November 1, 2013 |
U.S. food retailers are poised to take a hit as the federal government reduces its $78 billion-a-year food stamp program. Grocery stores and other food retailers have struggled in recent years as consumers battered by high unemployment and shrinking wages switched from upscale products to discounted bulk goods and generic brands. Food sales, especially at discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., could be further crimped by the $5-billion, or roughly 6%, annual cut in food stamps that took effect Friday.
June 30, 2011 |
Shopping at Amazon.com Inc. and other major Internet stores is poised to get more expensive. Beginning Friday, a new state law will require large out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases that their California customers make on the Internet — a prospect eased only slightly by a 1-percentage-point drop in the tax that also takes effect at the same time. Getting the taxes, which consumers typically don't pay to the state if online merchants don't charge them, is "a common-sense idea," said Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the legislation into law Wednesday.
December 15, 2012 |
Just putting a price on a product and sticking it on a shelf is so old school. And with consumers buying more online each year, bricks-and-mortar retailers are working harder to add entertainment to their mix - from American Girl's scavenger hunts to the Art of Shaving's product demonstrations. These experiences are something consumers can't get from online shopping. "You can buy a product just about everywhere. They are trying to add a different element so it is not just about the product," said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL/Strategic Retail, a retail strategy firm in New York.
November 20, 2013 |
The Black Friday shopping rush may be slightly less of a nail-biter for retailers after government data showed better-than-expected sales in October. Retail sales jumped 0.4% last month, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday, handily exceeding the 0.1% month-over-month increase anticipated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. And the September performance, which caused deep concern when initially reported as a 0.1% decline, was revised up to reflect no change. In total, October sales reached $428.1 billion, a 3.9% boost from October 2012.
July 5, 2010 |
As Americans' love affair with shopping cools, retailers are venturing overseas in search of growth. Bloomingdale's and Crate & Barrel each opened their first store outside the U.S. in Dubai this year. Abercrombie & Fitch just opened its first store in London. Sears has begun shipping tools and clothing to 90 countries. Macy's is looking at going into China. And Target, the discount chain that for a decade has resisted Wall Street pressure to expand internationally, revealed this spring that it wants to open stores outside the U.S. and is looking at Canada, Mexico and Latin America.
December 11, 2011
It's an increasingly common sight at the mall: shoppers using their smartphones to scan the barcode of an item they like and checking its price online. Some scanning applications go further, letting shoppers buy the item from a competing Web retailer with just a few taps on the screen. The largest online seller, Amazon.com, even offers customers up to $5 off the items they scan in other companies' stores. The brick-and-mortar shops may be able to match their online rivals' discounts, but there's one competitive disadvantage they can't overcome: Many online retailers do not collect sales taxes from customers outside of the state where they are headquartered.