SpendingPulse survey shows uptick heading into holidays
New York — Shoppers opened up their wallets in early November, providing retailers with some early holiday cheer. Spending on apparel, jewelry and luxury goods showed strong increases from the same time a year ago, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which includes transactions in all forms including cash.
“Although some sectors such as furniture and furnishings remain flat or slightly down, we are now beginning to see sharper increases in key holiday categories, indicating a solid start to the holiday season,” observed Michael McNamara, VP, research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “For now at least, we are seeing some decent growth numbers and while levels are not yet back to 2007, the year-over-year growth stats are helping to get the holiday season off to an encouraging start.”
For the pre-season period through Nov. 13, total apparel sales were up 9.7% against the same period last year. This number is over October’s year-over-year increase of 8.2% for the category, and further builds on the 7-out-of-10 months’ year-over-year gains for the sector in 2010.
The SpendingPulse Luxury ex-Jewelry Index, which tallies sales at high-end restaurant, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories, also was a gainer. Through November 13, the Luxury Index was up 6.7%, in sharp contrast to the same period last year, when luxury fell by 9.2%, and again building on October’s year-over-year momentum, wherein the category was up by 4.2% year over year.
E-commerce returned to double digit gains, continuing to build on the 7%-plus gains of August, September and October, hitting an 11.4% year-over year increase.
Wal-Mart will offer price matching over Black Friday weekend
Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will match competitor prices beginning on Thanksgiving Day and running through the Black Friday weekend.
Customers can bring in competitors ads and Walmart will match the price of any identical price at the register. The offer does not apply to online purchases.
Wal-Mart is also offering 150 online-only specials on Thanksgiving Day as well as "Black Friday" specials on electronics, home and apparel items in stores throughout the rest of the weekend.
Sears selects EnerNOC to help capture energy savings
Boston — EnerNOC, a leading provider of data-driven energy efficiency applications, announced that Sears Holdings has selected EnerNOC’s EfficiencySMART Commissioning, which blends traditional commissioning services with real-time, persistent commissioning technology, to drive energy savings at its 2.4 million-sq.-ft. corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., a 2010 Energy Star rated facility.
For Sears, EfficiencySMART is expected to deliver annual savings of approximately 8% of the facility’s addressable energy spend, primarily through operational measures.
The EfficiencySMART suite of applications and services is designed to deliver energy savings to customers through the lifecycle of energy efficiency management and complement EnerNOC’s other suites of energy management applications and services.