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PRSM Weekly
Aug. 14, 2009  
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Back-to-School Shopping Trip Means $999 Billion
from Bloomberg
Parents will spend about $473 for supplies and activities for elementary school kids this year. That’s 34 percent more than in 2007 because of the higher cost of musical-instrument rent and newer fees for things like art supplies, club dues and magazine subscriptions, said Maureen Brown, a bank spokeswoman. More    E-mail article

All American Mechanical Contractors

Sears to Offer Toys in 20 Stores
from The Associated Press via Google
Sears Holdings Corp., the retail chain lead by chairman and hedge fund financier Eddie Lampert, said it will begin to offer toys in 20 of its Sears stores starting Saturday. In-store toy shops will offer brands including Mattel's Fisher Price, Hasbro, LeapFrog, Spin Master's Bakugan and VTech toys, the company said. More    E-mail article

Pier 1 says Debt Restructuring to Give it More Flexibility
from The Dallas Morning News
Pier 1 Imports Inc.'s stock price took a hit last week after the company refinanced its convertible debt in a way that initially dilutes shares. But the Fort Worth-based home furnishings retailer said its debt restructuring, which includes a reduction in its revolving credit facility to $300 million from $325 million, gives it more flexibility. More    E-mail article

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Liz Claiborne Plans Sweeping Cost Cuts As 2Q Loss Widens
from The Wall Street Journal
Liz Claiborne Inc. unveiled what may be its broadest restructuring strokes yet as the apparel retailer plans $100 million in cuts and looks at shifting its relationships with department stores. Liz Claiborne feels it can take the steps without sacrificing the ability to strengthen operations, and is also revamping its Isaac Mizrahi-designed Liz NY line a bit. More    E-mail article

DVD Kiosks Like Redbox Have Rivals Seeing Red
from USA Today
We all know that DVDs are dying, and pretty soon people who want to watch movies at home will just stream or download them from the Internet, cable or satellite. Right? Don't tell that to the executives at Redbox. This mouse of a company — it generated just $389 million in revenue last year — is flooding Walmart, McDonald's, 7-Eleven and other retail, supermarket and convenience store chains with vending machines that rent the latest DVDs of Hollywood blockbusters for just $1 a day. More    E-mail article

Servicecom USA

Wal-Mart Gathers Momentum
from Forbes
After flirting with mostly disastrous initiatives like high-end apparel and urban stores, Wal-Mart seems to have found the formula to ignite its next wave of growth: Cut inventory, spruce up the stores, wait for a recession to draw more budget-conscious shoppers and flaunt the improvements to keep them coming through the next economic upturn. More    E-mail article


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Talbots Signs Deal with Li & Fung
from The Associated Press via Forbes
Retailer Talbots Inc. said that it signed a deal making Li & Fung Ltd. its exclusive global apparel sourcing agent. Terms were not disclosed. Starting next month, Hong Kong-based Li & Fung will be the exclusive agent for almost all of Talbots' apparel and will serve as the non-exclusive agent for its swimwear, intimate apparel, footwear, jewelry, handbags and accessories. More    E-mail article

Brinco Mechanical Services

Sales Unexpectedly Fall on Job Losses
from Bloomberg
Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly fell in July, raising the risk that a lack of consumer spending will temper a recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s. Purchases decreased 0.1 percent, the first drop in three months, as shrinking demand at department stores such as Macy’s Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. overshadowed a boost from the cash-for-clunkers automobile incentive program, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. More    E-mail article

Go Green the American Way…
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Geeks at Home with Best Buy Test
from RetailWire
Best Buy has been testing a program with its Geek Squad where members get to work from home helping consumers find solutions to technical issues with their personal computers over the internet rather than operating out of a store or going to customers' homes. The program, which has been in test for six months, currently involves about two dozen Geek Squad members. More    E-mail article

Lane Valente Industries

Phones Ringing: A Sign of Small Business Recovery
from The Associated Press via Google
At one small company, the phone is ringing more often, while another is getting business again from retailers who canceled orders last year. And at an inn, reservations are coming in for the busy season. These are some of the signs of a turnaround that small businesses are starting to see. As economic reports look brighter and the stock market rebounds, some owners are finding that customers and clients are willing to do business again. More    E-mail article

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