Retail News You Can Use

Report: Weakest Holiday Sales Since '91

New York City  Holiday sales this year will be the weakest in 17 years, according to a forecast issued Wednesday by TNS Retail Forward. It projects that total retail sales in the holiday fourth quarter will increase only 1.5%, making the 2008 holiday season the worst for retailers since 1991, when sales grew 1.2%.

"Our top-line forecast separates into two distinct groups-the leaders and the laggards," said Frank Badillo, senior economist for TNS Retail Forward, Columbus, Ohio. "Sustaining above-average growth will be non-store and mass retailers. They will see combined growth near 6.0% in the fourth quarter. Continuing to troll the depths will be the home-goods and soft-goods retailers where growth is expected to decline 1% or more."
 
Wal-Mart to Move Sam's Club Headquarters

Bentonville, Ark.Wal-Mart is planning to move its Sam's Club headquarters to a new location. The Sam's Club corporate offices have been located next door to the Wal-Mart home office in Bentonville, Ark., but the company now plans to move to the former Superior Commercial Building, also in Bentonville, and located three miles from its current location.

"This facility will provide Sam's Club with a unique opportunity to house all of its club support functions under one roof and help us improve our focus on serving associates in the clubs and our members," said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Sam's Club. The company paid nearly $30 million for the 375,000-sq.-ft. building and the surrounding property.

 

L.L. Bean to Expand in China

Freeport, Maine  L.L. Bean is ready to open the first of five stores in China this month.

The Beijing store in the Solana Mall in Beijing, which opens on Sept. 27, will be operated through a joint venture between the Maine outdoors outfitter and Youngone Corp. of Korea.

 

Pier 1 2Q Loss Narrows

Fort Worth, Texas  Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Thursday that it lost $30.2 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $43.3 million in the year before, as it reduced operating expenses.

The company also withdrew its previous 2009 profit guidance, which had called for "modest" profit growth.

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Dress Barn 4Q Profit Down 9%

Suffern, N.Y.  Dress Barn Inc. said Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit declined 9% as same-store sales dropped 2% amid a continued pullback in consumer spending.

Earnings for the quarter ended July 26 fell to $22.1 million, down from $33.6 million in the same quarter the previous year.

 

99 Cents Only to Close All 48 Texas Stores

City of Commerce, Calif.  99 Cents Only Stores announced Thursday it will pull out of the Texas market, closing all 48 stores because operations are unprofitable.

99 Cents Only said stores in the "very challenging" Texas market were generating about half the revenue of its stores in other states.

 

USA Today Opens Retail Concept in Airports

New York City USA Today, the nation's top-selling newspaper, on Wednesday opened three retail stores at the new North Terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

The concept, called USA TODAY Travel Zone, is the newspaper brand's first foray into retailing.
 
Home Depot Plans Price Cuts

Atlanta The Home Depot Inc. plans to start cutting prices this week on as many as 1,200 items, from trash bags to toilets, to boost sluggish sales and win back customers who have started to shop at competitors, according to the Associated Press. Prices will be cut between 5% and 50% - although the company couldn't say what the average reduction will be-on about one out of every 25 items found on store shelves.

The Home Depot Inc. plans to start cutting prices this week on as many as 1,200 items, from trash bags to toilets, to boost sluggish sales and win back customers who have started to shop at competitors, according to the Associated Press. 

 

Contributed by: Nithin Narayanan