Quoted – Buncombe County’s 4th Walmart Supercenter: Is the war over?

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 08:  A Wal-Mart customer...
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Normally, a new Walmart Supercenter going up around here draws a lot of attention and excitement — positive and negative. Some folks get all riled up about traffic, while others are busting at the seams to drop their cash there.

To me that seems to me like a lot of Walmarts in a county of 230,000 people. But to Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, it seems “not unusual at all.”

“When it comes to saturation it seems like a lot, but they like to go in areas and really dominate,” Testa said. “And the Supercenter format is really what they see their future in — they see the growth in the grocery sector, and that’s where they’re building a lot of momentum.”

While a lot of retail has been smarting during the Great Recession, Walmart keeps chugging along — overall, net sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 were $112.8 billion, up 4.6 percent. Worldwide, it operates 8,416 stores and Sam’s Club locations, employing more than 2.1 million people.

But, as Testa notes, we’ve probably gotten to the point where all the businesses that would’ve have been driven out by Walmart are already gone.

Testa, the college professor, said Walmart historically is “known as the most anti-union organization that exists,” but he also noted that the company has to compete on the open market for employees, “and it’s supply and demand.”


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Quoted – Costco sails on while Walmart’s Super plans stall – Lodi News Sentinel

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In Lodi, the community has virtually rolled out the red carpet in anticipation of the Costco that could soon be built in the Reynolds Ranch center.

Meanwhile, attempts to construct a Super Walmart on Lower Sacramento Road and Kettleman Lane have been met with bitter resistance for the better part of a decade.

What is the difference?

However, one professor understands that this is a situation where perception and reality are the same thing.

Scott Testa, a marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, said the public’s beliefs about the two companies are shaped by how they treat both employees and customers.

“Costco has an image portrayed as not anti-union because it pays its workers better and their health benefits are better,” he said.

He said he isn’t attacking Walmart or hyping Costco, but merely stating the public perception.

“It is what it is,” he said.


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Quoted – Wal-Mart’s Event Planner – Portfolio.com

Sam's Club
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Wal-Mart‘s Event Planner

The company that Wal-Mart chose to take over promotions at its Sam’s Club stores, at a cost of about 10,000 jobs, is already almost exclusively devoted to serving the Bentonville, Arkansas retail giant.

Shopper Events LLC already manages events like product demonstrations and tastings at Wal-Mart’s flagship retail stores. According to its website and Linked-In profile, its mission is: “to apply a standard of excellence to the in-store event in order to increase customer demand, align with key branding initiatives and enhance the shopping experience at Wal-Mart.”

Wal-Mart has been looking to cut costs at Sam’s Club, which is the second-largest warehouse club store chain in the nation, to Costco.Scott Testa, a retail expert with Cabrini University, pointed out that Costco already outsources its event planning as well.


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Quoted – Confidence rises, inventories return to normal, but retail sales fall – Medill Reports

Quoted – Confidence rises, inventories return to normal, but retail sales fall – Medill Reports

Consumer confidence rose, inventories returned to normal, but retail sales fell, according to various reports released Thursday.

Despite the importance of retail sales figures in measuring recovery from the recession, the modest seasonally-adjusted drop of 0.3 percent in December won’t necessarily have a negative effect on the public’s perception of the economy, said economics professor Scott Testa of Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “One or two reports will not have a marked effect on people’s perception. Consumers are seeing a series of positive signals and because they make up 70 percent of the economy, consumer confidence is invariably good for all of us.”


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Quoted – The holiday shopping season keeps on ringing – Houston Chronicle

Assortment of gift cards
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The holiday shopping season keeps on ringing

For retailers, this week and next are expected to bring strong customer traffic as consumers hunt for discounts.

Nationally, retailers saw a 2.3 increase sales for the week ending Dec. 26 compared with last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.

Gift cards

Many consumers are in stores this week using gift cards they got for Christmas.

Retailers like gift cards because they drive customer traffic and people often spend more than the value of the card once they’re in the store, said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia.

Consumers regularly lose gift cards, he noted, which also benefits a chain’s bottom line.

“My advice to consumers is use it or lose it,” Testa said.


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