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Wet Seal flat in Q3

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Foothill Ranch, Calif. — Wet Seal recorded a loss of $14.9 million for the fiscal 2013 third quarter, essentially flat with last year.

Sales dipped to $127.7 million from $135.5 million, and same-store edged up 0.8%, including an increase of 1.7% at Wet Seal and a decrease of 6.7% at Arden B.

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Kenco appoints SVP of transportation services

BY CSA STAFF

Kenco, a leading provider of integrated logistics solutions, real estate services and material handling equipment, has named Kevin S. Fletcher as SVP of Kenco Transportation Services.

In addition to his transportation-leadership responsibilities, Fletcher will be responsible for account management, business development and strategic planning.

“Kevin’s expertise encompasses each aspect of our current transportation solution — brokerage, transportation management, and asset-based fleet operations,” said David Caines, president of Kenco Transportation Services.

Fletcher has nearly 30 years of experience and has held management positions at carrier, shipper and third-party logistics companies. He was most recently with Landstar, where he was EVP of logistics services. Fletcher is a graduate of Auburn University.

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Rakuten.com Shopping rocked Black Friday

BY CSA STAFF

Black Friday came early for Rakuten.com Shopping. The online marketplace saw a huge jump in visits to the site, consumer sales and conversion on and leading up to the biggest shopping day of the year.

Rakuten.com Shopping reported a rise in consumer sales and traffic beginning the Monday before the big sale days, with a spike on Thanksgiving Day and a crescendo at 10 a.m. PST on Black Friday.

It also reported an increase in consumer sales, including 101% year-over-year growth on Thursday and 61% growth on Black Friday. Cyber Monday success also arrived early, with Saturday and Sunday proving to be huge shopping days. The company saw 76% year-over-year growth on Saturday and 123% year-over-year growth on Sunday. Rakuten.com Shopping merchants saw an overall increase in sales of 66% throughout the extended holiday weekend, compared to last year.

Mobile sales jumped 51% during Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and 31% of all visits came from a mobile device during the Thursday to Monday promotional period. Shoppers were more engaged as well, with conversion rates up 25% and a 22% increase in page views per visit on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

“We were pleased to see a sharp rise in traffic to the site during the holiday, which reflected positively on all of our efforts to educate consumers on our recent rebrand and marketplace offerings,” said Bernard Luthi, COO and CMO, Rakuten.com Shopping. “We had a very strong Wednesday leading into Thanksgiving Day, and Thanksgiving Day was incredible. Similarly, we had a strong Sunday leading into Cyber Monday, which made for an extremely strong showing throughout the entire long weekend. We even saw a spike in sales the week prior to Black Friday, historically unusual in an e-commerce environment.”

The company kicked off its marketing campaign early during the week of Nov. 25 with heavily publicized promotions and more than 2,400 limited-time deals from more than 100 participating marketplace merchants. The company advertised its Rakuten Super Points loyalty program and continued momentum Tuesday and Wednesday following the sales by offering 10% back site-wide. Following the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale days, customers who purchased at Rakuten.com Shopping were rewarded with $5 in Rakuten Super Points.

While the e-commerce site continues to be strongest in the electronics categories such as tablets, laptops and high-end cameras, it is broadening into categories such as home, jewelry, and toys. This holiday weekend, according to the company, some of the biggest sellers included pendant necklaces, Dyson vacuum cleaners, American Girl dolls, Furbies and LED flashlights.

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