Nicole's Feed
Dec 18, 2009
via Shop Talk

As downturn takes toll, food bank volunteers become clients

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The longest recession since the Great Depression has taken an exacting toll on Americans and their ability to put food on the table. Families who once considered themselves solidly middle class are now signing up for food stamps or turning to food banks to feed themselves in the face of lost jobs or cut wages.

“These are our neighbors, our friends, the people we go to church with,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation, of the number of Americans who are going hungry. “This is not like this is the other, people we don’t know. These are people we do know.”

Dec 18, 2009
via Shop Talk

Check Out Line: How do I get to the closest Walmart?

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Check out what has emerged as a hot online search term as the days remaining to buy holiday gifts quickly dwindle.

According to Hitwise,  last week searches for store locators reached their second highest peak since the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  For the week ending Dec. 12, searches for store locators  jumped 77 percent.

Dec 18, 2009

Wal-Mart focuses on food for the holidays

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc began its U.S. holiday giving campaign with a focus on food as record numbers of Americans turn to the government and charity to help them eat.

Reuters spoke with Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation, to find out why food was the focus.

Dec 16, 2009

U.S. consumers fall behind in holiday shopping: NRF

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The holiday shopping that consumers have completed so far this season is at a five-year low, according to a new survey, raising the stakes for retailers in their last major push to capture sales this year.

Consumers on average had completed 46.7 percent of their holiday shopping by the second week of December, according to the survey by the National Retail Federation released on Wednesday.

Dec 2, 2009
via Shop Talk

Check Out Line: If Hot Topic is any indication, November won’t be so hot

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Check out the disappointing November sales results coming in early Wednesday morning.Teen clothing retailer Hot Topic posted an 11.7 percent drop in November sales at stores open at least a year — worse than its own estimate of a decline of 8 percent to 11 percent.Analysts, on average, were expecting a drop of 7.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.In November, which represents the start of the crucial selling season, same-store sales at its namesake stores fell 14.5 percent.On a recorded call, Hot Topic blamed a low-teen percentage drop in the number of transactions and a low single-digit decline in the average transaction value. So not only did fewer shoppers come into its stores in November, they spent less while they were there.Meanwhile, Walgreen said its November same-store sales rose 3.9 percent in November.  Analysts were looking for a stronger 6.1 percent increase.The drugstore chain said pharmacy same-store sales rose 5.7 percent, while analysts expected a 7.2 percent jump. Same-store sales at the front end of the store, where Walgreen sells general merchandise, rose 0.8 percent – much less than the 3.8 percent increase Wall Street expected.While demand for cough, cold and flu products slowed, it also said Thanksgiving weekend was notably softer, and weakness in demand for discretionary goods persisted throughout the month.Wall Street is awaiting some clarity on the start of the holiday shopping season.Early data suggests sales during the Thanksgiving weekend got off to a slow start, but those numbers are always questioned for their accuracy or ability to predict the outcome of the holiday season. Same-store sales figures that will be released over the next two days are expected to paint a clearer picture of what actually happened at cash registers in November.Also in the basket:Walmart targets video games with latest price cuts Pantry Q4 profit beats on lower expensesPoised to grow, Kellwood eyes deals (WWD, subscription required)(Photo: Reuters)

Dec 2, 2009

Walmart targets video games with latest price cuts

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc is cutting prices on popular video games by $10 each and offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of a Nintendo Wii video game console as the retailer tries to lure shoppers to its U.S. stores ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Now through December 24, Walmart will sell “Rock Band: Beatles” for the Wii for $40, down from $50, and it will offer “Left 4 Dead 2″ for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 for $50, compared with its previous price of $60.

Dec 1, 2009

US Nov. sales to shed light on holiday start

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 1 (Reuters) – When U.S retail chains
report November sales this week, investors will learn whether
they have gone far enough to protect profits against a weak
start to the holiday shopping season.

Early data on weekend shopping from U.S. Thanksgiving Day
on Thursday through Sunday showed a slight increase in retail
sales, pressuring shares from Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> to
J.C. Penney Co Inc <JCP.N> and Saks Inc <SKS.N>.
[ID:nN30447994]

Dec 1, 2009

Black Friday shoppers tweet, friend and clip

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Before deciding where to buy a laptop for his daughter on Black Friday, Nate Bryan was scouring the web for deals. But he was not just looking at retailers’ websites.

“I use Twitter and Facebook a lot for Black Friday,” he said, referring to the day after Thanksgiving when retailers open their doors early and offer eye-popping deals. “People interested in computers post what they see online.”

Dec 1, 2009

US Nov sales to shed light on holiday season start

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 1 (Reuters) – When U.S retail chains
report November sales this week, investors will learn whether
they have gone far enough to protect profits against a weak
start to the holiday shopping season.

Early data on weekend shopping from U.S. Thanksgiving Day
on Thursday through Sunday showed a slight increase in retail
sales, pressuring shares from Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> to
J.C. Penney <JCP.N> and Saks Inc <SKS.N>. [ID:nN30447994]

    • About Nicole

      "Nicole Maestri is a retail correspondent for Reuters and covers some of the world's biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Costco."
      Joined Reuters:
      2002
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