H&M at home, Shops at Target, Wal-Mart groceries

Cheap chic retailer H&M is launching its housewares collection in the U.S. in early 2013.

H&M housewares The H&M Home collection is heading to the U.S. in 2013. (H&M)

The collection, which is already available in Europe, will include moderately priced linens, cushions and other accessories for the home based on “themes seen on the runways,” according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The home collection debuted in 2009 in Sweden, Great Britain, Austria and Germany. Much like the quick turnaround of its apparel business, where a top can go from design table to store rack in a matter of weeks, H&M will introduce a number of new home items every two weeks.

–Target Corp. is continuing its collaborations with local retailers by teaming up with four new partners to produce limited-time apparel and home collections for the fall.

Called the Shops at Target, these partnerships bring on small boutiques that design items to be sold exclusively at the discount retailer. Debuting Sept. 9, Target will unveil products from the minds behind New York’s Kirna Zabete and Odin stores, Francisco’s the Curiosity Shoppe and Boston’s PATCH NYC.

Products will include apparel, bedding, kitchenware and home accessories.

–Discount giant  Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  announced plans for a grocery-centric Neighborhood Market in Downey.

The nearly 33,000-square-foot grocery store, which is sliding into a space formerly occupied by a party supply shop, will open later this year. It continues the retailer’s aggressive expansion into the Southland supermarket business.

Wal-Mart’s plans have been welcomed in some communities and spurred fierce opposition in others. A planned grocery store in downtown Los Angeles’s Chinatown neighborhood has sparked multiple protests.

Downey City Council member Mario Guerra said in a statement that he is pleased to see Wal-Mart “breathing new life” into an empty retail spot.

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Black Friday Sales Hits Record, Retail traffic and Foot-falls up.

Preliminary reports for Black Friday indicate that retailers may have seen their strongest sales ever during the all-important kick-off to the holiday shopping season.

black friday sales

Retail sales on Black Friday climbed 6.6% this year to an estimated $11.4 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks foot traffic at malls and stores. Last year, sales climbed just 0.3% to $10.7 billion, which was a record one-day sales amount at the time, according to the company.

“This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.”

However, sales have been strong throughout the entire month of November with retailers rolling out holiday deals earlier than ever. In the two weeks leading up to the week of Black Friday, retail sales were up 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively, ShopperTrak reported.

“Retailers continue to stretch out Black Friday weekend by enticing shoppers with doorbuster deals weeks in advance,” said Martin.

Online sales have also proven to be strong, with many big-box retailers and department stores offering deals online earlier this year.

Black Friday online sales surge 24%

Online sales were up 39.3% on Thanksgiving Day and 24.3% on Black Friday compared to the same days last year, according to IBM’s (IBM,Fortune 500) Coremetrics, which tracks real-time data from 500 retailers in the apparel, department store, health and beauty and home goods categories.

“This year marked Thanksgiving’s emergence as the first big spending day of the 2011 holiday season with a record number of consumers shifting their focus from turkey to tablets and the search for the best deals,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM’s Smarter Commerce division.

Consumers also spent slightly more than they did last year, although they spent most of that money on themselves. According to NPD Group consumers spent about 3% more on purchases during Black Friday. However, about 44% were self purchases up from 33% last year, the research group said.

Retail traffic on Black Friday up 2%

Total US visits to the top 500 Retail websites increased 2% on Black Friday as compared to 2010 and received more than 173 million US visits. Traffic has increased each day leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and the total visits dipped slightly (-1%) on Black Friday compared Thanksgiving Day 2011. Early Black Friday sales resulted in a shift of online traffic, which climbed prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, however, continued heavy promotional activity helped to drive significant online traffic on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. While Black Friday has been the top day for online retail traffic over the past two years, warm weather and early store openings encouraged shoppers to go online sooner this season.
DMS Retail 500 11-25-2011.png

Among the categories driving the growth in traffic on Black Friday were Department Stores (e.g. Amazon and Wal-Mart) Apparel & Accessories, Appliances & Electronics (e.g. Best Buy) and Video & Games (e.g. Game Stop).
DMS Retail Categories 11-25-2011.png

Below is a list of the top visited retail sites on Black Friday:
DMS Retail 500 Sites 11-25-2011.png

Many of the major retail websites experienced growth on Black Friday, including Amazon, Best Buy, JC Penney, Sears and Kohl’s. Amazon.com was the most visited website on Black Friday for the 7th year in a row.

100 Retailers in Shopping Centers Released

China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) convened the Conference on Cooperation, Development and Exchanges Between Commercial Real Estate Developers and Chain Retailers in Ningbo of China’s eastern Zhejiang Province on June 9 and released the book 100 Retailers in Shopping Centers.

CCFA has selected over 100 outstanding chain retailers from its members in various business formats, which have the ability to make expansion nationwide. The Association categorized them according to existing business formats and functions of shopping centers and offered information on different aspects of these brands, such as features of their image, traffic, expansion rate and development plan.
Some are international brands, some are famous brands in China and some are leading brands in regions, including department stores, supermarkets, home appliance stores and household stores and covering all business formats like apparel, fashion, catering, cosmetics, entertainment, education and service. These can meet the demands of commercial properties to attract investment from various stores and provide a wide variety of retailers for commercial real estate developers.
In addition to the information in it, the book has also given professional analysis and different views from experts of shopping centers on the industry’s current situation, trend, investment, financing, planning and design.
It is a great aid for commercial real estate companies to learn and attract investment of their shopping center programs.
Here are some comments by developers of shopping centers on the book:
It is quite useful! The book can give guidance on brand portfolio and combination of business formats and it is a professional reference for the management of shopping centers.
– Wanda Commercial Management
Shopping centers are drivers for creating a fashionable and prosperous city, while brands are the core competitiveness of shopping centers in the market. Best wishes to 100 Retailers in Shopping Centers.
-Sunshine100 Real Estate Group
The book has integrated resources and set up platform for information exchanges, a show of CCFA’s function and value. 100 retailers is the start and we are aiming at 1000.
-Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Limited
The book is an excellent reference to see clearly the essence and core value of shopping centers.
-Shopping Center Department of CR Vanguard
Reading the book will free you from the worries when you are developing shopping centers.
-COFCO Commercial Property Investment Co., Ltd.

Casual Male to launch superstore concept

Canton, Mass. ( July 8, 2010 ) Casual Male Retail Group said it will open Destination XL (DXL), a new men’s superstore concept catering to the bigger and taller man. The initial DXL stores are planned to launch in Chicago, Houston, Memphis and Las Vegas this summer.

The new format will feature a wide range of clothing, shoes and products under one roof, with collections of good, better and best products merchandised by lifestyle. With a 12,000-sq.-ft. footprint, the stores will carry product assortments in a range of very broad sizes starting at XL in tops and a 42-inch waist in pants for the bigger customer and a 38 inch waist for the taller customer.

The Casual Male superstore concept was created following a six-month consumer research study conducted by L.E.K. Consulting that found that big and tall men are looking for more options in a “one-stop-shop” environment and are willing to travel longer distances for a place that caters to their specific needs.

“DXL is a new and innovative retail concept that is attuned to our customers’ needs,” says David Levin, president and CEO of CMRG. “Our target customer wants choices, value for their dollar and the convenience and unique shopping experience DXL offers. We are confident that our new lifestyle superstore concept will offer the unique shopping experience that many big and tall men have been seeking.”

The DXL superstore concept also will be supported by an all-inclusive e-commerce site, launching in 2011, which will offer the same breadth of apparel and products.

Currently, Casual Male Retail Group operates 454 Casual Male XL retail and outlet stores, as well as 19 Rochester Clothing stores.

Baoxiniao To Open 100 New Specialty Stores In 2009.

Chinese apparel group Baoxiniao has announced plans to open about 100 new specialty stores in 2009.

The company announced the plan during its 2008 annual general meeting and it was revealed that Baoxiniao will invest CNY107.94 million to build its chain marketing network in 2009. Under the company’s principle of prudence in opening new stores, it will limit the growth rate of its business suit specialty stores to about 7%. For fashion brand specialty stores, after the closure of poorly-performing stores, the total number of new stores will be around 100.

Zhou Xinzhong, the chairman of Baoxiniao Group, told local media that in 2009, its headquarters will start to build a modern distribution center and the company will select sites nationwide to open its specialty stores. It will develop at least as many sites in 2009 as it did in 2008.

Founded in 1996, Baoxiniao Group is a group that combines industrial management and capital management, and is involved in designing, producing and selling up market garments and acting as agent for international brands. The company currently operates apparel brands such as Saint Angelo, S. Angelo, and Bono.

Why Wal-Mart’s First India Store Isn’t A Wal-Mart.

After years of controversy and opposition from local retailers, Wal-Mart this month is poised to open its first store in India, launching an expansion that will include 10 more big-box outlets in the potentially vast Indian market over the next two years.

But Indian consumers won’t be able to partake of Wal-Mart’s everyday low prices. India’s restrictive commercial laws prohibit most foreign companies from setting up shop to compete with domestic retailers. So Wal-Mart’s debut outlet, which will open in the city of Amritsar in northern India later this month, is a wholesale-only operation that will sell mainly to vegetable vendors, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and other companies. The Amritsar outlet won’t even carry the familiar Wal-Mart brand. To deflect the attention of politicians and activists who oppose the entry of foreign multi-brand retailers, the Little Rock, Ark., company has named its Indian outlets BestPrice Modern Wholesale.

Despite the stealth approach, industry experts expect Wal-Mart, known for squeezing efficiencies out of suppliers and supply chains, to have an impact on India’s $375 billion retail market, which is dominated by mom-and-pop businesses and outmoded distribution networks. “We can learn the science of retailing, how to build scale and efficiencies,” says Kishore Biyani, chairman of Pantaloon Retail, India’s largest homegrown retailer with 114 hypermarkets.

The world’s largest retailer isn’t new to India. For the past decade, the country has been an important Wal-Mart supplier of textiles, apparel, home products and jewelry. But in anticipation of its India launch, Wal-Mart for the last three years has been developing a network of suppliers to stock its stores with fresh produce and staples like lentils, wheat and rice — all with an appreciation for variations in local cultures and tastes. “India is not a homogenous market, so ours is not a cookie-cutter approach from the U.S.,” says Raj Jain, president of Wal-Mart India.

Although it is restricted to wholesale operations in its wholly owned stores, Wal-Mart has a small retail presence in India through a fledgling joint venture with New Delhi-based Bharti Enterprises. The U.S. company provides back-end support for Bharti’s chain of 25 Easy Day grocery stores that opened last year.

Although other foreign hypermarket chains are entering the country — British retail group Tesco has a joint venture with India’s giant Tata conglomerate, while France’s Carrefour is said to be in talks with Reliance — Jain says Wal-Mart is in no hurry to unfurl the Wal-Mart flag nationally. “The easiest thing is to roll out stores, but the most difficult is to sustain and feed them,” he says.

Indeed, Indian mass-merchandisers over the last several years expanded frenetically, trying to get a jump on foreign chains should Indian politicians eventually decide to open up the market to direct competition from overseas. Reliance Industries built 940 stores across the country in 18 months. Aditya Birla group has opened 548 stores since 2007. Today, with India’s economy slowing and with losses piling up, the domestic retailers have shut some outlets and laid off employees, partly because of difficulties in keeping large chains supplied with goods. “When you start opening stores and then work backwards, even we get scared,” says Mahadeo Pawar, a vegetable grower from Karjat, 31 miles (50 kms) north of Mumbai.

Caution in India may be a watchword considering the global recession and Wal-Mart’s blemished track record overseas. In 2006, the company pulled out of Germany and South Korea in the face of stiff competition and poor sales. Still, Wal-Mart has been weathering the economic crisis better than most. The company on May 14 announced it earned $3.02 billion in the three months ended April 30, about equal to the profit it made in the same period in 2008. Revenue fell 0.6% to $93.47 billion from $94.04 billion a year earlier. Highlighting the growing importance of markets such as India, nearly one-fourth of Wal-Mart’s sales for the quarter — 22.7% — came from its international division.

Tata’s Trent to Deploy Dassault PLM

Trent Ltd., a Tata Group company and operator of Trent Westside, one of India s largest and fastest growing retailers, is planning to deploy the ENOVIA Apparel Accelerator for design & development.

With 38 Westside stores in India and plans to expand rapidly in 2010, Trent Ltd. will need to manage its margin and profitability by rapidly responding to changing market conditions and consumer trends. A key element of its long term success will be based on how effectively the company is able to work with the core elements in their ecosystem including internal resources, partners, buyers, sourcing offices and suppliers, according to a statement.

Dassault Syst mes (DS) a player in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, will provide the accelerator to Trent. According to Dassault, the ENOVIA Accelerator that takes nine weeks to implement, will be integrated with Trent s existing ERP systems. Greater visibility into the new product development process will enable the company to reduce sample development time and increase seasonal options by leveraging the market knowledge and design capabilities of key suppliers while also tracking commodity prices to negotiate better costs with them.

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