ShopperTrak: Late shoppers fueled sales, traffic
Chicago — National retail sales increased 2.5% and foot traffic also increased 2.5% when compared with the same two months last year, according to ShopperTrak, the world’s largest counter of retail foot traffic.
ShopperTrak’s initial data indicates that shoppers spent $248.8 billion during this period, which marked the third consecutive year with positive total retail sales. It also was the second holiday season of the past three with positive foot traffic changes.
The 2012 holiday season had the longest interval possible between Black Friday and Christmas, with an extra weekend of holiday shopping. As a result, many consumers procrastinated in finishing their holiday shopping.
But once the late-bloomers headed out to stores, their last-minute shopping and post-Christmas exchanges drove large increases in both retail sales and foot traffic during the final days of December. ShopperTrak forecasts that for the week ending Dec. 29, sales increased 18% and traffic increased 14.4% compared to the same period last year. This indicates the largest year-over-year increase of the holiday season.
“Heavy discounting by retailers at the end of December led to increases in shopper activity across the board,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin.
ShopperTrak estimates that three of the busiest foot traffic days occurred in late December. Though “Black Weekend” held its own – Black Friday, Nov. 23, retains the top spot and Saturday, Nov. 24 comes in as the fifth-busiest traffic day – the weekends leading up to Christmas saw the most shoppers at stores and malls. ShopperTrak reports that “Super Saturday,” Dec. 22, was the second-busiest shopping day of the season, followed by Saturday, Dec. 15 in third and Sunday, Dec. 23 ranking fourth.
Similarly, the top sales days of the holidays took place largely toward the end of the season. Black Friday again led the pack, followed by Super Saturday. Dec. 23, Dec. 21, and Dec. 15, in that order, rounded out the top five best sales days of the holidays. They helped to close the holiday season on a high note, according to Martin.
“The presidential election and Hurricane Sandy drew consumers’ attention away from shopping at the outset of the holiday retail season,” said Martin. “However, lower unemployment, higher consumer confidence and stable gas prices positively influenced shoppers to make purchases this holiday season.”
Former J&J exec named CFO at data management group
The global data management organization known as 1WorldSync named Gary Lo as its new CFO.
Lo spent the past 15 years in finance roles at Johnson & Johnson and other leading companies. At 1WorldSync he will be responsible for global finance, accounting, treasury, internal controls and legal functions.
"Gary is the perfect addition to 1WorldSync as we intensify efforts to continue our global expansion," said 1WorldSync CEO Nihat Arkan. "We’re entering 2013 with an aggressive plan to launch new product data management solutions to support global trade, and Gary’s vision and knowledge of global technology businesses complement our goals."
In his prior role at Johnson & Johnson Diagnostics, Lo was responsible for North America commercial finance, worldwide compliance and global financial systems. In this role, he was a member of the commercial executive team responsible for sales performance and market growth. Before joining Johnson & Johnson in 2003, he held finance roles with Siebel Systems (now Oracle) in Singapore as well as Boston Scientific and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
1WorldSync is the industry leader in global product data management and data pool solutions certified for the GS1 Global Data Standardization Network. It has more than 15,000 customers in 40 countries who rely on its solutions and services to share trusted product information with one another and with consumers. 1WorldSync is a joint venture of GS1 Germany and GS1 US, which are member organizations of GS1, the organization that develops global standards for identifying, capturing and sharing product information.
Lululemon pops up across from its flagship in NYC
NEW YORK — A major renovation may be underway at Lululemon’s flagship store in Manhattan, but the fast growing retailer isn’t missing a beat.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based operator of 201 stores has set up a temporary store at 1142 Third Ave., across from its flagship location to satisfy the New Yorkers’ needs while the four-month renovation is underway.
"Exercising and staying in good shape are inherent to the character of the Upper East Side lifestyle. This brand resonates with people here, and I’m sure the residents are relieved not to have any disruptions from some of their favorite shopping," said Joseph Aquino, an EVP with Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, the firm that helped Lululemon establish the temporary location. The location is the former site of a Uniqlo pop-up shop and the space is on the same block as Thierry Rabotin, Bare Escentuals, Caché, Canyon Beachwear and Arden B. "The Lululemon Athletica flagship across the street is currently undergoing a major renovation, so this temporary home ensures its continued presence on the avenue. We are delighted that the timing and circumstances worked out so well,” said Faith Hope Consolo, CEO, Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group.
Lululemon has enjoyed rapid growth since it was founded in 1998. The retailer hosts in-store events ranging from self-defense to goal-setting workshops to complimentary yoga classes led by their appointed community ambassadors. It runs a blog on its store site and encourages its customers to sign up for weekly emails where they can get updates on what local stores have available.
During the company’s recently ended third quarter sales grew by 37% to $316.5 million thanks in large part to an 18% same store sales increased. For the first nine months of the year, sales are up 41% to $885 million and same store sales are up 19%.
“Our stellar results were driven by first-rate execution, strong community engagement, beautiful product and continued strength in our ecommerce business,” Lululemon CEO Christine Day said at the time.