STORE SPACES

Top 10 “Unmissable” Stores

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Forever 21’s massive Times Square flagship, a shop that sells ice cream made to order and frozen with liquid nitrogen, and a new beauty-and-wellness concept in Hong Kong are on a list of the hottest new stores around the globe.

The list comes from the folks behind the cutting-edge, London-based retail consultancy echochamber.com:

  • Forever 21, Times Square, New York City
  • H&M flagship, Paris
  • Selfridges, shoe galleries, London
  • Kurt Geiger, London
  • One New Change, London
  • Chin Chin Laboratorists, London
  • The Eye Hub, Melbourne
  • Kmart, store of the future, Melbourne
  • F&H by Fanci, Hong Kong
  • Eataly, New York City

Click here for more information.

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OPERATIONS

NRF lists top 10 retailers for best customer service

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The National Retail Federation on Friday released its 2010 list that annually ranks the 10 stores with the best customer service.

The list is based on surveys of more than 9,000 shoppers, all asked the following question: “Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, Internet or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?”

In total, the NRF ranked 46 stores, and will release the complete list in January.

The 10 best stores for customer service, listed alphabetically, are: Amazon; J.C. Penney; Kohl’s; Land’s End; L.L. Bean; online technology seller Newegg; Nordstrom; Overstock.com; QVC; and Zappo’s.

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OPERATIONS

Retail hiring slowed in November

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The Labor Department’s November report indicated that retailers didn’t hire as many new workers during the month as they traditionally do at this time of year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The report showed retailers are extending hours of existing workers and some may have hired earlier this year than usual.

The labor department reported that retailers employed 14.4 million workers in November, just 55,000 below last November’s level. But the details of the report showed that, before holiday hiring adjustments, the retail industry added 432,600 jobs in the past two months, which surpasses the 366,700 it added in the same months of 2009 and suggests that holiday hiring started earlier this year.

The Labor Department report suggested that many retailers are asking their workers, many part-time, to work longer hours. The average retail workweek in November was 31.3 hours, up from 31.2 hours a year ago. And aggregate hours worked — the total number of hours worked by all retail employees per week — was 0.7% above year-ago levels.

WSJ reported that some analysts said retail hiring may be more vibrant than the government data showed, in part because this year’s survey was conducted earlier — and excluded anyone hired after Nov. 12.

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