FINANCE

Survey: Online Father’s Day spending expected to be conservative

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles A report released Tuesday by PriceGrabber.com and its parent company Experian found that online gift purchasing for both graduation and Father’s Day is expected to be conservative.

In fact, according to the survey’s findings, 36% of respondents plan to spend less than $25 on Father’s Day.

“While the recession will influence consumer shopping behavior for both Father’s Day and graduation, it will also continue to have a significant impact in the future,” said Barbary Brunner, CMO at PriceGrabber.com. “We’re seeing the emergence of a new consumer trend we call ‘price bragging.’ In this day and age, people are excited about getting a deal that makes the most out of their budget, and when they do, they often share that information with others in their communities.”

Of the 64% of online consumers celebrating Father’s day this year, 27% will spend between $25 and $49 on a Father’s Day gift; 15% will spend between $50 and $74; and 22% plan to spend $75 or more on a Father’s Day gift.

When it came to shopping online versus offline, 41% of respondents said they would do less than half of their graduation shopping online; 34% said they would do more than half of their graduation shopping online; and 25% will do half of their graduation shopping online.

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FINANCE

Tiffany’s Q1 profit sparkles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Tiffany & Co.’s net income more than doubled in the first quarter as its revenue rose in the United States and soared 50% in Asia, the company said Thursday.

The jeweler said it earned $64.4 million in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $24.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $633.6 million.

Revenue in the Americas increased 22% to $315.3 million, versus a 31% drop in the year-ago period. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 20%, and same-store sales rose 15%, led by the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the figure rose 26%.

In the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn’t include Japan, Tiffany’s revenue soared 50% to $122.3 million. During the first quarter, the company opened its third store in Shanghai; by the end of the period, it operated 11 stores in China. Company officials said that they plan to have a total of 30 stores in China within the next five years.

In Japan, revenue slipped 2% to $115 million. Business in Europe rose 25% to $68.6 million.

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Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Mobile has annouced the re-launch of BestBuy.com/Mobile. According to the company, the new Web site will include such new features as online purchasing and Instant Ship, the new online hub offers convenient, customer-focused solutions for on-the-go gadget shoppers.

Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.

 

“The capabilities within the enhanced site in combination with our in-store experience give Best Buy something completely and totally unique in the mobile phone marketplace,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “Now, we are truly a multi-channel mobile phone retailer supporting customers when and where they choose to engage us.”

 

Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:

    * Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home.    * Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.

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