FINANCE

Survey: Shoppers turn focus to saving money

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Austin, Texas — Survey results by coupon site RetailMeNot revealed Monday that the vast majority of consumers believe that saving money is important.

According to the Shoppers Trend Report, conducted by The Omnibus Co. for RetailMeNot, 93% of consumers say they believe that saving money in their everyday lives is important. The survey also found that 61% are saving about the same or more money per month than they were five years ago.

"Consumers are emerging from the Recession of 2008 having learned a valuable lesson, that saving money is a good thing," said Trae Bodge, RetailMeNot. "Gone are the days of racking up our credit card bills with retail therapy and shopping with abandon. Today’s consumers have higher expectations for what they can do with their hard-earned paychecks. They also want more for their money and are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that they get it."

Compared with five years ago, nearly half of respondents are spending less on meals at restaurants (49%), expensive groceries (44%) and new clothes (46%).

Reliance on discounts is stronger today, with more than half (51%) of consumers who use coupons stating that they use them more than they did five years ago and 37% stating that they use coupons more than they did a year ago.

A majority of respondents (74%) state that economic factors contributed to their increase in coupon usage over the last five years, either because their personal finances declined (43%) or because the recession made them more conscious about the importance of saving (31%). Additionally, 23% of respondents indicate that they use coupons more now because technology makes it easier to find and use them.

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News

Gander Mountain selects Manhattan Associates for omni-channel

BY Katherine Boccaccio

St. Paul, Minn. — Manhattan Associates said Monday that outdoor chain Gander Mountain has selected its Enterprise Order Management and Store Inventory & Fulfillment solutions to help drive omni-channel enterprise transformation.

Gander is using the Manhattan solutions to create a seamless experience for its customers across channels with a single view of inventory, and to allow Gander shoppers to control how and when they take delivery of Gander merchandise.

"In a highly competitive environment where the cross-channel sale is becoming more and more important for the industry, order management and the associated in-store execution capabilities are the most critical piece of the retail infrastructure to get right," said Derek Siddons, VP Omni-Channel Strategy at Gander Mountain.

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OPERATIONS

Kohl’s opens West Coast IT office

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Corp. said Monday that it has opened a new IT office in Silicon Valley. The 52,000-sq.-ft. office space in Milpitas, Calif., will be an extension of the IT team at the company’s Menomonee Falls, Wis., corporate office and will initially employ 30-plus Kohl’s associates with the potential to accommodate future growth, said the retailer.

Associates at the new location will support Kohl’s online sales growth and strategic focus on omni-channel initiatives, including process automation and the replatforming of Kohls.com.

“We know consumers are seeking a seamless experience and instant access to information whether shopping online, on their mobile device or in store,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s CEO. “We have made significant investments in our IT and omni-channel initiatives to ensure we have the platforms, technology and tools to allow customers to shop when they want and from where they want.”

In addition to the new West Coast IT office, Kohl’s said it continues to expand its operations to support its long-term growth across all of its corporate facilities, including the Wisconsin headquarters, New York design office and Santa Monica, Calif., design office. The company also reiterated its plans to add 12 stores and remodel 30 in 2013.

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