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VeriFone acquires Global Bay

BY Staff Writer

San Jose, Calif. — VeriFone Systems said Tuesday it has acquired mobile retail solution-provider Global Bay Mobile Technologies. According to VeriFone, the acquisition is part of its strategy to integrate mobile with retail and payments, extending new smartphone- and tablet-based shopping and payment experiences to retail organizations.

Terms of the transaction, which closed effective Tuesday, were not disclosed.

“Global Bay’s mobile retail applications complement our vision to deliver rich commerce solutions that open up new opportunities for merchants to engage their customers in deeper, more meaningful ways that will generate increased profitability and shopper loyalty,” said Jennifer Miles, VeriFone executive VP, North America.

Global Bay has worked with retailers globally to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction with mobile applications that leverage existing POS, e-commerce, and traditional store systems.

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Farberware launches kitchen appliance line at Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

MIRAMAR, Fla. — Russell Hobbs, the licensee of the Farberware brand, announced that it has launched an exclusive line of small kitchen appliances at Walmart.

Farberware’s line of products includes a chic, programmable coffee and tea maker, a dual-function food processor and a powerhouse 10-speed blender. All have stainless steel finishes and unparalleled craftsmanship perfect for the home chef that is interested in high-quality, great-looking appliances at an affordable price, according the company. All items are priced at $59.88 each.

"In today’s economy, consumers perceive a ‘good value’ as more than just the lowest price. They also want all the bells and whistles they’ve come to expect in their appliances like stainless steel finishes, digital controls and dual functionality, and we’re proud to say that this new line has all that and more," said Danielle Gosthe, senior brand manager for the Farberware brand. "Our coffee and tea maker, food processor and blender go toe-to-toe with other well-known brands and beat them with more features, lower pricing and higher-end finishes."

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‘Tis the Season…already?

BY Jeff Green

Has anyone else noticed that the Christmas holiday “season” starts earlier and earlier each year? This year, Walmart had their Christmas displays out by mid-September and many retailers were touting holiday sales in October! I still remember when Black Friday was the “official” kick-off to the holiday shopping season and it was surprising to see Christmas decorations up in mid-November. I keep wondering what the real-world implications of this calendar shift might mean – if anything – for retailers’ overall holiday and end-of-year sales? And, ultimately what it means for retail real estate in 2012.

I think that because retailers are still skittish from the recession and cautious about our still-fragile economy, they’re doing everything they can to offset wavering consumer confidence and a shaky climate. With a 4.1% year-over-year holiday sales increase in 2010, many are predicting a modest increase for 2011. ShopperTrak is predicting a 3% increase, while the National Retail Federation is estimating a 3.5% uptick. My own ideas are a little more conservative. Between mediocre macroeconomic indicators and ongoing pessimistic media coverage about a possible “double-dip” recession, I’m thinking we may see a flat to 2% boost this holiday season.

While retailers’ efforts to expand the holiday shopping window may prompt a little worry about diluting the seasonal marketing power, in my view, the early discounting and promotions seem likely to be a good thing for most retailers, and in turn, retail landlords. The worst-case scenario for retailers has always been having an excess of inventory after the holiday season. That’s when they have to sell what’s left for less-than-profitable prices just to get rid of it. And, we all know what happens when the retailer isn’t profitable. Throughout the recession, though, retailers have gotten pretty good at controlling their inventories, minimizing the chances of seeing rock-bottom end-of-year sales. So, I don’t think we’ll have the vacancy issues in 2012 that we’ve had in recent years.

If consumers are looking for specific items, they should really be getting started on their shopping sooner rather than later because of retailers’ controlled inventories. We all understand the frustration of finding the perfect gift for a friend or loved one and then discovering it’s sold out or unavailable in the right size. Because of this, I think we’ll see a real shift in buying patterns this season. It’s quite possible that stronger online sales will mean brick-and-mortar locations won’t feel quite as busy. The electronics sector, in particular, is already seeing a strong correlation between increased online sales and lower in-store traffic. I think apparel will continue its multi-year trend of relatively poor holiday performance as women continue to make fewer impulse purchases for themselves while shopping for family and friends. What may be surprising is that I think discount retailers will probably be fairly flat this year. In my opinion, they aren’t likely to gain many new shoppers because those who were trading down, have already done so. But, I do think luxury will see as high as a 5% increase in sales over last year.

What do you think? Please make a public comment below or feel free to e-mail me privately at [email protected].

Jeff Green is president and CEO of Phoenix-based Jeff Green Partners (jeffgreenpartners.com), a leading consulting firm specializing in retail real estate feasibility, retail expansion planning, medical retail planning, location analysis and commercial land use.


Click here for past columns by Jeff Green.

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