J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson says he’s planning to use technology in stores to eliminate the checkout counter. He says he’ll use RFID technology, which is now used for inventory, at the checkout. So rather than scanning each item, a shoppers could just gather all their items and receive a total. Mobile technology will allow people to pay wherever, whenever. When I first read this, I thought it sounded crazy. But watching the interview, I get his vision and I’m intrigued with whether it will work. I can’t imagine my grandparents or shoppers of their generation catching on, but it could happen. Shoppers, what do you think?
Watch the interview here.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, a Colorado based natural foods chain, announced Wednesday the company will go public. Common stock is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “NGVC” on July 25 for $15 per share. Closing of the offering is set for July 30. The initial public offering will be 7 million shares. Natural Grocers has a store in Norman.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday said retail sales fell 0.5 percent in June, the third consecutive monthly fall. There hasn’t been three straight months of decline since the fall of 2008 – at the height of the economic downturn. The decline was also unexpected, the Associated Press reports, since the markets predicted a 0.2 percent increase. Read their complete story here.
By now, most shoppers get outlet mall shopping. We get the appeal of value for cheap. We love having Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th and Coach Factory. We even overlook the drive to The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City and don’t mind dashing from store to store in the pouring rain or blazing heat.
What we still don’t get, however, is the prices.
On Saturday, dozens of women examined handbags inside the mall’s Coach Factory, one of the busiest and most popular stores. But it wasn’t just color and size and functionality shoppers were considering. They were busy trying to figure out the price.
Sure, all the bags and wallets have a price tag. But signs across the store advertised an additional 30 percent off or half off clearance bags.
Brows furrowed, many shoppers tried to calculate the price in their head. The inclination was to put the bag back on the shelf and give up. Or grab one and fork over whatever amount comes up on the register.
A worker walked the store, calculating prices for many of the women, but surely there’s a better way.
Similar scenarios played out at other stores.
Inside Carter’s, a woman who had just made a large purchase waited in line again to complain about what she believed was misleading pricing. Signs advertised percent discounts as well as buy-one get-one deals, and she felt her receipt didn’t reflect her expectations.
As the miffed customer demanded a manager, a sales clerk admitted there had been several complaints and actually agreed it was confusing.
The confusion is compounded when shoppers attempt to use one of the mall’s coupon books, which are sold at guest services for $5. Nearly all of the listed coupons require a certain amount to be spent (for example, receive 10 percent off when you spend $75), but try calculating the discounts on each itemand adding them up! You’d need a mathematician (or a calculator).
Gina Slechta, a spokeswoman for Horizon Group Properties, which owns The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City as well as several other outlet malls, said she hadn’t heard of this type of pricing strategy.
“In all of our shopping centers, we have not heard that type of a comment,” she said.
Don’t get me wrong — we still love our outlet mall. We’ll continue to part with our precious dollars. But what we’d love even more is to see the actual price on the tag.
Target, Neiman Marcus partner for holiday gift collection featuring designers Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu
Target on Tuesday announced it has partnered with Neiman Marcus to offer designer gifts in time for Christmas. Beginning Dec. 1, the line will be available at all Target and Neiman Marcus stores, as well as on the retailers’ websites. Products will range in price from $7.99 to $499.99, with most less than $60. Twenty-four designers will be featured: Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Brian Atwood, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, Judith Leiber, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, Robert Rodriguez, Rodarte, Skaist-Taylor, Thom Browne, Tory Burch and Tracy Reese.
Target and Neiman Marcus also said they will donate a total of $1 million to the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
More information about the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection will be released in the fall. Check abullseyeview.com and NMdaily.com for details, or follow @ABullseyeView or @NeimanMarcus on Twitter.
Grocery retailers are gaining ground in the retail industry, according to the 2012 Top 100 Retailers report by Stores magazine, which ranks America’s top 100 retailers by sales. Wal-Mart, no surprise, remains at #1 with $316 billion in sales – more than the next four retailers combined. Supermarket company Kroger kept its #2 slot and Safeway rejoined the top 10 for the first time since 2007. Grocers showing significant double-digit growth were H.E.B. (#26), Whole Foods Market (#37), Aldi (#40) and Wegman’s (#65).
Sonic, based in Oklahoma City, was the only local company on this year’s list. The drive-in chain ranked #93 with $3.7 billion in sales, a gain of 1.1%.
Here’s the top 10, according to the report:
(Rank) (Retailer) (2011 sales $000) (Sales growth)
|6||The Home Depot||$62,075,000||3.1%|
I’m looking for a few Oklahoma City parents who are already starting their back-to-school shopping for an upcoming story. Know any? Please have them contact me at email@example.com.