Survey: Back-to-school shoppers rely on mobile for deals
New York — Shoppers reliance on mobile devices is reflected in a new back-to-school survey by Retale, a location-based shopping platform aggregating weekly circulars from top line retailers for mobile and digital devices.
Among parents that own a mobile device (e.g., smartphone, tablet), 73% use them to shop for back-to-school items, with viewing deals (97%) and comparing prices (96%) being the most common mobile shopping activities.
Other activities include accessing coupons (92%), finding stores (86%), building shopping lists (86%), and buying directly from the device (79%).
Most notably, nearly one in five parents (17% ) are browsing deals, comparing prices, and accessing coupons in-store, showing just how critical mobile is to the brick-and-mortar experience.
“Customers are using it (mobile) in a myriad of ways, both in-store and out-of-store, in order to complete their shopping journeys,” said Pat Dermody, president of Retale. “From finding store locations to seeking deals and savings, customers are telling retailers that they expect to see them on their mobile device. What that means for retailers is that they must continue to move aggressively to develop a meaningful presence at multiple points in mobile all of which might be accessed at any time by a potential customer.”
Also, according to the survey, 76% of parents plan to spend the same amount or more on back-to-school spending as compared to last year, while 24% plan on scaling back and spending less.
Cato exceeds guidance in Q2; scales back store openings
Charlotte, N.C. — The Cato Corporation reported that net income rose 6% to $15.7 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 2, from $14.8 million last year.
Sales increased 6% to $243.8 million, from $229.4 million last year. Same-store sales increased 3%.
"Second quarter same-store sales were in line with our year-to-date trend," said John Cato, CEO. "However, we continue to expect the second half earnings per diluted share will be within our original guidance range.”
During the first half, Cato opened 11 new stores, relocated one store and closed three stores. The retailer said it now expects to open 46 stores, down from the original plan of 65.
Stein Mart profit slides in Q2
Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart Inc. reported net income of $1.7 million for the second quarter, reduced from $3.4 million last year on higher healthcare costs.
Total sales increased 2.5% to $298.2 million, while same-store sales increased 1.3%, the retailer’s ninth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales gains.
"Despite a challenging first half of the year with weather impacting sales, we have a number of important initiatives in place," said Jay Stein, CEO. "Key among these is our growth focus, as we open more new and relocated stores this fall and continue to build our ecommerce business. These and our other strategies play a very important role in our long-term business development."
The retailer said it expects to open six new stores, relocate four and close one during the second half of the year.