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Ross Stores Appoints New VP

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif., Ross Stores has appointed Michael Kobayashi to the position of senior VP and CIO, effective Dec. 16. He will report directly to Jim Peters, the retailer’s president and COO. Prior to joining Ross, Kobayashi spent 18 years with Accenture, most recently as a partner with the Retail & Consumer Goods practice.

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Holiday Sales Stats Off to a Strong Start

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Let the deluge of holiday-season statistics begin.

A National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch found that the average shopper spent $265.15 this weekend, bringing total weekend spending to $22.8 billion.

That amount represents more than 10% of the $220 billion expected in total holiday sales this year. Though Black Friday weekend was a success for many retailers, stores recognize that the bulk of holiday shopping is yet to come.

National survey firm ShopperTrak reported Black Friday sales rose an estimated 10.8% to $8 billion.

Averaging both Friday and Saturday, Visa USA reported that volume on its credit cards rose 14.3% over the same time last year.

MasterCard International said that Thanksgiving weekend sales volume on its cards increased 9.3% over last year.

On the less-optimistic side, Wal-Mart Stores lowered expectations for November same-store sales to an increase of 0.7%—down from 2% to 4%. The company will release its figures on Thursday.

And according to market research firm ACNielsen, 28% of U.S. consumers say they have no extra money to spend.

Of course, these statistics are just the beginning.

“Retailers know that the holiday season is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF president and CEO. “Black Friday weekend is just the beginning of a month-long race to the finish line.”

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Sales Interrupted at Toys ‘R’ Us Flagship

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, There was magic in the air at about 3 p.m. at the Toys “R” Us flagship in Manhattan on the busiest shopping day of the year. And then, there was pepper spray in the air.

After pepper spray was released in the store for unknown reasons on Friday, Nov. 26, some 22 people were taken to local hospitals where they were treated for respiratory injuries. The incident caused the evacuation of about 3,000 shoppers and the deployment of some 80 firefighters. It also led to about an hour-and-a half of lost selling time. A police investigation is continuing.

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