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: Flashback to … yesterday

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Check out the ongoing debate about September’s same-store sales results and how the numbers beat expectations.

tgtYesterday, we found out that September same-store sales rose 0.6 percent, surpassing a forecast for a decline of 1.1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. When all was said and done, 78 percent of retailers that report monthly same-store sales posted results that beat Wall Street estimates, also according to Thomson Reuters.

Check Out Line: “Bipolar” sales could signal better April

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Check out this deeper look at March’s same-store sales results.

BLACKFRIDAY/Last week, retailers reported monthly sales that declined less than expected, a possible sign that shoppers may be regaining confidence to open their wallets after more than a year of recession.

On Monday, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Todd Slater offered his detailed take on the numbers, which he labeled as “bipolar”  — with comp store sales more negative than expected, but earnings more positive.

Sales tax holidays to the rescue?

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What’s one way to get reluctant shoppers back into the stores? Give them a sales tax holiday — or two or three.

That’s what the National Retail Federation is urging the government to consider as part of the economic stimulus plan being debated in Washington.ECONOMY-DOLLAR/PIZZA

Check Out Line: Savers are shoppers, at least for now

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Check out shoppers with fresh credit loosening their purse strings a bit – at least for now.

“There’s no question there’s some pent-up demand,” as over the past three months consumers saved and paid off their credit cards bills instead of spending, said Stifel Nicolaus retail analyst Richard Jaffe. 

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