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Sycamore Partners raises offer for Talbots

BY Marianne Wilson

Hingman, Mass. — The Talbots Inc. said it has received a raised takeover offer of $214.6 million from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The company also said it entered an exclusivity agreement with Sycamore, which will end on May 15.

Talbots said Sycamore had offered to pay $3.05 per share — slightly higher than the $3.00 per share offer it made in December.

The board of retailer said it continues to evaluate strategic alternative.

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ShopperTrak: April 2012

BY CSA STAFF

Total U.S. shopper traffic in retail stores and malls for April 2012

Warm weather and shifting holidays in March caused retail foot traffic to dip in April. Retail foot traffic in April was 7.6% lower from March, and 2.7% lower on a year-over-year basis. The slow April is the first in the past 3 months to experience a decline in year-over-year and month-over-month retail foot traffic.

April 2012 didn’t receive the kind of boost in retail foot traffic that April 2011 did from Easter. The holiday fell late in the month and preceded Mother’s Day by only two weeks. The late Easter and early Mother’s Day created a window of shopping time that consolidated the bulk of shopping for both holidays into April 2011.

Also, because March’s weather was so unseasonably warm, many shoppers took to the streets and bought their spring wears before April arrived. This meant that although April too experienced above-average temperatures, most consumers had already spent their shopping dollars.

Many retailers should anticipate increased traffic in May leading up to Mother’s Day. ShopperTrak predicts that national retail sales, when compared to the same period last year, will rise 6% in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, and retail foot traffic will increase 3.7%.


ShopperTrak’s data and analyses in this article is based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 45,000 locations across 74 countries. ShopperTrak is a leading retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues. Find out more at
http://www.shoppertrak.com.

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Kmart prescriptions going to the dogs (and cats)

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is introducing prescription pet medications at its stores, the mass-merchandise retail chain said Friday.

The company said the new program was designed to make it easier for customers to get branded and generic pet drugs and more convenient to shop for the whole family. More than 60% of American households own a pet, and families spent more than $50 billion on their pets in 2011, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"This new pet program is just another example of how we strive to make the shopping experience seamless for our customers," Kmart VP and general manager for pharmacy administration Ghassan Hourani said. "In addition to our wide variety of pet products — including the Kmart-exclusive Champion Breed food, toys and treats — we are thrilled that we can now offer our customers and their furry family members a one-stop shopping experience."

The company also said it would mark National Pet Month by giving free cat and dog treats made by Purina by buying a pet medication or $20 worth of Purina products.

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