FINANCE

Retail Sales on the Rise

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, For the third consecutive week, retail chain stores saw positive results as sales rose slightly by 0.3% for the week ending July 16, compared to the previous week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). On a year-over-year basis, sales increased 4%.

“It is a transition time for retailers as summer goods and summer clearance are certainly still driving the consumer, but back-to-school shopping has not yet kicked into gear,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “For July, the easy industry comparison with last year (3.1% in July 2004) is offset by less summer clearance as a result of the good sell-through in June and potentially somewhat softer discretionary spending due to the higher fuel prices. ICSC expects monthly comp-store sales performance will increase by 4% to as much as 5% in July,” Niemira added.

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Hundreds of Walgreens Pharmacists Return to Work

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill., Hundreds of striking Walgreens pharmacists have returned to work in Chicago-area stores. The actual number of pharmacists that have returned to work varies between reports from Walgreens and the National Pharmacists Association union. According to Walgreens, 409 pharmacists or about 36% have returned to work. The union, however, reports 300 pharmacists or about 25% have returned.

The strike, organized by the union, has entered its second week and was called to address staffing shortages and working conditions. Walgreens reported the return of pharmacists has allowed 64 pharmacies to return to their normal hours, including 25 pharmacies that are open 24 hours.

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Kohl’s Effects Turnaround With New Brands

BY CSA STAFF

Menomonee Falls, Wis., Ayear-long climb on Wall Street, which culminated in a 14.4 % jump in June sales, is due, say analysts, to a host of new clothing lines that have helped drive store traffic and boost sales at Kohl’s.

After 2003-2004 struggles with stagnant fashion sales and excess inventories, Kohl’s made a big investment in brands and rolled out an exclusive string of new apparel names that were more fashion-forward and more popular with shoppers.

Next up for Kohl’s is an expansion of the jewelry and home offerings, as well as a deal to sell clothing under the skateboarder Tony Hawk’s Quicksilver brand and Candie’s brand.

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