OPERATIONS

RILA names compliance director

BY Dan Berthiaume

Arlington, Va. — Ajani Stewart has joined the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) as part of the sustainability team within the RILA legal department. Stewart is leading the development of RILA’s Center for Retail Compliance (CRC). RILA recently received funding to develop the CRC, a web-based resource for retailers and stakeholders in the industry to access solutions and information for maintaining and achieving environmental compliance. Stewart is responsible for the development of the center.

Stewart joins RILA from his post as the Environmental Coordinator for the city of Miami’s Office of Sustainable Initiatives, where he helped develop and lead the city’s sustainability and environmental efforts.

“Ajani possesses significant experience with local, state and federal environmental regulatory frameworks,” said Deborah White, executive VP and general counsel at RILA. “His previous work in environmental consulting and with state and federal regulatory programs, make him a great asset to RILA’s member companies and a talented director of the Center for Retail Compliance.”

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REAL ESTATE

Jared opens 200th store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Akron, Ohio — Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry officially opened its 200th location in Carle Place, N.Y., at the Carle Place Commons Center. The store includes a complementary refreshment area, a children’s play area and a full-service custom jewelry design and repair center, which will custom mount, clean and repair most jewelry.

"We are incredibly proud of the growth of the Jared brand, but even more gratified that our guests continue to value the selection and experience that can only be found at our stores," said Mark Light, president and chief executive officer, Sterling Jewelers Inc. "Our newest location reflects everything that makes Jared special, and we look forward to serving the Carle Place community and many more new areas as we continue to bring the Jared experience to customers nationwide."

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FINANCE

Weather dampens holiday sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Wintry weather across the Midwest and Northeast took its toll on store traffic, as a report by ShopperTrak showed that in-store sales for the week of Dec. 9 to Dec. 15 were down 0.8% from the same week last year. New data from ShopperTrak also shows that in-store shopper traffic also fell last week by 19.9% compared to the same time period in 2012.

Saturday, Dec. 14 saw a decline in both retail sales and shopper traffic, largely a result of a weekend snowstorm that hit the Midwest and Northeast. Compared to the same day last year, brick-and-mortar retail sales fell 5.4% while in-store shopper traffic fell 25.9%.

ShopperTrak expects that several of the days leading up to Christmas, including "Super Saturday" on Dec. 21, will be among the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

"Last weekend’s extreme weather prevented many consumers from completing their holiday shopping," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "But those items remain on their shopping lists and we expect these individuals will add to the high levels of in-store shopper activity we usually see the weekend before Christmas."

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