FINANCE

Retail sales expected to increase 1.2% in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago Retail sales and traffic for first quarter 2010 are expected to perform similarly to the 2009 holiday shopping season, providing a slight lift for retailers as the retail year begins, according to ShopperTrak.

Total U.S. foot traffic is expected to increase 1.8%, according to the company’s Retail Traffic Index, while its National Retail Sales Estimate is forecasting a 1.2% retail sales rise for the three-month period.

Following a dismal 2009, retailers received some much needed positivity during the holidays as the late spending rush saved the season, providing a 1.7% retail sales increase with a 2.9% traffic decline — slightly above the company’s anticipated performance.

After analyzing current and historical data, ShopperTrak believes retail sales will perform very similar to the holidays, while quarterly traffic is expected to increase. By comparison, ShopperTrak reported first-quarter sales in 2009 fell 4.2%, while total U.S. foot traffic slipped a sharp 13.0%.

Retailers should experience lower sales and traffic levels in the early first quarter following the holiday shopping season. ShopperTrak said these slower levels will most likely continue through President’s Day (Feb. 15) — which should provide a slight uptick due to the long weekend — then remain slightly above last year’s pace until St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), which could also provide a slight retail uptick as well.

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Safeway promotes ‘The Market’ with swag

BY CSA STAFF

SAN JOSE, Calif. Safeway announced that it is promoting its new “The Market by Safeway” store concept in San Jose, Calif., by hosting a three-day “Swag-apalooza event on the San Jose State University campus Jan. 26 to Jan. 28.

Brand ambassadors for The Market will be on campus to inform students about its products and services, the company reported. Students will also have the chance to win such prizes as free pizza, energy drinks and $10 gift cards. Brand Ambassadors will also distribute free music download cards as well as offer students a chance to to win a  50” flat screen TV, Xbox, futon and mini-fridge stocked with food.

The Market was introduced in August, 2009 and occupies 24,000 square feet on the ground floor of The 88 apartment tower, at 2nd and San Fernando in San Jose, Calif.

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Best Buy promotes TV deals

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy this week is promoting deals on televisions and other home theater products.

With the Super Bowl coming soon, Best Buy announced that, through Feb. 6, it is offering the Samsung 46-inch 1080p LED TV (Model: UN46B6000VF) for $1,599.99 — a savings of $900.00. And this week only, customers looking for a complete home theater make-over can purchase that Samsung 46-inch 1080p LED TV, along with a Samsung soundbar and WiFi Bluray player, Rocketfish HDMI cable, and Geek Squad installation for only $1,999.99 — a savings of more than $1,400.00. Both offers, as well as any TV over $999.00, are eligible for three-year financing, free delivery and free recycling.

“For decades, Best Buy has delivered a superior viewing experience for sports fans looking to enjoy game day from the comfort of their living rooms,” says Josh Will, vice president of Home Theater, Best Buy. “We offer in-home consultation, superior product selection and installation services, as well as some of the best values in the industry to give our customers a home theater experience that fits their individual needs.”

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