Retailers give bargains to shoppers who ask | Whole Foods encourages responsible gift-giving | Walgreen adds 3 new execs
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December 23, 2008
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Industry Watch
Retailers give bargains to shoppers who ask
Shoppers are asking for bargains beyond retailers' marked discounts, and in many cases they're getting them. Best Buy, for instance, is matching competitors' prices, and store managers at J. Crew are refunding the difference between the original price and the sale price. Stores that won't haggle are loosening their return policies.
The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (12/22) 
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Whole Foods encourages responsible gift-giving
Whole Foods is urging customers to give responsibly this holiday season. In addition to store signs, an in-store giving and entertaining guide offers gift ideas, recipes and more. The items are marked as either "Holidays With Heart," which notes goods made with "negative social and/or environmental impact," or as "Whole Trade," which are items from companies that meet standards for ethical trade and work conditions.
In-Store Marketing Institute (12/2008) 
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Walgreen adds 3 new execs
Walgreen has hired three new executives to focus on business segments in consumer goods, disease management and health care. The hires include Bryan Pugh, a former executive with Tesco USA's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets; Colin Watts, a former president of Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare Worldwide; and Jeffrey Zavada, formerly a vice president at UnitedHealth Group Inc.
The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (12/22) 
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Walgreen slows expansion plans:
Walgreen is scaling back expansion plans and focusing on updating its older stores. It also plans to increase the staples it sells and push its private-label products, which are doing well.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/23) 
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Feeling the Pinch in Today's Difficult Credit Market?
Increasing credit costs can ripple through your business to affect longer-term plans that are essential to growth. Download the CFO Research Services report produced in collaboration with American Express: No Stone Unturned: Strategies for Cash Management in Hard Times to gain insight on how midsize companies are adapting in order to maintain their competitive positions under tough circumstances.
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Retail Trends
Shoppers -- and their wallets -- snowed in
Winter storms kept stores from opening and people at home late last week in a losing proposition for retailers. The one possible beneficiary was e-commerce. Said an NRF spokesman: "Retailers always like a little snow to get people in the seasonal spirit. But at the same time, you don't want it so seasonal where they're stuck shoveling their driveways."
USA Today (12/23) 
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Reusable items popular this year
With New Englanders possibly getting snowed in this week, online sales might get a boost. And what are people buying? This year, fitness equipment, reading material and video-game sales have all been up.
Forbes (12/22) 
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Concerned About Retail Sales This Holiday Season?
Be ready to reach shoppers across channels, optimize retail sales strategies, customer relationship management and cross channel execution. Learn from retail and CPG leaders in free white paper from HCL "Six Essentials for Cross Channel Success" this season.
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Retail Technology
Online-only retailers score better on Web
Retailers that specialize in Internet sales do better online with customer satisfaction than do brick-and-mortar stores, a survey of British consumers shows. Amazon UK and Play.com scored the top rankings.
Silicon.com (U.K.) (12/22) 
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White paper: Create effective enterprise training programs
The top two learning priorities for companies are product training and compliance. Are your teams — your internal workforce and your external partners— prepared to do this? If not, how much money is this costing you?
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Business Tips and Advice
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NRF News
If crisis strikes today, can you serve customers tomorrow?
At NRF's Annual Convention, several loss-prevention experts will discuss how to respond to and recover from major crises. From cyber-intrusions or data breaches to active shooters in a mall or store to weather emergencies, companies with enterprisewide business-continuity action plans are better off than those who are unprepared. Learn more.
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NRF SmartStat
Starbucks, L.L. Bean and Adidas are members of the Fair Factories Clearinghouse. Are you? Source: NRF.
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NRF asks Obama for national sales-tax holidays to aid consumers as part of economic stimulus
The National Retail Federation today asked President-elect Barack Obama to incorporate a series of national sales-tax holidays into upcoming economic-stimulus legislation as an important step toward rebuilding consumer confidence, saying short-term gains from consumer spending and long-term growth from job creation are needed to achieve economic recovery. Read more here.
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Chain Restaurant News
Value items take advantage of falling costs
The best way for restaurants to take advantage of falling food and fuel prices might be to offer value menus and discounts rather than broad price reductions, analysts say. Yum! Brands' KFC and Sonic plan such menus, and Red Lobster will offer specials on lobster dishes.
CNNMoney/Dow Jones Newswires (12/22) 
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Survey: Restaurants trend healthful, local and green
Healthful children's meals ranked as the No. 1 trend for quickservice restaurants next year, according to a survey. Among the other top trends: local ingredients and green initiatives.
MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (12/22) 
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Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
Samuel Johnson,
English author
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