FINANCE

Survey: Retailers losing money due to long lines

BY CSA STAFF

Bay Shore, N.Y. Back-to-school retailers are losing up to 39% of revenues due to long lines and in-line frustration, according to a new study sponsored by Lawrence, a Tensator Group Co., which specializes in customer queue management solutions.

With overall K-12 and college spending combined expected to reach $55 billion this year, back-to-school shopping is the second largest event for retailers, right behind the winter holidays. According to the Lawrence study, $21 billion of that revenue is lost to poor customer queue management. The company reported these key findings as part of a survey it conducted in the first two weeks of August with Surge Research, an independent national research firm.

In the nationwide opinion study of 500 parents with school-aged children, the vast majority, 75% of respondents say long lines are the worst part of the back-to-school shopping experience.

Nearly four-in-10 (39%) parents leave stores while back-to-school shopping without purchasing a single item because of long lines. Long lines are cited by 35%, one-in-three parents, as the primary reason for leaving the store — worse than high prices, lack of supplies or inexperienced sales personnel.

“American consumers have spoken. They are willing to walk away if they get too frustrated waiting on long lines. When you add it all up, these ‘walkaways’ cost retailers billions of dollars during ‘Back to School,’ one of the hottest shopping seasons of the year,” said Bill Vetter, general manager and senior VP at Lawrence. “Time is money — reducing ‘walkaways’ and optimizing queue time is the end game. By deploying a smart queue management strategy, retailers can take control of and ideally manage the customer journey, from when they enter the store, at the retail point-of-sale, in-line at checkout and once they walk out the door.”

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Hibbett reports strong quarter, raises FY guidance

BY CSA STAFF

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Hibbett Sports reported that net sales for the 13-week period ended July 31, increased 13.6% to $139.8 million compared with $123.1 million for the 13-week period ended Aug. 1, 2009. Comparable-store sales increased 11.9%, making it the second straight quarter the company has produced double-digit comparable-store sales growth. Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 261.9% to $4million compared with $1.1 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2010. Earnings per diluted share increased 257% to 14 cents compared with 4 cents for the second quarter of fiscal 2010.

Net sales for the 26-week period ended July 31, 2010, increased 15.5% to $324.3 million compared with $280.8 million for the 26-week period ended Aug. 1, 2009. Comparable-store sales increased 13.4%. Net income for the 26-week period ended July 31, was $21.4 million compared with $12 million for the 26-week period ended Aug. 1, 2009. Earnings per diluted share increased 75% to 73 cents compared with 41 cents for the 26-week period ended Aug. 1, 2009.

 

Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO, stated, “This was a tremendous first half of the year for Hibbett with earnings already equaling what we achieved in the first three quarters last year. Based on our strong second quarter and year-to-date performance, coupled with continuing strong comparable store sales trends into the third quarter, we are raising our expectation for fiscal 2011.”

 

The company increased its earnings guidance for fiscal 2011 to a range of $1.45 to $1.55 per diluted share based on a mid- to high-single-digit increase in comparable-store sales in the second half of the year.

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Whole Foods launches wellness app

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market announced that its Missions App is available on the App store. As a part of the company’s ongoing mission to promote wellness and encourage healthier lifestyles, the Whole Foods Market Missions App will help users eat better and live better, the company reported.

The app provides users with more than 70 challenges, or “missions,” that they can engage in to earn badges and share their progress with friends via Facebook, Twitter and email, Whole Foods reported. The app also provides tips on on nutrition, food selection, storage and cooking as well as a store locator.

“At Whole Foods Market our shoppers often come to us for advice on how to take charge of their health,” said Chad Sarno, global “Health Starts Here” culinary educator for Whole Foods Market. “The Missions App helps iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users incorporate healthy foods, exercise, and more through simple, everyday steps.”

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