The second half of the year is off to a slow start for retailers, who reported Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year were weaker than expected in July, increasing 2.9 percent from July of last year, according to a tally by Thomson Reuters.
Launched on June 23, 2009, as an online marketplace not unlike eBay, Alice.com enables CPG manufacturers to sell their household essentials — think toothpaste, laundry detergent, trash bags, toilet paper, etc. — direct to consumers. By making thousands of products typically not found online available for purchase, Alice.com has tapped into an underserved market, albeit surprisingly so to the company's founders.
Fighting for freight, retailers are outbidding each other to score scarce cargo space on ships, paying two to three times last year’s freight rates — in some cases, the highest rates in five years. And still, many are getting merchandise weeks late.
Walmart's strategy is evolving, and would have evolved regardless of what managers are in place. "Taking merchandise out of the Action Alley and providing clear sight lines has been a successful strategy," Spokesman David Tovar said in an e-mail, but added, "We are constantly listening to our customers and some have told us they liked seeing the rollbacks on merchandise in the aisles. .... We have given more autonomy to our store managers to make the decisions on what is right for their customers."
More than 450,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, as joblessness continued to hamper the U.S. economy and other new economic indicators reflected mixed signs about the recovery. The number of people filing new unemployment claims has fluctuated between 450,000 and 500,000 a week since January, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Although that is down from last year, it remains an indication of ongoing weakness, economists said. Other new figures showed that consumer borrowing fell again in May, suggesting that Americans remain nervous about the economy. June retail sales jumped 3 percent, though some analysts noted that
No. 1 U.S. warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale saw June sales at stores open at least a year rise 4 percent, marginally missing market expectations, as it was hurt by the Memorial Day holiday shift.
Retailers are pulling out all the stops to eliminate waste and reduce costs. Major catalog marketers nationwide have hopped on the “tighten your belt” trend, with an increased demand for smaller, letter-rate catalogs. Dropping millions of large catalogs to underperforming mailing lists is passé, while green design and consumer perceptions are hot, and postage is at an all-time high.
What are the best practices for generating sales using Twitter? Sometimes we need to frame questions a different way. Maybe the question needs to be, “Is Twitter a viable way for brands to generate sales?”
For most multichannel retailers, developing marketing plans and budgets for 2010 is a daunting task. After two years of tough economic climates that meant sales reductions and downsizing for many, now’s the time to build a plan for another — perhaps better, yet uncertain — year.
The fate of Wal-Mart, Target and other big retailers often represents a benchmark for how smaller multichannel marketers will perform, sales-wise. But if their sales performance in April was any indication, then it’s not a good time right now for anyone. Below are highlights of several key big retailers’ April sales totals. * Overall, the UBS-International Council of Shopping Centers’ sales totals of 53 retailers showed a 2.4 percent decrease, the largest decline since 1970 * Wal-Mart’s same-store sales fell 3.5 percent * Target Corp.’s same-store sales decreased by 6.1 percent * Federated Department Stores’ (Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s) same-store sales dropped 2.2 percent * Gap Inc.’s same-store sales sunk by