REAL ESTATE

Shaw’s Supermarkets to close five underperforming locations

BY CSA STAFF

West Bridgewater, Mass. — Shaw’s Supermarkets has announced that it will close five unprofitable stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island by the middle of next month.

The company said in a statement that it decided "only after careful evaluation" to close the stores. The Massachusetts stores are in New Bedford, Stoneham and Revere. The Rhode Island locations are in Johnston, and on Bald Hill Road in Warwick.

The stores will be closed by Feb. 17.

The statement said the closings are the result of "the competitive markets we operate in, and today’s difficult economic environment."

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FINANCE

Year-over-year sales up 6.5% for week ending Jan. 1

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago — Year-over-year retail sales increased 6.5% for the week ending Jan. 1, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate, while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported foot traffic rose 4.1% for the same period.

Although both sales and traffic increased last week, ShopperTrak originally anticipated a more robust performance for the week ending Jan. 1 as the 2010 calendar shift placed Dec. 26 — a day that ranked third and second in 2009 holiday sales and traffic respectively — a week later, creating a favorable yearly comparison. Unfortunately, the blizzard along the Eastern seaboard that delivered record snow amounts crippled retail on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 in all impacted areas, eliminating the strong boost retailers should have seen early last week.

“It seems Mother Nature has impacted a very important selling day for retailers for the second holiday season in a row, moving a day that typically finishes second or third in sales to one that might finish outside of the Top 10 this year,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “Although sales and traffic levels picked up in the Northeast region later in the week, retailers weren’t able to recover all of the $1 billion that was postponed by losing Dec. 26 and 27.”

Martin said he expected there will be some continued momentum this week and into the weekend, which should extend the holiday season and help recover a majority of the delayed shopping.

ShopperTrak data shows because of the blizzard December retail performance will most likely fall below anticipated levels. But based on the unexpected early strength in November, the company still believes its 4.0% sales rise with a 1.8% traffic bump remains accurate.

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.

The ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index measures traffic across five separate retail segments, including total U.S. retailing.

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OPERATIONS

Oracle completes acquisition of ATG

BY CSA STAFF

Redwood Shores, Calif. — Oracle on Wednesday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Art Technology Group (ATG).

With the addition of ATG, Oracle can now provide best-in-class cross-channel CRM, Retail and Commerce that enables unified marketing, merchandising, service and order management, supply chain, and a seamless, personalized customer experience.

“Companies require an integrated solution that can help them unify commerce across all interaction channels, including online, in stores, via mobile devices and with call centers,” said Thomas Kurian, executive VP, Oracle Development. “The combination of technologies from Oracle and ATG provides consistent cross-channel interactions, unified service, and an improved customer experience all built on an industry standard middleware platform.”

To communicate product strategy for the combined Oracle and ATG products, the company will host a webcast presentation, which will be available beginning at 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 6, at the following link: http://bit.ly/hNmVSK

“Oracle’s acquisition of ATG is important for current Oracle Retail users who’ve been contemplating an e-commerce refresh, but it also creates an opportunity for the mid-market, with end-to-end-to-end-to-end solutions available from a single vendor. Oracle is assembling a stunning suite of retail products,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner, RSR Research.

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