Journalist, New York
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Dec 24, 2013

U.S. retailers blend stores, e-commerce to snag holiday stragglers

NEW YORK, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Retailers are trying new ways
to win over Christmas procrastinators.

Brick-and-mortar chains seeking ways to improve this
season’s soft sales made it easier for last-minute consumers to
finish their shopping on Christmas Eve. More customers this year
will be able to pick up in stores on Tuesday, the last shopping
day before Christmas, orders placed online.

Dec 23, 2013

Bargain-hungry shoppers buy less on weekend before Christmas

, Dec 23 (Reuters) – U.S. consumers shopped
less on the final weekend before Christmas despite deeper
discounts, the latest sign of how difficult a season this is
turning out to be for retailers.

Shoppers also showed signs they will do more of their
spending after Dec. 25 than they did in the same period last
year in the hopes of snagging even more deals.

Dec 23, 2013

Bargain-hungry holiday shoppers buy less on last weekend

, Dec 23 (Reuters) – U.S. consumers shopped
less on the final weekend before Christmas despite deeper
discounts, the latest sign of how difficult a season this is
turning out to be for retailers.

Shoppers also showed signs they will do more of their
spending after Dec. 25 than they did in the same period last
year in the hopes of snagging even more deals.

Dec 21, 2013

Pressure builds as retailers near the holiday finish line

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Dec 21 (Reuters) – After buying and
remodeling a home, Karin Gilles and her husband, Dave
Muilenburg, are not splurging on holiday gifts this year – no
matter how drastically retailers slash prices to lift sales in a
shopping season that peaks this weekend.

The couple, instead, is focusing on “a few, more-meaningful
gifts,” said Gilles, 41, who works in public relations for a
technology company in California’s Silicon Valley.

Dec 20, 2013

Promotions, fewer new generic drugs hurt Walgreen

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Walgreen Co (WAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported higher quarterly sales on Friday, but an increase in promotions and a slowdown in the introduction of higher-profit generic drugs cut into its gross profit margin at the largest U.S. drugstore operator.

Earnings also rose in the fiscal first quarter, but gross profit margin fell 1.3 percentage points to 28.1 percent of sales amid what Chief Executive Greg Wasson called “the continued soft economy.”

Dec 18, 2013

CVS expects 2014 sales gain despite Obamacare

NEW YORK (Reuters) – CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday that it expected sales and earnings to rise in 2014 despite only a “modest” benefit next year from the launch of Obamacare and a ban preventing it from marketing to some Medicare patients.

The company said at its analyst day in New York that it expects revenue to rise between 4 percent and 5.25 percent next year, with big gains in its pharmacy benefits management business mitigating softer growth at its drugstores.

Dec 16, 2013

China shoppers ring luxury tills from London to New York

SHANGHAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fang Ying’s December wish list of Louis Vuitton handbags and Chanel perfume is not only for Christmas. Fang, 33, a secretary working in Shanghai, writes one every month for friends and family travelling abroad.

Fang is not alone. Over two-thirds of luxury spending by mainland Chinese was made overseas in 2013, an increase from 2012, according to the China Luxury Market Study from consultancy firm Bain & Company released on Monday.

Dec 12, 2013

Exclusive: Penney shrinks top name brands as own labels take center stage

PLANO, Texas (Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking to the past to build its future.

After two years of declining sales, the department store chain is eliminating or trimming some high-profile brands introduced by former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson, including its own jcp menswear, Joe Fresh clothes and some Martha Stewart-designed home furnishings.

Dec 10, 2013

Wal-Mart taps insider to head international division

Dec 10 (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday
said the head of its Canadian division would take over the
retailer’s international unit next year, succeeding Doug
McMillon, who was named CEO of the company last month.

David Cheesewright, who also runs Wal-Mart’s Europe, Middle
East and Africa (EMEA) operations, takes the job at a time when
Walmart International’s profitability lags that of the overall
company, and the unit is the focus of a costly bribery probe.

Dec 5, 2013

Analysis: Did smarter shopping kill Black Friday?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shopping at Walmart (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) stores across the United States reached a fever pitch at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, when employees across the United States ripped the plastic off doorbuster displays of heavily discounted merchandise.

Customers eliminated stacks of toasters, toys, fleeces and electronics in seconds, and videos of fights over objects as small as washcloths splashed across the news.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
      Hometown:
      Montreal
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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