FINANCE

Sears launches Energy Star Rebate site

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill. Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears has launched a new online tool to help their customers identify appliance rebates offered by their state through the Energy Star Appliance Rebate Program.

The program, which is federally funded, is operated by the individual states, each with its own regulations on what qualifies for a rebate and how much.

Customers can log onto sears.com/energystar to learn what Energy Star appliances qualify for rebates in their state, how much of a rebate they qualify for and access the proper paperwork to apply for that rebate.

“At Sears, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier and more affordable for Americans to swap out their old, inefficient appliances for new, Energy Star models,” said Doug Moore, president of Home Appliances for Sears.

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A perfect storm for shoplifters

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers are fortunate the majority of customers are honest and choose to pay for the items they need and want. However, even the most well intentioned shoppers can succumb to the allure of theft when their moral compass is exposed to the polarizing forces of a recessionary economy and a retail environment where the perceived risk of apprehension is low due to thinly staffed stores. As a result, retail theft characterized as amateur or opportunistic is on the rise, according to 78% of retailers responding to a survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). While amateur and opportunistic thieves are more active, all types of theft have increased, with 74% of retailers reporting seeing an increase of stolen items found in online marketplaces, and 65% reporting increased theft by organized groups.

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A rebound awaits in key categories

BY CSA STAFF

Target is the beneficiary of a perceived quality gap relative to Walmart, and that typically helps it in head-to-head comparisons where such categories as apparel and home are concerned. Unfortunately, consumer decision-making is seldom so linear, and Target has a slew of other retailers against whom it must compete, and recent sales results suggest it has work to do. Target has reported weak (flat or declining) results for its apparel and home categories and did so again in February. However, such companies as TJX, Ross and Kohl’s, which appeal to the same value-oriented shoppers as Target, produced solid gains. TJX said its February same-store sales increased 10%, Ross produced an 11% increase and Kohl’s was up 3.7%. Also producing gains were such competitors as Nordstrom, Macy’s and JCPenney, which serve customers squarely in the crosshairs of Target’s “expect more, pay less” value proposition. Macy’s reported a better-than-expected increase of 3.7%, and Nordstrom topped analysts’ views with a 10.3% increase. JCPenney’s same-store sales rose 1.2%, which was also better than expected.

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