Quoted – Sales rise, retailers optimistic – The Chronicle

Sales rise, retailers optimistic

By LOU WILIN

Retailers report stronger Black Friday sales this year than last year and they are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the Christmas season.

“So far, so good,” said Debbi Baker, store manager of Christopher & Banks, a women’s clothing store at Findlay Village Mall. “My Black Friday was better (than last year’s).”

David Lazar, store manager of Elder-Beerman at the mall, was cheerier.

“We are happy. We are very, very happy,” with Elder-Beerman’s sales numbers last weekend, he said.

National and regional research companies reported slight sales increases last weekend from a year ago.

In Ottawa, Walmart Manager Shane Sidle is patient.

“Things have been steady, steady with last year,” he said. Sales will probably strengthen in the 10 days before Christmas, Sidle said.

“The last couple of years, that is how it has been,” he said.

The recession has lowered retailers’ sales expectations, and rightly so.

“Consumers are very leery about spending money over the holidays,” said Scott Testa, business administration professor at Cabrini College, Radnor, Pa.

Retailers are coping by spreading out the shopping season. Christopher & Banks at the mall got its Christmas season inventory in early November, three weeks earlier than usual, said Baker, the manager. She even got resort wear, outfits women will wear on trips in the next season. Baker does not usually see those until mid-December.

“They kind of bulked me up, and whatever I have got, it has to go,” she said.

In Fostoria, Kmart Assistant Manager Bridget Weslow said the store’s layaway policy “is what is keeping people coming in.”

Testa said people this year are seeking more practical gifts, like tires, tools and car wax instead of, say, jewelry.

But flat screen TVs and video game systems are still hot items, Sidle said.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Quoted – Retailers add tweets, pals to advertising – Houston Chronicle

A Twitter profile
Image via Wikipedia

“Hey. You there,” the message on Facebook begins.

The casual style might make it seem like something written by the pal of a Facebook user, but it’s from Staples advertising a sale.

About two weeks ago, Staples sent its Facebook fans and Twitter followers a sneak peak at some of its Black Friday deals.

This is the first year the office supply superstore has used social media to advertise during the holidays and not the last, Staples spokeswoman Amy Shandler said.

“This is where people live and spend their free time, and it’s a more conversational medium. It’s a two-way dialogue,” she said, noting that Facebook and other social media users often give their feedback on the ads.

Other chains, including J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Home Depot, Toys R Us and Sears, are embracing social media during the holidays.

Advertising on social media during the holidays — or at any time — “is very cost-effective,” said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia, whose research includes retail and social networking. It is also a way to differentiate yourself, especially for the early adopters — those retailers that are among the first to have a presence on social media, he said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6739734.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Quoted – How to Get the Biggest Savings this Holiday Season – Denver Post

A typical Best Buy store at the Ravenswood 101...
Image via Wikipedia

Stores are stocking less inventory this holiday season, so Traci Lunsford decided to start her shopping last month.

“I will receive the bill in November and have it paid off by December,” says the Thornton resident, who has been using coupons and daily deals from Upromise.com to help curtail her holiday spending.

Marketing experts say zealous coupon clippers and tenacious bargain hunters such as Lunsford will reap the greatest savings this holiday season.

But they also warn that shoppers are unlikely to find the usual last-minute price cuts in the days before Christmas.

Why? To compensate for soft sales throughout the past year, retailers are keeping inventories low to prevent stock from languishing on shelves. Black Friday and Cyber Monday — the weekdays immediately after Thanksgiving — promise shoppers the deepest discounts.

“The more expensive the item . . . the more open the store will be to negotiating,”says Scott Testa, a business-administration professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

“Consumers have nothing to lose,” he adds. “If you have money to spend, you will get as good a deal as you will ever see.”

Wal-Mart and Best Buy both advertise price-matching. To take advantage of it, shoppers should arm themselves with mailers and inserts before hitting the stores.

“Bring your laptop into the store,” Testa says. “Show them the ad you found on Amazon with a $999 price compared to their $1,050 and ask them if there is something they can do for you.”

http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_13835889

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20091125/ARTICLES/911209864/1008?Title=How-to-get-the-biggest-savings-this-holiday-shopping-season

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091127/LIFE/911270302

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]