Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Toys R Us says more is merrier this Xmas

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Toys R Us pop-up store Check out the latest attempt by a U.S. retailer to win shoppers ahead of the key holiday shopping season.

Toys R Us is planning to open about 600 pop-up stores in malls and shopping centers around the United States this Christmas season. That is more than six times what the world’s largest dedicated toy retailer opened last year. Many of those nearly 90 Toys R Us Express locations have remained open through 2010.

The company, which already operates 587 full-size Toys R Us stores, said the latest initiative should broaden its reach and win more shoppers.

“By doubling the number of Toys R Us locations nationwide, now more than ever we will be available when and where customers want to shop with us this holiday season,” CEO Jerry Storch said.

Check Out Line: Hanging at the mall not so fun

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shopCheck out how consumers feel about shopping at malls.

Auto dealers and reporters are popular targets for hate mail. But mall operators may have reason to fear joining them if a new study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and the Verde Group, a market research consultancy, is to be believed.

Almost eight of every 10 people surveyed faced a problem at the mall, citing such issues as a limited choice of places to eat, lack of variety of stores, parking difficulties and a shortage of restrooms.

Happy shopping, and watch out for mall shootings

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mall-shooting.jpg    The holidays are right around the corner, and the National Retail Federation has visions of tinsel, mistletoe and mall shootings on their mind.
    The NRF and International Council of Shopping Centers on Monday released guidelines to help retailers prepare for shooting incidents at shopping malls and retail stores.
    A joint effort with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and retailers, the plan deals with an “active shooter,” or individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
    “We live in a dangerous world and the stakes keep getting higher,” say the guidelines.
         The guidelines warn that a shooter may be a troubled current or former employee, or related to an associate with domestic problems.  
    They also encourage employees to create an escape plan and be aware that law enforcement first responders may show up in bulletproof vests and Kevlar helmets and be carrying rifles, shotguns or handguns, and might use pepper spray.  
    Only as a last resort when your life is in danger, the guidelines say, “Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter. Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.”  

    Some facts of note:
    – In 100 percent of the shootings the suspect was male.
    – In over 71 percent of the incidents, the shooter was between the ages of 15-25, with 20 percent ages 50-60.
    – In 24 percent of the shootings, the shooter committed suicide before police were able to respond.
     – Active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes.    

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