March 15, 2014 |
On Friday afternoon, while South by Southwest festival attendees were sleeping off hangovers or busy making new ones, in a conference room at the Austin Convention Center, record people were discussing the return of indie record stores, the success of the annual Record Store Day and their vision for the future of brick and mortar music shopping. The panel was dubbed "Record Stores Are Dead. Long Live Record Stores. " It's not the most earth-shattering story coming out of Austin, Texas, but it is a curious one, considering that in 2014, technology start-ups and snack chip sponsorships rule the conversation.
March 13, 2014 |
With the first hint of spring sunshine last month, shoppers began emerging from hibernation, fueling hopes that a particularly bitter winter was to blame for the sour economic signals of recent months. Retail sales rose 0.3% to $427.2 billion in February from the previous month, marking the first increase in the gauge since November, according to the Commerce Department. The measure is considered a key indicator of economic health because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity.
March 13, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - Eager to attack more hazardous household products, state officials went public Thursday with a first list of consumer products that might need to be reformulated or pulled from retailers' shelves altogether. As part of its unfolding "green chemistry" program, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control identified three groups of goods as priority candidates for action. The first ones contain hazardous compounds with unfamiliar chemical names that could pose dangers to people or the environment, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 |
A parents organization is calling on clothing retailer Tilly's to pull its youth-oriented merchandise that features images of marijuana leaves. Members of Youth Matters, a group of Parent Teacher Student Assn. members from Huntington Beach, told the national retailer that clothing it sells, such as leggings, tops and swimsuits, with marijuana imagery could desensitize children to drug use. "The more they see it, and the more it's common in their world, it's less likely that they'll be shocked by it or concerned about it or listen to their parents about it," said Kim Green, the chairwoman of the group.
March 6, 2014 |
Weather in February was once again a roadblock for retailers, who said sales figures for the month missed already modest expectations. One gauge from Thomson Reuters found that same-store sales rose 1.8% last month, falling short of a projected 2.8% rise at stores open a year or longer. Without the effect of drugstores, retailers turned in a 0.3% sales increase, the worst showing since a 2.4% decrease in August 2009. Analysts had expected a 1.9% boost. Some segments, however, showed surprising health, or at least the promise of it. The clothing sector, not including Gap, beat estimates by swelling 1.3%.
March 6, 2014 |
Office supply giant Staples Inc. is planning to close as many as 225 North American stores while slashing annualized costs by up to $500 million by the end of 2015. The Framingham, Mass., company, which has been pressured by online competitors such as Amazon.com and is threatened by the merging of Office Depot and Office Max, also said Thursday that sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 slumped 10.6% to $5.9 billion. The retailer projected that its first-quarter sales would also slide year over year, marking the fifth straight drop for the measure.
March 5, 2014 |
Target Corp.'s head of technology stepped down Wednesday as the company tries to recover from one of the largest data breaches on record at a retailer. Beth Jacob, who served as executive vice president of technology services and chief information officer for Target since 2008, resigned both posts, Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. "While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information security environment is evolving rapidly," he said.
March 4, 2014 |
RadioShack Corp., the struggling electronics retailer, on Tuesday said it might close 1,100 stores - about a fifth of all its outlets - after it reported its eighth straight quarterly loss. The Forth Worth company said it had a net loss of $191.4 million for the fourth quarter - more than triple what it lost a year earlier. Its fourth-quarter revenue slumped 20% to $935.4 million. Like many bricks-and-mortar retailers, RadioShack is struggling to reverse declining foot traffic to its stores and fend off competition from other retailers, including Amazon.com.
March 3, 2014 |
New York interior designer Celerie Kemble felt right at home at the recent opening party for Designers House at HD Buttercup in L.A.'s historic Helms Bakery building. “Here the designer gets to put together the things we've labored for years to create,” said Kemble, who selected furniture and accessories from her Henredon and Maitland Smith collections to decorate her signature space. “This is how I would put together a room for myself or one of my clients.” Designers House launched simultaneously as a Los Angeles retail space and as a website selling high-end, limited-quantity home furnishings from well-known interior designers.
February 28, 2014 |
Tia Smith clutched her new phone in one hand and a phone case in the other as she shopped at a West Hollywood Best Buy. She clicked away into her smartphone's tiny screen and searched for the case in other nearby stores. "I'm trying to buy this Otter phone case for my new phone," she said. "But I'm trying to see if Target or Wal-Mart has it for cheaper so they can honor the price match," she said, as she scrolled through Target's mobile site on her new phone. As more people turn to their smartphones and tablets when they're thinking about making a purchase, retailers and marketing companies are rushing to figure out ways to transform these mobile browsers into buyers.