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ShopperTrak Report: Retail sales up 1.6% in October

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago — A report released Wednesday by ShopperTrak found that total GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) retail sales for the month of October increased 1.6% while total U.S. foot traffic rose 1.0% for the same period as compared to last year.

ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported that both Columbus Day and the Halloween holidays helped push retail levels into the black in October.

Although traffic increased in October, as measured by the company’s Retail Traffic Index, results across the country were mixed as cooler weather in the Gulf states drove an increase in traffic for purchases of winter apparel, while warmer weather in the Midwest and Northeast accounted for year-over-year losses.

On a month-over-month comparison, total U.S. foot traffic and retail sales both increased a strong 4.3% as compared with September due to the Halloween and Columbus Day boost — an expected monthly rise retailers see annually.

“Even with the help of some holidays in October, our data shows yearly retail levels performed just better than flat, which indicates the American consumer is most likely holding on to all disposable income right now in preparation for the holiday shopping season,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “While it seems early holiday promotions and door buster sales throughout the month didn’t provide a substantial boost, retailers are more concerned with November and December performance, a period we believe will post a sales increase of 2.9% with flat traffic.”

ShopperTrak also reported that foot traffic in the Apparel & Accessories Store segment was flat compared with last year, followed by the Wireless & Electronics segment, which fell 1.1%.

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Holiday food event returns to Sam’s Club

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sam’s Club announced its eighth annual Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club, a nationwide event that offers Sam’s Club members and guests the opportunity to sample a wide-variety of gourmet foods, preview cooking demonstrations and take part in holiday decoration workshops.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, 20 and 21 at more than 600 Sam’s Club locations across the country. According to the company, the event will feature nearly 50 menu items to sample including USDA choice beef, premium side dishes and desserts.

“The Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club event is a great way to kick-off the holiday season to try delicious favorites and new recipes from Sam’s Club, while taking part in live cooking and decorating demonstrations,” said Shawn Baldwin, SVP fresh, freezer and cooler at Sam’s Club. “The tastings will offer something for everyone, from gourmet appetizers and entrees to fresh fruits, vegetables and locally prepared desserts.”

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GameStop to offer exclusive edition of Conduit 2

BY CSA STAFF

GRAPEVINE, Texas GameStop, SEGA of America Inc. and High Voltage Software Inc. today announced details of the exclusive GameStop Limited Edition of Conduit 2, the epic science fiction shooter exclusively for the Wii system from Nintendo. The Conduit 2 Limited Edition features the 44-page “The Art of the Game” Conduit 2 art book and two unlockable items: a new armor skin and an enhanced ASE search device. Conduit 2 is set to be released in February 2011 in North America.

The Conduit 2 Limited Edition package features:

    * 44-page art book featuring a rich selection of concept art and design development insights into Conduit 2’s science fiction world, weapons, and enemies.     * The “Eye of Ra” device is an enhanced in-game “All Seeing Eye” (A.S.E.) device that captures Conduit 2’s hidden secrets in twice the speed.     * The “Gold Destroyer Armor” multiplayer skin based on the lead character’s primary armor.

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