ShopperTrak: Holiday sales up 1.7%
New York City ShopperTrak said Monday that sales for November and December rose 1.7% and customer counts slipped 2.9%. That’s better than ShopperTrak’s predictions for a 1.6% sales gain and a 4.2% drop in traffic.
For the holiday 2008 season, sales fell 6% and traffic declined 15%, according to ShopperTrak.
ShopperTrak measures retail sales and traffic at more than 50,000 outlets.
The final holiday data is in line with numbers recently released from the International Council of Shopping Centers and MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse. The ICSC said Thursday that its holiday sales index was up 1.8%, better than the 1% gain originally expected.
A final surge in the days before Christmas and post-Christmas shopping helped save the season as consumers, either waiting for the best deals or shut in by snowstorms, delayed their buying.
Rounding out the season, sales and traffic for the week ending Jan. 2 rose sharply as consumers redeemed gift cards, took advantage of post holiday sales, and relieved some pent-up demand to buy items that might have been peripheral on their holiday lists. ShopperTrak reports retail sales increased 15.3% for the period, while traffic rose 3.5% as compared with last year.
“The 2009 holiday season most likely caused universal heartburn for the retail industry as the relative strength and optimism on Black Friday weekend was subdued by the record low numbers on Super Saturday — only to rebound during the last two weeks of the season ultimately pushing 2009 into the black,” said ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin. “Although a sales increase of less than 2% with a 2.9% traffic decline doesn’t seem that significant compared to last year, this performance follows a steady downward sales and traffic decline seen throughout 2009 and undoubtedly retailers hope this positive trend will continue into early 2010 and beyond.”
For ShopperTrak’s full holiday 2009 analysis, please visit ShopperTrak’s newly designed Website, shoppertrak.com.
Barnes & Noble College Booksellers launches textbook rental service
NEW YORK Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, announced that it has created a multichannel textbook rental program for college students. According to the company, Barnes & Noble College is the first nationwide bookseller to offer a multichannel program.
At the beginning of the 2009 fall semester, Barnes & Noble College said it was test piloting the rental program in three of its 636 campus bookstores. Since then, the program has expanded to 25 of their campus bookstores including The Ohio State University, The University of Maryland, Borough of Manhattan Community College and University of South Carolina.
The rental program enables students to rent textbooks by logging into their campus bookstore’s e-commerce site. They can also rent from their campus Barnes & Noble bookstore.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from students and faculty to our rental program and as a result have continued to expand it to other colleges and universities across the country,” said Max Roberts, president of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. “What makes our program so unique is that we’ve made saving on textbooks even easier for students by providing them the option of ordering their rentals online and having them shipped or picked up at their campus bookstore.”
Kodak names winner of Best Buy video contest
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Best Buy sales associate Jason Kuntz was named the winner of Kodak’s “Print & Prosper Playback Payback” video contest for his creative rap video, “Sweet Sound of Ink Savings,” Kodak reported.
Kodak said it designed the contest exclusively for Best Buy sales associates with the goal of helping them better understand and market Kodak’s savings message, specifically on its All-in-One (AiO) Inkjet Printers, which offer consumers savings of $110 a year on average on ink, based on as few as four pages per day.
“The Print & Prosper Playback Video Contest demonstrates Kodak’s dedication to providing unique support programs to our retail partners,” said Vincent Young, director, marketing communications, Americas region for Eastman Kodak Company. “We applaud Jason Kuntz and all the Best Buy retail associates who participated in the program for their creativity and commitment to educating consumers about the incredible value Kodak delivers with its innovative inkjet printers and affordable ink.”