PRSM Weekly
Nov. 19, 2010

October retail sales rise more than forecast
ABC News
Shoppers opened their purses more than expected in October as retail sales climbed 1.2 percent, the most in seven months. The rise in consumer purchasing showed the biggest gain since March, and followed an 0.7 percent rise in September, the U.S. Commerce Department said. Auto dealers led the way with a 5 percent gain, selling 12.2 million vehicles at a seasonally adjusted annual rate last month, and the best since August 2009. Americans are shopping again, which means the sputtering economic recovery is getting a much-needed jolt.More

JC Penney to launch stores for 'big men'
Financial Times
JC Penney, the U.S. mid-price department store retailer, is to launch a chain of up to 300 specialty stores aimed at "big and tall" male customers, as it pursues sales growth in an increasingly saturated retail market. The retailer, which operates 1,100 large, mid-price department stores, said the new chain of smaller stores would be called The Foundry Big and Tall Supply Company, aimed at men who struggle to find suitable clothes in mainstream stores.More

Dollar Tree completes acquisition of Canada's Dollar Giant Store
Retailing Today
Dollar Tree announced that it has completed its purchase of the assets of Dollar Giant Store Ltd, which is based in Vancouver, B.C. The purchase is Dollar Tree's first expansion of its retail operations outside of the United States.More

Mall managers: Holiday retail sales to claw back
Holiday spending this year should improve over last at many U.S. shopping centers, but gains will be tempered by consumers' continued price-consciousness, according to mall managers around the country. The year's biggest shopping season should extend retail sales' overall, if uneven, trek higher through much of 2010. The two ends of the retail spectrum, luxury and discount, appear to be faring best, the former mirroring the U.S. stock market's repair this year, and the latter reflecting consumers' lingering thrifty mindset.More

Target posts higher profit, sees stellar holidays
Target Corp. posted a higher quarterly profit and forecast the best same-store sales in three years for the current period covering the key holiday season, sending its shares up. The discount chain, which benefited from the strong performance of its credit card business in the latest quarter, is hoping to lure more shoppers during the holidays with a new credit card program that offers 5 percent off all purchases.More

Starbucks to double store openings on economic recovery
Starbucks Corp., the world's biggest coffee chain, plans to more than double the rate at which it opens stores to an average of more than one a day as the global economy recovers. "Our ability to navigate through the financial crisis and come out much stronger gives us reason to start growing the company again," Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said in an interview in China's Yunnan province. He plans to open 500 stores in the fiscal year that began in October, with 400 outside the U.S., he said.More

More shoppers at malls on Black Friday weekend
As many as 138 million U.S. shoppers could be hunting for Black Friday bargains during the three days after Thanksgiving, according to a retail trade group survey. Nearly 60 million Americans plan to hit the stores, while an additional 78 million might join the crowds of shoppers, the National Retail Federation said. The total number of possible shoppers is 4 million more than forecast last year, when the NRF forecast 134 million Americans would be out shopping over the three-day weekend.More

Loehmann's Holdings files for bankruptcy in New York
Loehmann's Holdings Inc., the seller of discounted designer goods, negotiated a restructuring plan with owner Istithmar Retail Investments and noteholder Whippoorwill Associates Inc. before filing for bankruptcy. Loehmann's, which filed for bankruptcy, said its plan to reorganize would cut debt by $115 million. Istithmar and Whippoorwill agreed to invest $25 million in the company, according to court papers.More

Chico's profit beats, but discounts dent margins
Women's clothing retailer Chico's FAS Inc. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as strong sales of trendier fashions offset the hit its margins took from higher markdowns. Shares of the company, which has sought in the past few years to increase sales by improving its selection of clothing and accessories aimed at women over age 45, were up more than 4 percent in premarket trading.More

Gap to enter South America through franchise deal
Gap Inc said it would bring its eponymous casual clothing chain to Chile through a franchise deal with Komex, its first foray into the South American market. The company, whose brands include Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, had 165 franchise stores open in 23 countries as of the end of its third quarter.More