FINANCE

Report: Wal-Mart studying India investment conditions

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New Delhi — According to a Thursday report by Reuters, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is examining the conditions around India’s decision to allow supermarkets to open stores in the country.

Citing an Indian government statement, Reuters said that India’s strict conditions attached to foreign supermarket entry into the region have prompted Wal-Mart to take a longer look. Wal-Mart International CEO Doug McMillon said the retailer remains excited about India but wants to study the conditions, including those around sourcing, before making a formal investment announcement, according to the report.

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REAL ESTATE

C-store total poised to surpass 150,000 units

BY Staff Writer

New York — The latest data from Nielsen shows the number of U.S. convenience stores continues to expand and last year set a new record with 149,220 units.

That figures is up 1,094 units from the prior year so the increase amounts to only a 0.7% gain, according to the 2013 National Association of Convenience Stores/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count. Even so, the growth is noteworthy at a time when overall expansion of selling space in the broader retailer industry has remained stagnant even though the recession officially ended in 2009.

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which now account for nearly 63% of all convenience stores, but the fastest growing segment of the industry is among operators with more than 500 stores. The store count among companies with more than 500 units grew by 8.9% to 21,738 stores, compared with the less than 1% growth that saw units operated by independents increase to 93,819 stores.

Convenience stores now account for 34.8% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, and the total count of slightly more than 149,000 units is double what it was in 1982.

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Apr-20-2013 07:35 pm

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FINANCE

Alex and Ani’s holiday sales see significant boost with help of mobile checkouts

BY Marianne Wilson

Boston — Popular jewelry retailer Alex and Ani implemented a mobile point-of-sale application that all but eliminated customer lines and helped increase sales by 318% over the previous holiday season, Mobiquity announced.

Mobiquity implemented a mobile POS application that allows Alex and Ani to cultivate a stronger relationship with customers, translating into increased sales and loyalty. The application – delivered via Daily Systems’ iAPS sled for iPod touch – offers mobile payment (mPayment) options that markedly improved the checkout process, benefiting both customers and Alex and Ani by shortening long holiday lines.

“Mobile checkouts have given the store environment a more intimate feel, and improved the flow of customer traffic while almost eliminating lines,” said Alex and Ani chief technology officer, Joseph Lezon. “By integrating mobile into our VIOPSYS point-of-sale system, we were able to positively impact the in-store shopping experience during the busy shopping season, which is exactly the kind of positive energy we want customers to associate with the Alex and Ani brand.”

With the mobile POS application, Alex and Ani increased points of checkout from four to 10 in most of its 28 stores across the U.S., and in one store, from five to 25. The resulting increase in sales opportunities allowed Alex and Ani to hire more staff to personally assist customers for the duration of their visit.

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Jan-27-2013 01:08 am

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