Weekly Sales Look Positive
New York City, Retail chain store sales got off to a positive start by increasing 1.3% for the week ending Nov. 6, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, which measures same-store sales. On a year-over-year basis, the sales pace also improved to 3%.
“Sales snapped back over the last week following three consecutive weekly declines,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “This week’s increase largely offset much of the prior weeks’ decline and got the month and the holiday season off to a better than expected start.”
For November, ICSC expects retail chain store sales to increase to about 3% to 4% on a year-over-year basis.
Ritz Camera Refits Its POS
Beltsville, Md., Ritz Camera selected Datavantage Xstore as its new point-of-sale system. With 1,100 Ritz Camera Centers and 110 Boater’s World Marine Centers, the chain will use the new Java-based POS in both store formats on a Linux operating system and a PostgreSQL open-source database.
“Our existing POS had served us well over the years, but it lacks the flexibility and functionality available in an open-source, Java-based platform such as Xstore,” said Bob O’Hern, VP of Information Systems for Ritz Camera Centers.
Kmart Launches Rewards Card
Troy Mich., Kmart Holding Corp. today announced the launch of the Kmart Rewards credit card. The new credit-card program is being managed by HSBC—North America’s retail-services business. The card offers $10 off the first card purchase of $50 or more and a $10 reward for every $250 in account purchases thereafter. Customers will also be offered 90 days, same-as-cash financing on any purchase over $100 during the 2004 holiday season. “The Kmart Rewards credit card is an important tool in our efforts to retain and better serve our existing customers,” said Paul Guyardo, chief marketing officer of Kmart. “The Rewards card will provide valuable benefits and increased spending power both in our stores and on line, just in time for the holiday season.”