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Retail Forward sees stronger spending in 2010

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio Retail same-store sales excluding Wal-Mart increased 3.0% in December as shoppers gave a particular boost to apparel spending during the holidays, Retail Forward said Thursday.

The sales-weighted composite for the 32 retailers reporting — most of them apparel retailers — was better than the 0.9% same-store sales gain last month and the 4.1% decline in December 2008 for the same measure calculated without Wal-Mart. Including Wal-Mart, same-store sales were down 1.5% in December 2008.

“The trend through the holidays is now pretty clear that shoppers are moving toward stronger spending into 2010. But it’s also clear that some cautiousness will persist and that spending will remain uneven across categories and retailers,” said Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward, a Kantar Retail Co.

December’s results were led by stronger than average results at apparel and accessory stores, according to Retail Forward. Results at department stores lagged, although they posted a composite gain. Food, drug and mass retailers reported composite results close to the average.

In terms of competition from online retailers, Amazon.com weighed heaviest on sales at stores while online performance was mixed among other online retailers, according to Retail Forward’s ShopperScape results. More than half of all households shopped for holiday gifts at Amazon.com — an eight percentage point gain compared with 2008. Meanwhile, the rate at which Amazon converted shoppers to purchasers held steady (72%) despite the increase in shoppers.

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Dollar General names former CVS exec to board

BY CSA STAFF

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. Dollar General David Rickard to its board of directors.

Rickard served as EVP, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of CVS Caremark Corporation and CVS Pharmacy from September 1999 until December 2009. Prior to joining CVS Caremark, Rickard was the SVP and chief financial officer of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corporation from 1997 to 1999.

“We are pleased to welcome such a retail veteran to our board,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “Dave’s years of experience and diverse retail industry background will be an asset to the Dollar General board. We are certain that his expertise will serve Dollar General well as we work to move the company forward.”

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TWE reports December comps decline

BY CSA STAFF

ALBANY, N.Y. Trans World Entertainment reported a comparable-store sales decrease of 5% for the five-week period ended Jan. 2.

For the nine-week period ended Jan.2, comparable-store sales decreased 8%.  Total sales for the nine-week period were $241 million compared with $287 million for the same period last year, a decrease of 16%.  

For the eleven-month period ended Jan. 2, comparable-store sales decreased 10%. Total sales for the period decreased 18% to $760 million compared with $930 million during the same period last year.

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