Have you heard this? IKEA is planning to build a store in Merriam, Kan., near Kansas City. I am bummed about this for two reasons. 1) It’s not any closer to Oklahoma City than Dallas is and 2) this probably means IKEA will never come to Oklahoma. Boo hoo.
According to a Sept. 16 post on seekingalpha.com, the news that Michael Kors is coming to Oklahoma (Tulsa, before we broke the story of the store opening in Penn Square Mall) means the retailer has maxed out his expansion. Michael Kors Holdings Limited has gone from 177 stores to 253 over the last 12 months, ending June 30.
“…once a store reaches Oklahoma City or Tulsa, it has typically hit the end of the road regarding significant expansion into new states,” the author says.
Seeking Alpha says Oklahoma is typically in the last 10 states retailers reach due to its location, and the last five or so states have such a small population, retailers don’t even bother. Is Oklahoma the end of the road? What do you think?
Retail sales are expected to rise more than 3 percent in the U.S. this year, the first projected increase since 2007, according to a report released Wednesday by ShopperTrak, which makes sales projections based on foot traffic to retail stores. Good new for retailers! Read a Reuters story about the forecast here.
I bet this is a hot item on Black Friday this year. Toys R Us just announced it will sell its own tablet computer for kids called Tabeo this fall. The device sells for $149.99 and will only be available at Toys R Us (to avoid showrooming and losing sales to rival retailers.) It has WiFi, parental controls and comes pre-loaded with 50 apps, including games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja as well as educational apps and books. The Tabeo hits store shelves Oct. 21 but is available for pre-order now. Read a Wall Street Journal story about the Tabeo here.
What do you think, readers? Will Santa be bringing one of these this year?
Two days after Toys R Us announced its holiday layaway program, which does away with the upfront fee through Oct. 31, Walmart decided to price match. Instead of the $15 Walmart originally said it would charge for layaway orders, the cost was rolled back to $5 and shoppers can receive a $5 Walmart gift card if the order is fulfilled. Walmart also did away with the $10 cancellation fee.
First Walmart, now Toys R Us has announced expanded layaway programs. Layaway, which allows shoppers to pay over time, is officially back in vogue. Toys R Us, which introduced layaway in 2009, announced Monday it will waive the upfront service fee for all layaway orders through Oct. 31. Shoppers have until Dec. 16 to pick up their orders. All toys in Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores are eligible for layaway and there’s no minimum purchase, the retailer said. Layaway is still available after Oct. 31 but the fee will be $5.
Walmart expanded its layaway program with an earlier start (Sept. 16 or, for shoppers who “like” their Walmart store on Facebook, Sept. 14.) And more items will be eligible this year, including sporting goods, electronics, toys and jewelry. The fee is $15.
I’m working on a story and would love to hear from readers about how they plan to use layaway for the holidays. Email me: jpalmer at opubco dot com.