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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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? Read the whitepaper now
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.
Starbucks, L.L. Bean and Adidas are members of the Fair Factories Clearinghouse. Are you? Source: NRF.
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.
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.