Survey: Father’s Day spending up
Washington, D.C. — Consumers are predicted to spend an average of $106.49 on Father’s Day spending this year, up from $94.32 last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s Consumer Intentions and Actions Father’s Day survey. It is the highest in the eight years the survey has been conducted.
The survey, conducted by BIGresearch, finds that gift cards ($1.4 billion) are on the top of many consumers’ Father’s Day shopping lists, followed by sporting goods ($653 million) and automotive accessories ($593 million). Traditional gifts that remain popular selections are electronics, home-improvement tools, along with books and CDs.
With the hope to find the perfect gift, according to the NRF, “more than one-quarter of gift buyers (26.9%) will shop at a specialty store (electronics, gift store, etc.) and 22.1% will shop online.”
West Marine to open 50,000-sq.-ft. superstore in Fort Lauderdale
Watsonville, Calif. — West Marine will open the biggest store in the company’s history, a 50,000-sq.-ft flagship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Due to open by yearend, the store will be twice as big as the company’s current largest location and will be focused on serving both local and seasonal boating customers.
"We’re designing and building the new Fort Lauderdale West Marine Boating Superstore from the ground up to better serve the customers in this amazing boating market. We believe it will be the world’s largest (and hopefully most exciting) boating store, with the largest selection of core for-the-boat products and for-the boater apparel and shoes," said Geoff Eisenberg, CEO, West Marine.
This store is being designed by retail architects Bergmeyer Associates, Boston, in conjunction with the West Marine Visual Merchandise Store Design team. The architect of record and developer of the project is Ft. Lauderdale based Stiles.
The new location will feature an array of in-store experiential features, including a “Megayacht” fly bridge displaying the nation’s largest retail presentation of marine electronics and audio systems.
This is the largest of five flagship locations West Marine is opening across the country in 2011. The other four flagships are in the 22,000-30,000 sq. ft. range and are located in: Woburn, Mass. (now open); St. Petersburg, Fla. (now open); North Palm Beach, Fla. (now open); and Honolulu (due to open in early 2012).
South Carolina approves Amazon deal
New York City — South Carolina legislators gave final approval Wednesday to a deal bringing Amazon.com and its promise of 2,000 jobs to the state, the Associated Press reported.
The House voted 90-14 to approve a compromise brokered last week in the Senate, sending the measure to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk.
Haley opposes the measure but has repeatedly said she won’t veto it. The Republican governor has called it bad policy that’s unfair to retailers that collect the tax. If not signed or vetoed, the bill would become law after five days.
The deal gives Amazon a five-year exemption from collecting sales taxes from South Carolina’s online shoppers. In return, the online retailer must create the full-time jobs with health benefits and invest at least $125 million through the end of 2013.
Amazon’s plans to open a one million-sq.-ft. facility in Lexington County are expected to create thousands of spin-off jobs, including in shipping at the nearby airport and United Parcel Service hub.