OPERATIONS

Survey: Retailers bullish about holidays; up hiring plans

BY Marianne Wilson

Philadelphia — Three-fourths (75%) of retailers forecast an increase in holiday sales this year, according to a survey by Hay Group, a global management consultancy.

The annual Seasonal Staffing Survey report also finds that retailers have more confidence in holiday hiring plans. While 57% of retailers plan to hire seasonal workers at the same level as 2011, 36% say they will be hiring more. This stands in contrast to 2011 when just 10% planned to hire more seasonal workers than the year prior.

“Retailers are betting that 2012 is going to be a great holiday season,” said Craig Rowley, VP and global practice leader for Hay Group’s retail practice. “After four years of economic turbulence, they have figured out how to operate in an uncertain business environment and are calm and cool, knowing that they are ready, as they head into the holidays.”

Other highlights of the report include:

  • After planning throughout the year, fulfillment centers are more prepared and only minor staffing adjustments are needed for the holidays. On average, retailers say that 74% of their seasonal hires will be in stores and 12% will be in distribution centers.
  • While 58% of retailers will wait until November to begin their promotion blitz, 42% will start in October. Promotional plans indicate retailers have more confidence in the consumer. Few retailers (18%) feel pressure to match online-only prices, and 50% of retailers say they are looking to cut back on discounting overall this year.
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P.Ammann says:
Sep-13-2012 04:14 pm

Glad Tidings for Holiday Hiring
Thanks for the great summary! www.HRNewsDaily.com for the latest in human resources news and info.

P.Ammann says:
Sep-13-2012 04:14 pm

Thanks for the great summary! www.HRNewsDaily.com for the latest in human resources news and info.

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Shopko expands offering of private brand consumables

BY CSA STAFF

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Shopko has expanded its line of private brand consumable products with the introduction of approximately 70 new items. The new products are available in stores now and include primarily health and beauty products and cleaning products.

“We know that our customers are looking for quality and value, and Shopko brand products consistently deliver on both fronts. We test all of our products against the national brand equivalent to assure that our product quality meets or exceeds that of the national brand,” said Tom Abbott, Shopko SVP product development/general merchandise manager, consumables. “Our research has found that Shopko brand products are as good as or better than the national brands, but at a fraction of the price, which is a welcome benefit to our customers in this economy. Customers appreciate that they are getting the high quality products they desire, while enjoying the savings that our private brand offers.”

Shopko intends to continue to expand its private brand line with the next wave of new products arriving in spring of 2013. At that time more than 175 new items will be introduced in a number of existing categories, including skin care, sun care, hair care, laundry detergent, cleaning, vitamins, oral care, incontinence, diapers and shave.

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AT&T, Chicago

BY Staff Writer

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AT&T’s new flagship, on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, is designed to immerse customers in everything AT&T. The 10,000-sq.-ft. store, at 600 N. Michigan Ave., also offers shoppers a peak into the future, with the first-ever retail demonstrations of the company’s new digital home security and automation services. It also features a connected car (a 2012 Nissan Leaf) that is used to demonstrate how wireless technology can help driving.

The store offers a hands-on, interactive experience, and includes a series of Lifestyle Boutiques, which display products, apps and accessories organized according to customer needs. One of the boutiques, “Chicagoland,” features local apps and Chicago-themed accessories. The “Get Fit” boutique” has health and fitness apps.

Other highlights of the store include the Explorer Lounge, where shoppers can play with and learn about various apps. At the Apps Bar, associates serve up one-on-one and group demos, which are also displayed on a video wall. A dazzling 18-ft. high video displays interactive content and product information.

AT&T is previewing a couple of “firsts” in Chicago: For the first time in its retail stores, the company is using biometric technology enabling employees’ fingerprints to securely open cabinet locks for cash drawers and access our IT systems.

Also, there is no waiting in line to check out at a counter. The store uses mobile cash registers where sales will be completed on tablets from anywhere in the space.

Click here to take a video tour of the store.


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