Trial over Macy’s and Martha Stewart rights set for February
New York — The battle between Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co., and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. will go to trial Feb. 19, Bloomberg reported.
A New York State judge on Thursday said he case will not be tried before a jury and there will be no need to decide damages.
Instead, any potential damages in the dispute “are going to pale in comparison to the injunction,” the judge said. “That’s the real big bucks there — if I stop this deal.”
Macy’s is claiming that it has the exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart Living products in certain categories. The department store company sued J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living seeking to stop their sales agreement, which was announced at the end of 2011.
Online sales set new record
Online holiday season sales grew 14% to $42.3 billion, a little short of comScore’spre-season forecast.
The online measurement firm originally projected that online sales during the November and December period would increase 16% to $43.4 billion. However, after a strong start online sales fizzled a bit in early December and never quite regained enough momentum to achieve the firm’s earlier target.
The latter portion of the season saw several days with particularly strong growth, including Free Shipping Day on Monday, Dec. 17 (up 76% to $1.013 billion) and Christmas Day (up 36% to $288 million, but they could not make up for the spending growth shortfall earlier in the month, according to comScore. While the holiday season started off with strong growth rates on the upper end of the mid-teens through the heavy promotional period, a December swoon in consumer confidence gave way to softer than expected buying during the critical shopping weeks in early to mid-December, from which growth rates never fully recovered.
"The 2012 online holiday season was once again a very strong season with growth rates in the mid-teens as we reached record-setting spending levels," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "This year’s growth rate is essentially on a par with last year’s. But despite many positives for the online sector, this year’s season did not quite perform up to our initial expectation for growth rates in excess of 16% as we fell a billion dollars short of our expected total of $43.4 billion."
A very healthy 16% growth rate through the promotional period of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly gave way to a consumer pullback that comScore attributed to concerns over the fiscal cliff.
"With Congress deadlocked throughout December, growth rates softened even further and never quite made up enough ground to reach our original expectation," Fulgoni said. "While it is typical to see growth rates subside slightly during the week after Thanksgiving, the amplified and sustained lull this year came as something of a surprise. As it turns out, this December swoon coincided closely with a significant decline in the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index that was attributed in large part to consumers’ fiscal cliff concerns."
7-Eleven acquires 143 locations in South Texas
Dallas — 7-Eleven announced Thursday that it has acquired 143 Speedy Stop and Tigermarket retail locations from C. L. Thomas, of Victoria, Texas.
The acquisition, which closed Dec. 31, increases 7-Eleven stores’ footprint in San Antonio, where recently the country’s largest convenience retailer purchased 25 stores as part of its acquisition from TETCO. It also adds to 7-Eleven’s growing fuel wholesale-delivery business because the acquisition includes gasoline distribution to approximately 150 dealer-operated sites.
"We continue to build our presence in a rapidly growing area of the U.S., along the I-35 corridor from north of Dallas/Fort Worth to the Mexican border," said Stan Reynolds, 7-Eleven EVP and CFO. "We expect to grow to more than 700 7-Eleven stores in Texas from last year’s 342 with this and other acquisitions we’ve made in 2012."
The company also said it will remodel and rebrand a significant number of the locations in 2013.