FINANCE

Report: Mattress Firm to close some stores

BY CSA STAFF

The largest mattress retailer in the United States plans to reduce its store portfolio, which has expanded in recent years due to a series of major acquisitions.

Mattress Firm, which was acquired by Steinhoff International Holdings in 2016, plans to close about 200 underperforming and duplicate stores during the next 18 months, reported Bisnow Houston.

“As a result of putting together 1,500 stores over most recent years through acquisitions, we have recognized that there are approximately 300 underperforming or duplicative stores,” chairman Steve Stagner said during a lenders presentation to Steinhoff stakeholders, the report said. “Over last year, we’ve already gotten out of about 90 locations.”

Currently, Mattress Firm has roughly 3,400 U.S. locations.

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Amazon celebrates its ‘biggest holiday’

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon wasted no time in crowning the 2017 holiday season its “biggest” to date, fueled by an increase in Prime membership.

In a release, the e-commerce giant said that customers were shopping on its website at “record levels” throughout the season. It also boasted that, in one week alone, more than four million people became Prime members or started a free trial, sending its membership count to new highs. The retailer did not provide a specific membership total.

Amazon’s high-tech devices also enjoyed a record run, the company said, with the Echo Dot being the top selling Amazon Device this holiday season, and the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon, with millions sold.

Here are some other holiday stats from Amazon:

• Customers worldwide shopping on the Amazon App increased nearly 70% this holiday season.

• Amazon’s peak day of customer fulfillment in 2017 was Dec. 19, 2017.

• Customers purchased more than twice as many Amazon Fire TV Sticks compared to last year’s holiday season. Fire TV continues to be the No. 1 streaming media player family in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan, across all retailers.

• The last Prime Now order in time for Christmas was delivered in 58 minutes at 11:58 p.m. on Christmas Eve in Baltimore, MD. The order included the Kid Galaxy Amphibious RC Car Morphibians Shark Remote Control Toy, the Crayola Oil Pastels Art Tools, 28 ct., and the VTechClick and Count Remote.

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NRF bullish on new tax package

BY Marianne Wilson

The National Retail Federation welcomed the recently passed tax measure, saying it will dramatically benefit businesses, workers and consumers.

“This is landmark legislation that will boost our nation’s economy more than anything we have seen in decades,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are winners under tax reform since our industry receives few of the tax breaks that benefit other sectors of the economy and pay the highest effective tax rate of any industry. Lower taxes will help us grow our businesses and offer our customers better value.”

NRF analysis shows that cutting the corporate tax rate will save large businesses enough to create between 500,000 and 1.5 million while reducing taxes for “pass-throughs” will benefit the small retailers that make up 95% of the industry.

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