ShopperTrak: Total U.S. foot traffic falls 3.1%
Chicago ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) Thursday reported that total GAFO retail sales for the month of May increased 3.9% while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported a 3.1% decline in total U.S. foot traffic for the same period as compared with year.
Once again, the 2010 calendar shift influenced consumer shopping patterns last month as Memorial Day fell in June as opposed to May in 2009, slowing traffic patterns for the period, according to ShopperTrak. Although total U.S. foot traffic declined, ShopperTrak reports retail sales posted a solid increase, pointing to a pattern the traffic intelligence company has seen since November 2009 — a smarter consumer planning less visits to the mall with a bigger spend during each trip.
Looking at the month-over-month performance, Mother’s Day spending and the build up to Memorial Day boosted both sales and traffic levels as ShopperTrak’s SRTI reported a 3.3% traffic increase, while the company’s NRSE reported a steady 7.9% rise. The 2010 calendar shift also strongly influenced month-over-month performance as April 2010 did not contain Easter holiday traffic, equaling a slower month.
“Yet again, the monthly retail performance points to a truly resilient consumer who is economically planning trips around perceived value and spending more dollars during each of these visits,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “This continued pattern points to a relatively positive retail environment so far throughout 2010 and after analyzing our data and speaking with our clients we believe this trend will continue throughout the summer and into the holidays as Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4th and eventually back-to-school shopping positively influences retail performance.”
OfficeMax to help Lady Antebellum raise money for flood relief
NASHVILLE, Tenn. OfficeMax has announced that the company is committing $50,000 to a fund-raising challenge as part of Lady Antebellum’s sold-out Fan Club Event benefiting Nashville flood relief on June 10.
OfficeMax said it will match every dollar donated for Nashville schools up to a total of $50,000, will bring much needed support to replenishing essential supplies for Nashville-area schools destroyed in the recent floods.
“Our Nashville-based associates have participated in relief efforts since the flood occurred, and we are very excited to join Lady Antebellum in doing even more for this community,” says Paul Hertz, OfficeMax, EVP retail operations. “As a company, we are acutely aware of challenges schools face in the best of times and we wanted to bring additional support to Nashville schools at this time of dire need.”
Walmart’s Gearhart to take on role of corporate secretary
BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores announced that EVP and general counsel Jeff Gearhart is being promoted to assume the additional role of corporate secretary. Gearhart will report to Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke. The company also announced that EVP and corporate secretary Tom Hyde, whose responsibilities include the legal, ethics and global security organizations, will retire from the company after nine years of service. These changes are effective Aug. 1.
Gearhart will continue as general counsel overseeing the legal department, which is responsible for handling all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets. He will also continue to lead the company’s ethical sourcing program.
“Since joining the company, Jeff has built great credibility as a leader across the organization,” said Duke. “He gives excellent advice and is also known for his collaboration and people management skills. Jeff gets involved in the details of our business and that enables him to make a strong ongoing contribution to our success.”
Gearhart joined Walmart in 2003 and has served as EVP and general counsel since February 2009. Prior to that, he served as SVP and deputy general counsel since December 2007. Before joining Walmart Gearhart spent 14 years in private practice.
Hyde joined Walmart in July 2001 after serving as SVP and general counsel of Raytheon. His responsibilities for the ethics and global security organizations will be assumed by other leaders in the company.