PRSM Weekly
Dec. 23, 2011

Increase in holiday shopping indicates increased confidence
ABC News
With only days left before Christmas, holiday shoppers are flooding the malls and local stores. Nearly half of shoppers have not finished their Christmas shopping yet, and the traditional biggest shopping days — Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday — are all behind us. The outlook seems to be that it's shaping to be a robust season for the economy. Experts say this year consumers have the upper hand, as stores opened for extended hours and online vendors offered major discounts, some even with free shipping. More

DAVACO acquires Ecoxera consulting firm
Retail Design and Construction Today
DAVACO has acquired Austin, Texas-based Ecoxera, a retail sustainability consulting firm, a move that DAVACO says will broaden its operations to include comprehensive multisite sustainability and resource reduction services. Justin Doak, who is the founder of Ecoxera, will continue to serve as president. More

Green buildings on the rise
Sustainable Industries Magazine
Green building will continue its rebound globally in 2012 in spite of ongoing economic difficulties in most developed economies. What we’re seeing is that more people are building green each year, and there is nothing on the horizon that will stop this megatrend or its constituent elements. However, in 2010 and 2011, the continuing slowdown in commercial real estate and the end of federMore

Kohl's Department Stores add EV charging stations to 33 locations
Following in IKEA's eco-footsteps, Kohl's is the latest store to add EV charging stations in its parking lots. The department store will be adding electric vehicle charging stations to 33 Kohl's locations throughout the U.S. Each of the stores will be setting aside one to four spots for EV drivers to recharge while they shop – at no extra charge. To charge up, EV drivers need to ask for a radio frequency identification card from the Kohl's customer service desk or call a phone number provided on the charging station. More

Talbots turns down approximately $205.2M takeover offer from Sycamore Partners
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Women’s clothing chain Talbots Inc. rejected an approximately $205.2 million buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, saying the bid undervalues the company, and announced it would explore strategic options. The announcement was met favorably by investors, who sent the retailer's stock up 10 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $2.74 in morning trading. The shares have traded between $1.46 and $8.69 over the last year. More

Brazilians, the real spenders
The Wall Street Journal
Brazilian shoppers are taking the U.S. by storm this holiday season, a welcome boost for U.S. retailers facing a sluggish economy. Armed with a strong currency, easier access to credit and abundant enthusiasm for shopping, Brazilians have quietly ousted richer nations, such as the U.K., as the biggest overseas spenders in key U.S. markets like New York City and Florida. Some 700,000 Brazilians will visit New York City this year, more than twice the 2009 figure. That's fewer than the British and Canadian totals. More

Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie to become 9th-largest chain
The Charlotte Observer
Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo and Florida-based Winn-Dixie Stores plan to merge, the chains said, creating a chain of nearly 700 stores across the Southeast. Bi-Lo, which is owned by the Dallas-based private equity firm Lone Star Funds, will pay $560 million for Winn-Dixie in an all-cash deal expected to close in two to four months, pending shareholder approval. More

A record setting $6.2 billion week for online holiday retail sales
Weekly online holiday sales were flirting with hitting the $6 billion mark several times this year. This past week, ended Dec. 18, sales blew past that mark and surged to $6.28 billion, led by four individual days surpassing $1 billion in sales, according to comScore, a company that tracks digital data. Online sales for the week increased 14 percent versus the same period of the prior year.More

CVS executives see strong growth for 2012
Retailing Today
CVS Caremark executives shared plans to address the challenges facing health care during the company's annual Analyst Day in New York City. The company also said it also expects to buy back the $3 billion left in its share repurchase program. Executives confirmed the company's 2011 guidance and provided 2012 guidance, underscoring a strong growth outlook. CVS senior management also outlined their plans to achieve long-term growth targets that are expected to generate more than $30 billion in cash available to enhance shareholder value from 2011 through 2015.More

Toys R Us to stay open round the clock till Christmas Eve
CNN Money
Toys R Us is giving last minute holiday shoppers a break this year, thanks to round-the-clock shopping right up until Christmas. Toys R Us stores nationwide will stay open for 112 hours, the toy giant said. This is the second year in a row the retailer has remained open for 24-hour shopping in the days before Christmas. More