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The Guardian
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Retail sales growth accelerated to 4.2 percent last week
Bloomberg    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Same-store sales at a selection of U.S. retailers posted last week the biggest jump of this holiday season, rising 4.2 percent as more consumers finished shopping, according to a survey of retailers. Almost 74 percent of shoppers completed gift buying in the week ended Dec. 18, spurring faster sales growth than the previous three weeks. That compared with 56.6 percent a week earlier, according to a chain-store sales index released by New York-based International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The 4.2 percent gain compared to a year earlier. More

American Eagle Outfitters expanding into Japan
Pittsburgh Business Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is taking its flagship brand and its growing Aerie store to Japan. The South Side-based company announced that it has established a partnership with Sumikin Bussan Corp. to begin opening stores in Japan, starting with a first location in Tokyo in the first half of 2012. More

Shoppers crowd the malls in Christmas countdown
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Packed malls? Healthy gains in holiday spending? It's beginning to look at least a little like a pre-recession Christmas. Americans spent more on clothing, luxury goods and even furniture, delivering healthy gains across the board, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, which tracks spending across all transactions including cash. The online category continued to be a bright spot. The big exception was consumer electronics, dragged down by deep discounting of TVs amid a glut. That area was virtually unchanged from a year ago. More

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Super Saturday sales rise by 15.1 percent, but today might be even bigger
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Heavy rain in the West wasn't enough to dampen Super Saturday, with U.S. retail sales surging 15.1 percent to $7.58 billion over the same day last year, according to ShopperTrak, a research firm that installs tracking devices in stores around the country. Traffic on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, rose 10.1 percent. But ShopperTrak noted that the figures were skewed by blizzard-like conditions throughout the Northeast in 2009 that inflated this year's Super Saturday results. More

Blockbuster to close 182 stores by early 2011
The Associated Press via Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blockbuster Inc. plans to close 182 stores in the next few months as it tries to get its business back in shape in bankruptcy court. Once the dominant movie rental company in the U.S., Blockbuster has been struggling with mounting losses for years as the popularity of Netflix Inc., cable video on demand and Redbox vending machines grows. The company tried to respond to better meet customers' new media habits, but gained little traction and also failed to keep its debt under control. The Dallas-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. More

Walmart to close Moscow office
The Financial Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-mart, the world's largest retailer by sales and profits, is closing an office in Moscow that it opened last year to pursue acquisitions in Russia. The move comes a week after X5, Russia's biggest food retailer by sales, said it had struck a $1.65 billion deal to acquire Kopeika, a rival that operates about 700 discount stores and was a potential partner for the U.S. retailer. More

Department stores add electronics, gadgets to draw buyers
The Miami Herald via the Sun-Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yola Dorvil didn't want to buy the same old boring gift for her office holiday gift exchange. But she had no idea what to get. Dorvil found her answer in JC Penney's gift shop at Aventura Mall: a pair of Sharper Image binoculars with a built-in digital camera that takes photos of the magnified image. "I figured it was unusual," said Dorvil of Miami. "It's also universal — it works for men or women." More

Tampa Ikea doing well despite downturn in home furnishings industry
St. Petersburg Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite opening in the teeth of a recession that hobbled most of the home furnishings industry, Ikea's first Tampa store did well enough in its initial 18 months that managers are now fine-tuning their approach to the market. The Tampa-ization of the assemble-it-yourself furniture giant ranges from longer store hours to adding a Cuban sandwich (made, of course, with bread from La Segunda Bakery) to a restaurant menu best known for Swedish meatballs. More

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