U.S. Retail Sales Rise as Discounts Lure Shoppers
Sales at U.S. retailers rose last week after chains used discounts on clothing and consumer electronics to lure customers and avoid what might be the worst holiday- shopping season in four decades. Sales at stores open at least a year increased 0.4 percent in the seven days through Dec. 6 from a year earlier, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said. More
Stock Prices Decline After Two-Day Rally
from The Associated Press
Wall Street turned cautious this week after a two-day rally and as downbeat corporate news reminded investors that the economy's troubles won't soon ease. The Dow Jones industrials fell nearly 225 points, while broader indexes showed more moderate declines. More
Retailer KB Toys Files for Bankruptcy Protection
from The Wall Street Journal
KB Toys Inc. has returned to Chapter 11 under Prentice Capital Management LP, the private-equity firm that bought the retailer out of bankruptcy in 2005. However, this time KB Toys is slated for liquidation. The company plans to quickly start going-out-of-business sales at hundreds of its stores, "in order to take advantage of the last two weeks of the holiday selling season," KB Toys said in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. More
Dominick's Owner Going Bargain Shopping for Real Estate
from The Chicago Sun-Times
Safeway, owner of Dominick's grocery stores, has created a real estate development business that has reviewed 36 projects for possible development and is working actively on a handful of the projects, a spokesman confirmed. One example of a project would be Safeway developing a shopping center where it operates a grocery store, and leasing or selling the retail space surrounding its store. More
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What Will it Take to Get Consumers Spending Again?
from Shopping Centers Today
Like Atlas, who shouldered the weight of the heavens, the American consumer bears a massive burden. Personal spending accounts for about 70 percent of the $13.8 trillion of U.S. gross domestic product. And as the global financial crisis so amply illustrates, U.S. shoppers’ free-spending ways, whether in the form of subprime mortgages or maxed-out credit cards, support a huge chunk of the global economy as well. More
Abercrombie Refuses to Discount, Stock Plunges
from The New York Times
Eight years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch was the bee's knees of discreetly sexy casualwear. Overpriced sandblasted jeans and button-up plaid shirts were boxed up and put under the tree (or menorah) of any 16-year-old with a Suburban in the driveway. Those were the good, pre-recession, naked-models-riding-horses-in-catalogues days. More
Job cuts slated for Office Depot, Yahoo, EA
from CNN Money
Office Depot, Yahoo and Electronic Arts have added to the mounting job losses in the global economy, with more than 4,000 positions slated for elimination. Office Depot unveiled its plan to cut 2,200 jobs. More
Wal-Mart to Sell the iPhone; Analysts Suspect it Will Cost $99
Wal-Mart will start selling iPhones by the end of the year, but it is unlikely that they will be available in time to take advantage of holiday sales. Of more importance, perhaps, is that the phone may be sold for its lowest price yet—$99. More
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Good Service is a Wise Investment
from The Baltimore Sun
High overhead costs are nothing new to large department stores and retail chains. But the results of a sluggish economy can mean deep cuts in customer service personnel. That could lead to a self-service shopping environment that customers may tolerate or even prefer for certain purchases. But it can be a challenge for the customer who has questions or requests help locating an item. Small retailers must keep tabs on overhead costs, too. They are in a better position, however, to provide the level of service that consumers expect. More
7-Eleven Launches New Private-label Products
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven said it would sell 32 new products under its 7-Select private-label brand to appeal to cost-conscious consumers looking to trade down from brand names. It said the new products included cookies, candy, nuts, potato chips, beef jerky, trail mix, chocolate-covered pretzels and other items. More
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Most Supermarkets Fail Greenpeace Ratings for Eco-friendly Fish Choices
from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
In a new twist on the old wallet cards offered to help eco-minded consumers decide which fish to buy, Greenpeace today is updating its list of how supermarkets come out on the Earth-friendly scale. Surprisingly, perhaps, Trader Joe's ranks near the bottom of the 20 chains checked, far behind WalMart at No. 5 and Safeway at No. 6. More
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