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Shopko Enhances Feminine Appeal

BY CSA STAFF

Green Bay, Wis., Shopko is testing a more feminine-looking store design, rolling out the new look to remodeled stores in Great Falls, Mont.; Twin Falls, Idaho; Rapid City, S.D.; and Logan, Utah.

The stores feature a warmer palette and upgraded design details, along with new focal fixtures in the jewelry, accessories, apparel and home categories. The lighting and signing is also being upgraded.

The remodeled stores carry Shopko’s new logo with a tag line geared specifically toward that female customer, “My Life. My Style. My Store.”

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Best Buy launches wireless music experience

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS and SANTA BARBARA, Calif. Best Buy has announced that the Best Buy Digital Music Store, and Sonos, the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the digital home, have partnered to give music fans wireless access to their favorite songs and radio stations.

The system combines Sonos’s wireless, multi-room digital music system with Best Buy’s Digital Music Store, powered by the Rhapsody music service. According to Best Buy this allows users to access millions of songs from and more than 100 commercial-free radio stations anywhere in their homes. Unlimited access to the service is available for $14.99, Best Buy reported.

“Our goal is to deliver entertainment to our customers with new and exciting solutions that enhance people’s lives,” said Mehrdad Akbar, director of digital music for Best Buy. “The direct integration of the Best Buy Digital Music Store with the Sonos Digital Music System is part of that goal. For people who are passionate about music, this is a solution that will let them get the most out of what digital music has to offer.”

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Talbots lowers fall outlook

BY CSA STAFF

HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots revised its earnings per share outlook for the fall season, following weaker than expected quarter-to-date sales results primarily for the Talbots brand. The company said that the conservative consumer spending and industry outlook also contributed to its lowered outlook.

The company said it currently anticipates that its consolidated fall season comparable-store sales will be negative mid to high single digits, compared to its previous plan announced in August of approximately flat with the prior year period. Total company sales for the fall season will be approximately $65 to $75 million below its prior August plan, and now expects a fall season loss for the six-month period ending Febr. 2, 2008 to be in the range of (25 cents) to (35 cents) per share.

Despite, the lowered outlook, Talbots said it has taken steps to strengthen its business. The company said it has revamped its marketing strategy, with increased focus on the Talbots brand. It has also engaged a global consulting firm to assist in strategic review of business, which includes among other operating matters, store growth, productivity, non-core concepts and distribution channels.

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