Holiday Sales Were Dismal, New Retail Data Confirms
from The New York Times
After weeks of hoping for a Christmas miracle, the nation's retail chains have confirmed that they suffered one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in decades. Most stores reported sales declines and many lowered their earnings guidance, including Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. Sales in November and December are closely watched because they account for 25 to 40 percent of many retailers' annual sales. More
After Sales, Will Shoppers Pay Full Price Again?
from The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Shoppers are getting used to those 75 percent off sale signs, and that's bad news for merchants who worry they will also have to quickly slash prices on spring goods to attract customers. Anxieties about how rampant discounts have affected shoppers' psyches and stores' profits are running high ahead of expected dismal December sales. More
Test for Dwindling Retail Jobs Spawns a Culture of Cheating
from The Wall Street Journal
When Anton Smith applied for hourly work at a Finish Line sneaker store in Charlotte, N.C., his first hurdle was showing he had the temperament for the job. Finish Line Inc., like many other retailers, makes applicants take a personality test before it will consider interviewing them. Thanks to a little digging on the Internet by a friend, which turned up an unauthorized answer key, when Smith took the test in late 2007 he had a good idea what the employer wanted to hear. More
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Methanol Fuel Cells: The Next Generation of Power
from SP&T News
Finding an adequate and reliable power supply for off-grid security and monitoring systems is likely one of the toughest challenges in the security industry. Batteries, after all, require constant replacement and recharging Ė and power generators can often be expensive and high-maintenance. The obvious drawbacks of current independent power alternatives have left room for a new type of technology ó one that seems to be arriving in the form of direct methanol fuel cells. More
Supervalu CEO: Grocers, Vendors Brace for Battle on Lower Prices
Food retailers are girding for a "battle" with vendors in the first half of the year as grocers push for lower prices to help shoppers through the recession and food manufacturers resist, Supervalu Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Noddle said. With commodity and ingredient costs falling sharply in recent months, supermarket chains have been pushing for lower prices on everything from coffee to soups to help increase sputtering sales. More
Kroger Uses Loyalty Data to Target Coupons
from The Washington Post
Although the recession has revived penny-pinching, Americans are still redeeming only 1 percent to 3 percent of paper coupons. In contrast, the nation's largest traditional grocery chain says as many as half the coupons it sends regular customers do get used. Kroger's part ownership of a data mining firm allows it to put the reams of information its shopper cards collect to use in more ways than other retailers do. And one way is to give shoppers coupons mainly for products they regularly buy. More
U.S. Shopping Mall Vacancies Reach 10-Year High as Stores Fail
Vacancies at U.S. malls and shopping centers approached 10-year highs in the fourth quarter, and are set to rise further as declining retail sales put more stores out of business, research firm Reis Inc. said. Regional mall vacancies rose to 7.1 percent last quarter from 6.6 percent in the third quarter. More
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Wal-Mart Names New Head of International Division
from The Associated Press
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, named the president and CEO of its Sam's Club warehouse division to fill the same roles at its expanding international unit. Doug McMillon, 42, will head the company's second-largest operating segment, which had been run by Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart's international division, before Duke was tapped in late November to succeed Lee Scott as Wal-Mart's president and chief executive. More
Out of the Fryer and into the Vegawatt: Used Vegetable Oil Helps Power Restaurant
from Greener Buildings
A Massachusetts firm says its new device called the Vegawatt can help restaurants save money by converting used vegetable oil from fryers into fuel to produce electricity and hot water. The Owl Power Company of Boylston, Mass., hopes its Vegawatt will become the next big thing among restaurants and other businesses with commercial or industrial kitchens that use fryers. More
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The World's Most Beautiful Retail Centers
from Shopping Centers Today
For more than three decades, the International Council of Shopping Centers' International Design and Development Awards program has honored developers and owners, architects and designers, builders and managers that have scaled the highest creative peaks to build world-class retail destinations. Innovation and creativity are key characteristics shared by this yearís honorees, hailing from 12 countries. More
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