FINANCE

Year-over-year sales up 6.5% for week ending Jan. 1

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago — Year-over-year retail sales increased 6.5% for the week ending Jan. 1, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate, while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported foot traffic rose 4.1% for the same period.

Although both sales and traffic increased last week, ShopperTrak originally anticipated a more robust performance for the week ending Jan. 1 as the 2010 calendar shift placed Dec. 26 — a day that ranked third and second in 2009 holiday sales and traffic respectively — a week later, creating a favorable yearly comparison. Unfortunately, the blizzard along the Eastern seaboard that delivered record snow amounts crippled retail on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 in all impacted areas, eliminating the strong boost retailers should have seen early last week.

“It seems Mother Nature has impacted a very important selling day for retailers for the second holiday season in a row, moving a day that typically finishes second or third in sales to one that might finish outside of the Top 10 this year,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “Although sales and traffic levels picked up in the Northeast region later in the week, retailers weren’t able to recover all of the $1 billion that was postponed by losing Dec. 26 and 27.”

Martin said he expected there will be some continued momentum this week and into the weekend, which should extend the holiday season and help recover a majority of the delayed shopping.

ShopperTrak data shows because of the blizzard December retail performance will most likely fall below anticipated levels. But based on the unexpected early strength in November, the company still believes its 4.0% sales rise with a 1.8% traffic bump remains accurate.

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.

The ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index measures traffic across five separate retail segments, including total U.S. retailing.

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OPERATIONS

Oracle completes acquisition of ATG

BY CSA STAFF

Redwood Shores, Calif. — Oracle on Wednesday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Art Technology Group (ATG).

With the addition of ATG, Oracle can now provide best-in-class cross-channel CRM, Retail and Commerce that enables unified marketing, merchandising, service and order management, supply chain, and a seamless, personalized customer experience.

“Companies require an integrated solution that can help them unify commerce across all interaction channels, including online, in stores, via mobile devices and with call centers,” said Thomas Kurian, executive VP, Oracle Development. “The combination of technologies from Oracle and ATG provides consistent cross-channel interactions, unified service, and an improved customer experience all built on an industry standard middleware platform.”

To communicate product strategy for the combined Oracle and ATG products, the company will host a webcast presentation, which will be available beginning at 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 6, at the following link: http://bit.ly/hNmVSK

“Oracle’s acquisition of ATG is important for current Oracle Retail users who’ve been contemplating an e-commerce refresh, but it also creates an opportunity for the mid-market, with end-to-end-to-end-to-end solutions available from a single vendor. Oracle is assembling a stunning suite of retail products,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner, RSR Research.

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News

OfficeMax upgrades smartphone app

BY CSA STAFF

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – OfficeMax announced it has launched a new enhanced 2.0 version of its free for the iPhone App on the App Store and is making the App available on Google’s Android platform. The 2.0 version gives users the ability to view OfficeMax’s weekly ad and special offers — all right from their mobile device. OfficeMax also added local store hours and phone numbers to the App’s GPS-enabled store locator function.

"The new, enhanced version of OfficeMax’s mobile app enables customers to have access to up-to-the-minute deals and promotions like never before," said Julie Krueger, SVP e-Commerce for OfficeMax. "It’s a great tool that helps our customers shop faster and smarter. As the world of mobile retailing evolves, we are excited to add new features and tools that create a valuable shopping experience for our customers."

OfficeMax’s mobile app provides real-time benefits to customers, including the ability to view exclusive deals and offers, locate OfficeMax stores, and click through to the mobile-friendly OfficeMax.com site to browse and purchase office supply products, the company reported. The OfficeMax App also enables OfficeMax MaxPerks® loyalty members to access their account, view reward program progress, edit account information, browse purchase history, and redeem rewards at the register right from their iPhone or Android device. T

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