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Study: Millennials don’t want plastic

BY Dan Berthiaume

Physical credit cards may be going the way of DVDs and floppy disks.

According to new analysis from Bankrate.com cited by PayPal, 63% of millennials do not have a credit card. However, that does not mean they are abandoning credit-based purchases.

Millennials are now the fastest growing segment of PayPal Credit shoppers, rising to 33% of the total in 2015 up from 28% in 2013. Rather than shunning credit altogether, this influential group is turning to alternative credit services to help manage their finances.

An additional survey of millennial consumers conducted for PayPal by Koski Research showed that millennials are nearly twice as likely as baby boomers (50% compared to 29%) to use new credit offerings from “cool” innovators rather than traditional credit tools.

More than one-third of millennials consider credit cards to be “old school,” and they are more likely to be annoyed by the processes of using traditional credit cards online than baby boomers (29% compared to 21%) [

In addition, nearly 70% of millennials are more likely to trust companies that are technology-based to keep their credit data and transactions secure. Millennials are most likely to use online credit to pay for clothing and accessories (45%), electronics (33%), and travel (27%) through the end of this year.

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A familiar face returns to Tilly’s as CEO

BY Mike Troy

Teen apparel and footwear retailer Tilly's has tapped an executive who previously led the company to fill the shoes of Daniel Griesemer who stepped down as president, CEO and a member of the board effective Oct. 7.

Replacing Griesemer is Edmond Thomas, an executive who served as Tillys president and co-CEO from Sept. 2005 to Oct. 2007. Thomas most recently served as CEO of the troubled Wet Seal apparel chain. He had left Tillys in 2007 to serve as president and CEO of Wet Seal and held that position until 2011, when he became a partner in the private investment firm of KarpReilly.

Thomas was lured back to Wet Seal in September 2014 following a revolving door of CEOs. He led the company through its January 2015 bankruptcy filing and sale in April, 2015, to Versa Capital Management. Thomas left Wet Seal in August.

Tillys operates 219 stores that offer a mix of West Coast-inspired apparel, footwear and accessories. The company reported net sales of $130 million its most recent quarter, up 6% from $123 million for the same period last year.

The company’s executive chairman of the board, Hezy Shaked, said Tillys is extremely pleased to appoint Thomas to the CEO role.

“Based on his track record, extensive industry experience and depth of insight into Tillys, Ed (Thomas) is uniquely qualified for this position, “Shaked said. “In addition to his broad-ranging operational and strategic experience, Ed’s leadership skills and passion make him the ideal choice to lead Tillys into the future, and we are confident that under his direction, we can drive long-term growth and profitability and create significant value for stockholders.”

Thomas said he was honored to be leading Tillys again at such a dynamic time in the company’s history.

“Tillys has a strong history of success and leadership in the industry, and I am excited to build upon that foundation,” Thomas said.

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Regional chain enters same-day delivery arena

BY Dan Berthiaume

Same-day delivery is a growing phenomenon, but so far has been the province of major national retailers.

Renton, Washington-based McLendon Hardware, which operates seven stores in Washington, is making a big move to same-day delivery for big items.

McLendon is partnering with Seattle-based on-demand shared transport provider Fleetzen to provide same-day delivery for oversized goods such as water heaters, patio furniture and lumber. The service is aimed at consumers who would ordinarily visit the store to buy these items, but cannot fit them in their vehicles.

Fleetzen will provide McLendon customers same-day delivery within a 10-mile radius for $59. All items are fully insured and the service includes both a driver and a helper. The service is virtually seamless; after going through checkout, the customer goes a few feet over to the service desk where a McLendon Hardware representative schedules a delivery later that day for any item purchased by 7 p.m.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Fleetzen and offering our customers a superior experience,” said Gail McLendon, president of McLendon Hardware. “Transporting an oversized item such as a barbecue grill or patio furniture that can’t fit into a car is a common source of customer distress that we are happy to address and solve. We expect this to be a win/win/win situation – greater convenience for our existing customers, a higher likelihood that current customers will buy an oversized item, and the addition of new customers intrigued by this important new service.”

The new same day delivery service will start at McLendon Hardware’s Renton store the second weekend of October with plans to expand to all seven stores by the end of the month.

This development illustrates the growing normalcy of both same-day delivery and shared transport services, such as Uber and Amazon Flex, in retail. When even regional chains are looking to provide same-day delivery, based on product size more than meeting the needs of online consumers, the concept has firmly taken root.

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