Archive for October, 2012


Author: admin

Radio Shack reported a significant loss in the third
quarter–$47.1 million–as same store sales declined 1.6%
and revenue dropped 3.1%. Last year, the company had a
$300,000 profit in the same period……After testing a pilot
program in Arizona, Better ATM Services is expanding
an ATM-dispensed Visa prepaid card program throughout
the US. The service allows the customer to choose either
cash or a pre-paid card in the amount desired. The
Mercator Advisory Group says that by 2013 consumers
will load $117 billion onto prepaid cards– a 200% increase
in just three years….Denny’s is not only tying
in with the new film The Hobbit: An
Unexpected Journey, the chain is also
introducing a Middle-Earth inspired menu
which includes items like Hobbit Hole
Breakfast, Frodo’s Pot Roast Skillet,
Gandalf’s Gobble Melt and the Build Your
Own Hobbit Slam. Denny’s launches a new
marketing campaign on November 12, ahead
of the December 14 release date of the
movie……..Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of tractors
and excavators, has cut its 2012 forecast for the second
time this year, warning that the global economy continues
to slow. The company does not expect the world-wide
economy to improve until the middle of 2013……. Electronic
retailers are looking forward to a very happy holiday season.
A survey from Chase Paymentech, a subsidiary of
JPMorgan Chase & Co., finds that 59% of e-commerce
companies expect better sales volume this year than last,
and almost half (49%) expect sales to be better than the
pre-recession levels of 2007. But the survey also found
that those companies expect only 6% of their holiday sales
to come from mobile commerce….Home values rose 1.3%
from the second quarter to the third, according to Zillow,
the real estate website. That was the biggest gain since
March 2006.


Author: admin

Americans are much more conscious of their diets these

days than they have been in the past. Many more are

looking for fresh, local ingredients and different tastes than

they have been offered in the past. Fast food and fast

casual restaurants have taken note and many, from

Wendy’s to Taco Bell to Arby’s are reacting with new

menus and new marketing campaigns.

Consumers are exposed to a lot more these days with

the Food Channel and food blogs, and the more exposed

they are to new flavors, textures and ingredients, the more

they demand and expect from every restaurant they visit.

Wendy’s Co. this month

introduced a new logo with an older-looking

Wendy to indicate that its menu had grown up

as well.

For instance, the chain recently launched

a bacon cheeseburger with sautéed portabella

mushrooms, rather than canned button

mushrooms. Its new chicken sandwich is

made with Asiago cheese and it offers a

chicken salad made with fresh blueberries and

strawberries mixed in with 11 kinds of greens and served

with a dressing containing raspberries, acai juice, shallots

and balsamic vinegar.

Perhaps the most discussed move to the upscale has

been Taco Bell’s introduction of the Cantina Bell menu of

items that were closer to the choices offered by popular

chain Chipotle Mexican Grill. Same store sales at Taco

Bell rose 13% in the third quarter; company execs say the

Cantina Bell menu was the reason.

Nation’s Restaurant News notes that restaurant chains

are getting much more aggressive with their advertising

these days and much of the message rests on claims of

freshness. For instance, the new Arby’s campaign targets

Subway specifically, showing that while Arby’s slices its

meats at the restaurant, Subway’s

deli meats are sliced at a


Taco Bell’s newest ad for the

Cantina Bell offerings makes the

same claims as Chipotle as to

fresh, upscale ingredients and even

features that restaurant’s signature

burrito bowl. And Domino’s newest

commercial takes direct aim at

Pizza Hut’s signature menu item–

the pan pizza–with claims of fresh

dough rather than the frozen dough

that Pizza Hut uses.


Author: admin

The store-within-a-store idea that forms the basis for

J.C. Penney’s retail strategy is getting a test this holiday

season at Macy’s. That chain has agreed to let Toys “R”

Us operate pop-up stores in 24 of its locations between

October 15 and January 15. If the pop-ups are successful,

the concept could be expanded in the future, say the

companies. Taco Bell is performing well for its

parent Yum! Brands, but then so are Pizza Hut and KFC.

Yum! saw its profit surge 23% in the latest quarter on U.S.

same store sales that were up 7% at Taco Bell, +6% at

Pizza Hit and +4% at KFC….. Costco beat expectations

with a 27% increase in profit in the latest quarter. Revenues

were up 14% and same store sales jumped 6% in the

U.S……Red Bull is set to launch a new line of energy drinks

in March of 2013. The Red Bull Editions, which pack an

energy boost like the original, will come in cranberry, lime

and blueberry flavors and be packaged in red, silver and

blue cans, respectively…….In 50 of its grocery stores, Publix

is allowing customers to order deli items online and then

pick them up at the store at a designated time.

Sales are UP

Author: admin

The pattern so far this year has consistently been that

if retailers had a decent month last year, the same month

would be so-so this year. But in September, sales were

fairly good on top of a September 2011 that was pretty

robust. Some chains were down from last year, but most

were positive, even if they did not beat expectations.

For instance, Macy’s reported a 2.5% increase in same

store sales in September, off the 3.3% expected growth.

Last September, the chain was up 4.9% in the same month.

And Macy’s is looking at the August/

September period as back to school, during

which same store revenues were up 3.6%..

Many chains did better than what

analysts had projected. TJX Cos., parent

of Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Home Goods

said its September comps climbed 6%; expectations had

been for a 4.4% gain. Ross Stores was up 5%, beating

analysts’ estimate of a 4.3% growth. The company is

sticking with its cautious prediction of a 3% to 4% gain in

October. Target was up 2.1%, just slightly over the expected

2.0% rise in same store sales. Comps were up 5.3% last

September. The company announced that September was

the last month it would release monthly sales figures,

preferring to focus on the longer-term. Costco beat

expectations with its 6% growth in same store sales, but a

bit of the jump was due to fuel price increases. Without

fuel, comps still rose 5%, on top of last September’s 12%.

Some recent losers had a good month.

Expectations are still cautiously optimistic for holiday shopping