MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: One-in-three shoppers want to see items in person

BY Dan Berthiaume

Princeton, N.J. – Almost one-in-three (31%) of U.S. consumers say wanting to see/feel items in person would make them shop at a physical store instead of online. According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by digital agency Ripen E-commerce, almost as many (29.9%) wanting to buy an item immediately would spur them to make an in-person purchase.

Other responses include:

• 16.9% believe it protects their privacy
• 14.4% shop in-store to save on shipping costs
• 6.5% want to ensure easier/cheaper returns
• 1.5% said “other”

“Our survey found the largest portion of users ‘want to see or feel item in person’ or ‘want an item right away,” said David Rekuc, marketing director of Ripen. “These are obviously two big obstacles for e-commerce companies. But they aren’t insurmountable. Online retailers can offer free samples to get their products in consumers’ hands and, while most small e-retailers can’t offer same-day delivery nationally, there’s no reason they can’t consider it for their local shoppers.”

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FINANCE

Kohl’s has flat Q2; plans four new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Menomonee Falls, Wis. – Kohl’s Corp. had a relatively flat second quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the same period the previous year. Net income slightly rose to $232 million from $231 million, while sales fell 1% to $4.24 billion from $4.28 billion.

Same-store sales dropped 1.1%, although Kohl’s said they turned positive in July. Kohl’s plans to open four new stores in fall 2014, including one store which was temporarily closed in the first quarter for a complete re-build.

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FINANCE

Ace Hardware net income soars in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – Net income at Ace Hardware Corp. rose 57% to $66.5 million, from $24.2 million. Revenues climbed 13% to $1.33 billion, from $1.17 billion.

The opening of 44 new stores and improved cash discounts and vendor income fueled the strong net income growth. In addition, sales increases were noted in virtually every department with the paint, electrical, and lawn and garden categories showing the largest increases. Ace has remodeled and re-equipped over 3,300 stores as part of the new Paint Studio initiative, which contributed meaningfully to second quarter wholesale revenues and record retail sales in May.

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