol was fired, police Lt. Mohammad Rafaqat told AP. The .44-magnum revolver for which the ammunition was bought was not fired, Rafaqat added.

The condition of two victims wounded in their torsos was upgraded Monday from serious to stable condition. The third victim, who was shot in the leg, was released after treatment Friday.

The gunman surrendered to police after six hours in an office inside Walmart. He had been a Walmart employee off an on for nine years and most recently worked in the store’s receiving department, according to AP.

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FINANCE

Survey: Holiday sales to hit $519 billion; strongest growth will be in electronics

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Holiday retail sales will grow by a strong 4.5% [+/- 0.5%] year-over-year to a record $519 billion, according to retail consulting and research firm Customer Growth Partners, New Canaan, Conn.

“Consumers have endured over two years of economic body blows, but have been slowly picking themselves off the mat since last year, despite the employment woes,” said Craig Johnson, president Consumer Growth Partners (CPG). “The 83% of Americans with full-time jobs are beginning to spend again, and they will drive retailers to the best year-over-over holiday sales growth since 2005.”

CGP’s 4.5% forecast for the November-December holiday shopping season is above consensus estimates of 2% to 3% growth (National Retail Federation has forecast growth of 2.3%). The CGP forecast includes direct-to-consumer sales, primarily e-commerce sales, which are excluded in NRF’s forecast. Direct sales have been the fastest growing segment of retail since the 1990’s, and in 2009 represented some 10% of total holiday sales.

  • Among merchandise categories, the strongest growth will come in electronics and appliances, up some 6%, led primarily by e-reader, iPad and mobile phone growth — and secondarily by major appliances, which will exceed their surprise performance at last year’s Black Friday sales.
  • Pent-up demand will drive home-related categories to their strongest growth in half a decade, over 5%, including both home-furnishings and home-improvement retailers.
  • Discount and other value retailers will continue to shine in holiday 2010, led by off-price retailers such as TJX and Ross Stores, low-priced “fast fashionistas” such as Forever 21 H&M and Love Culture, and big boxers such as Costco and an outperforming Target.
  • Sweaters will remain the single most common holiday gift — and may well see a sharp increase as consumers stock up before near Civil War record cotton prices work their way through the supply chain early next year.
  • Traditional holiday retail categories will enjoy a stellar year, including luxury segments such as jewelry, and toys, where expanded distribution — e.g. Toys “R” Us’ pop-up stores — and strong competition from Walmart and Target will drive sales.
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FINANCE

Subway opens 500 locations in third quarter

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Subway announced that it opened 500 new locations in third quarter 2010, or from July 1 to Sept. 30. The chain said its franchisees opened units in 45 counties, 42 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces.

Highlights for the period include reaching more than 33,500 locations worldwide, of which 9,900 can be found in international markets. Of special note is the milestone of 1,100 restaurants reached by the McLean, Va.-Subway Development Corp. of Washington, the company that oversees the chain’s single largest development territory, which includes all of Virginia and Delaware, Washington, D.C., and most of Maryland.

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