FINANCE

Sport Chalet swings to profit in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles — Sporting goods chain Sport Chalet reported Thursday that it swung to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter of $0.3 million, from a net loss of $0.3 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 8.8% to $98.2 million. Same-store sales edged up 1.3%.

The fourth quarter profit was the chain’s first in 13 quarters.
ff and service, and store facility.

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OPERATIONS

Ace Hardware ranks highest in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power survey

BY CSA STAFF

Oak Brook, Ill. — The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Store Satisfaction Study again ranked Ace Hardware “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores.” Ace has held this position since the organization began researching the home improvement category five years ago.

“Ace is a go-to resource in communities large and small throughout America, and our retailer-owned stores know how to deliver on the brand’s helpfulness promise,” said Ray Griffith, president and CEO of Ace Hardware. “We strive to make a positive impact on our customers and be the ‘helpful place’ they know and trust.”

The J.D. Power and Associates study is based on responses from more than 6,900 consumers who purchased home improvement products or services in the previous 12 months. Ace Hardware ranked highest among major retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 786 on a 1,000-point scale. According to consumers, Ace performs particularly well in the staff and service and store facility categories.

The score is based on performance in five areas: merchandise, price, sales and promotions, staff and service, and store facility.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Many sites do not offer product reviews, ratings

BY CSA STAFF

Santa Clara, Calif. — Nearly half (48%) of retailers do not offer product ratings or reviews on their website, according to a survey by CrossView, a provider of cross-channel commerce solutions.

“We are surprised at the high number of retail websites that still do not offer product ratings and reviews, which are critical components to an effective digital shopping experience,” said Jason Goldberg, VP, strategy & customer experience, CrossView. “Ratings and reviews are the best way to offer shoppers ‘social proof’ — which has largely replaced ‘brand’ as the leading influence on purchase decisions. When combined with other compelling benefits of a peer review program, which include improved SEO, social engagement, reduced returns, and product feedback, it’s clear that merchants who are not offering product ratings and reviews are leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.”

Retailers who currently offer product ratings and reviews include: American Eagle, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Foot Locker, Game Stop, Gander Mountain, PetSmart, Sears, Target, Tractor Supply, The Children’s Place, The Limited, and Urban Outfitters.

Switzerland-based luxury watch brand TAG Heuer International SA opened its first North American flagship on June 2. The new store is located within Las Vegas’ Crystals at CityCenter shopping center. The 800-sq.-ft. boutique offers timepieces, as well as TAG Heuer fashion items, ranging from vintage stainless steel cufflinks to the brand’s technologically advanced eyewear and fine leathergoods. The store’s standout design features include an open floorplan, complete with customized wall niches made of dark zebrawood, hand-brushed aluminum, glass and cream leather. Currently, the company operates more than 100 freestanding boutiques worldwide.

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