FINANCE

ShopperTrak: Late shoppers fueled sales, traffic

BY Marianne Wilson

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.”

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STORE SPACES

Two new Nordstrom Racks in the works

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle — Nordstrom announced plans to open two new Nordstrom Rack stores, with one in Atlanta, at the Perimeter Expo shopping center, which is owned by Kimco Realty Corp., and the other in Naples, Fla., at The Mercato.

The 36,000-sq,-ft. Atlanta store is scheduled to open in fall 2013. The 30,000-sq.-ft. Naples store is scheduled to open in fall 2013.

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News

Former J&J exec named CFO at data management group

BY CSA STAFF

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.

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