FINANCE

Survey: More holiday shoppers looking to increase gift-giving this year

BY Michael Johnsen

San Antonio — Consumers plan to buy more gifts this year, according to a recent survey commissioned by USAA and released Monday. The fourth annual USAA holiday spending survey indicated that consumer sentiment toward holiday budgeting has become more positive in 2012 when compared to 2011 (53% versus 45%).

“This year’s survey data aligns with recent reports that holiday sales growth is expected to remain above the 10-year growth rate,” stated JJ Montanaro, USAA spokesman. “Even with the current mixed economic picture, shoppers seem to have more optimism this holiday season, which may be encouraging them to open their wallets.”

For the third year in a row, fewer holiday shoppers plan on cutting their holiday spending and creating a budget. In 2010, 40% of shoppers reported plans to scale back, compared to 31% in 2011 and 24% in 2012. And 61% planned on budgeting for their holiday purchases in 2010, compared to 57% in 2011 and 55% in 2012.

This year’s survey findings underscore the growing trend of mobile shopping with 56% of respondents planning to use their mobile devices as a tool for comparison shopping, downloading coupons, searching for availability in stores and making purchases. According to a recent survey, consumers spent more than $20.7 billion shopping using mobile devices in 2012 and tend to spend an average of $10 more per purchase using their tablet.

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OPERATIONS

Christopher & Banks names former Payless chief as president and CEO

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks Corp. said Monday it has named LuAnn Via president and CEO, effective Nov. 26.

Via, also named to the retailer’s board of directors, succeeds Joel Waller, who will remain in a consultative capacity through June 30, 2013.

Since July 2008, Via has served as president and CEO of Payless ShoeSource, a subsidiary of Collective Brands, which recently was acquired.

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J.Greene says:
Nov-06-2012 04:11 pm

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J.Greene says:
Nov-06-2012 04:11 pm

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REAL ESTATE

Holt Renfrew launches Canadian discount chain

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Toronto — Canadian luxury fashion retailer Holt Renfrew & Co. said Monday it will launch a new discount chain called hr2, with a first store in March in Quebec, followed by planned locations across the country by 2015.

It said the stores will range in size from 25,000 sq. ft. to 35,000 sq. ft., smaller than Holt Renfrew’s nine department stores, and targeting women age 25 and up.

Holt said the hr2 chain will carry new clothing by the same brands featured in the department stores at a lower price, rather than aged product sold at a discount.

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