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Retailers name store expansion as top priority for 2011
Retailing Today    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retailers are ready to expand again, and likely will do so as the economy picks up, according to a new survey conducted by the charitable arm of the National Retail Federation and KPMG. In their ninth annual "Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2010, Forecasts for 2011" report, the NRF Foundation and KPMG found that among 318 of executives surveyed, 41 percent said they are looking to expand their domestic reach this year, up from one-quarter of retail executives surveyed last year. International expansion plans also are on the rise, with 25 percent of executives saying that they will broaden their businesses overseas, up from 21 percent last year. More

Cisco: Retailers should bring the Web inside stores
Internet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bringing e-commerce shopping features inside bricks-and-mortar stores could increase revenues for retailers, suggests a report released by Cisco Systems Inc., which sells networking and communications technology. That's because shoppers are becoming more accustomed to using home computers and smart phones to find the right products at the lowest prices, tendencies that retailers can take advantage of to drive sales inside stores. "Retailers must respond to technology-savvy consumers by combining Web-like and in-store shopping experiences to create 'mashops' in order to drive growth and build brand awareness," Cisco says. More

Saving the endangered Canadian shopping mall
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Harold Spring is not complaining about winter. The president and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Bayfield Realty Advisors Inc., an institutional real estate investment firm, is betting millions that Canada's icy temperatures will keep shopping malls in favor for years to come. More

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Big retailers fill more aisles with groceries
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reflecting a major shift in the way Americans shop for food, retailers better known for selling clothes or aspirin, including Walgreens, CVS/Pharmacy and Target, are expanding in a big way into the grocery business, with fresh produce, frozen meats and, yes, even sushi. Target invested $500 million last year alone in a new push on groceries, retrofitting some of its general merchandise stores with full-blown food sections. More
Related story:  First lady lauds Walmart's push for healthful food (NPR)

Study finds a dirty store sends shoppers out the front door
BusinessWire via CNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent Cintas Corporation telephone survey conducted by Harris Interactive among more than 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older revealed what experiences negatively impact a customer's perception of a retail store. Ninety-nine percent of U.S. adults reported that any poor cleanliness issue would negatively affect their perception. More specifically, dirty restrooms and unpleasant odor are top annoyances over poor customer service. More

Canadian retail sales jump in November led by autos
MONEY    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canadian retail sales jumped a bigger-than-expected 1.3 percent in November led by purchases of cars and car parts, according to government figures. Sales rose for the sixth month to a total value of $37.3 billion, Statistics Canada said. It was the biggest gain since March last year, with gains reported in eight out of 11 subsectors, it said. More

Blockbuster wins 3-month restructuring extension
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blockbuster Inc. received three more months to negotiate store leases with its landlords — its second restructuring extension — giving the video rental chain more time to try to reorganize its business. Judge Burton Lifland of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan gave the company the go-ahead to extend the lease discussions as the company tries to decide which stores it will close and what a reorganized Blockbuster will look like. More

Retailers count on gift cards to shore up their January sales
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Gift card redemption is expected to be a key driver of retail sales this month, a welcome relief to stores after signs consumers were tightening their belts post-holiday. But there's conflicting evidence on whether increased gift card sales before the holidays will be the boon retailers hope. The International Council of Shopping Centers predicts only 36.3 percent of gift cards will be redeemed this month, down from 45 percent last year and 46.4 percent in 2009. More

Fortune names Wegmans, Whole Foods, Publix top employers
Drug Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fortune released its "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, ranking Wegmans Food Markets No. 3 and making the New York-based grocer the highest-ranked retailer. Only the software firm SAS and consulting organization Boston Consulting Group ranked higher. Wegmans has appeared on the Fortune list for 14 consecutive years, every year since the list was first published in 1998. More
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