Retailers, consumers and prices
While giving gift cards may have declined in popularity, some are proving quite attention-worthy and can be cashed in for a pretty penny. Online gift card site plasticjungle.com buys gift cards for cash, and then resells them, often for a bit less than the amount left on the card. It also lets people donate cards to charities.
So, what stores are hot this holiday season?
Here are the cards the site is paying the most for — up to 90 percent of the face value:
– Sam’s Club
– Whole Foods
Notice a trend? It seems like a bit of a back to basics holiday season is in demand.
Maybe Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey should stay away from the keyboard and stick to selling gourmet groceries.******The CEO’s recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal suggested alternatives to healthcare proposals being batted around in the nation’s capital.******Among other things, he asserted that healthcare is not a right and called for ”less government control and more individual empowerment.”******His view got some of the chain’s historically liberal customers so hot under the collar that they have threatened to go elsewhere for their organic apples.******The company’s own healthcare reform forum has more than 14,000 posts. Twitter users are opining on the subject.******And the Boycott Whole Foods group on Facebook, which has attracted more than 20,000 members, is planning to picket stores in Washington, D.C. and the company’s hometown of Austin, Texas, on Friday.******According to the Facebook group, which also dings the company for not having unions, Mackey is ”suggesting that healthcare is a commodity that only the rich, like him, deserve.”******In his own blog, published shortly after the editorial ran, Mackey pinned some of the blame on changes made by those darn headline editors.******”I wrote this Op/Ed piece called simply ‘Health Care Reform.’ An editor at the Journal rewrote the headline to call it ‘Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare,’ which led to antagonistic feelings by many.”******He continued: “While I am in favor of health care reform, Whole Foods Market as a company has no official position on the issue.”******This isn’t the first time Mackey, the scribe, has caused a flap.******For several years ending in 2006, Mackey used the pseudonym “rahobed” on Yahoo Finance stock forums to talk up Whole Foods shares and his performance as CEO. He also trash talked competitors like Wild Oats. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigated for nearly a year but eventually ruled out any action.******Whole Foods acquired Wild Oats in 2007 and just recently settled an antitrust case with the same federal government that Mackey says should keep its hands off healthcare.******(Photo/Reuters)
A new report by Inside Facebook discusses some best practices for retailers hoping to set up shop on the popular social networking site.
Some of the recommendations include letting users shop from within Facebook, including even the ability to share product information with friends. Another suggestion is to have contests, giveaways and sweepstakes.
Check out the ten largest U.S. retailers.
The National Retail Federation’s STORES magazine is out with its annual ranking of the top 100 retailers.
The list shows that U.S. consumers have been focused on bargains and basic necessities, such as food and medicine. Wal-Mart tops the lineup, followed by Kroger and Costco. Home Depot fell from No. 2 in 2007 to the fourth spot in 2008 as many shoppers decided to cut back on costly home-improvement projects.
Ahead of the recession, dollar stores thought it would be a good idea to try to lure shoppers into their stores more frequently by stocking an increased selection of food. Many of them began installing refrigerated coolers in their stores so they could sell things like eggs, milk and dairy.
Check out the quarterly results at Wal-Mart.
The retail giant posted a flat profit in line with Wall Street’s expectations, but it gained market share in the recession as consumers sought to take advantage of the company’s low prices on necessities.
Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke said the company remains cautiously optimistic about the timetable for the economic recovery, while Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said a large part of its U.S. growth was coming from new customers.
Natural and organic food grocer Whole Foods will sell 13 stores as part of a settlement that ends an antitrust battle with U.S. regulators over its acquisition of rival Wild Oats.
Is your store on the list?
7133 N. Oracle Rd., Tucson, AZ
8688 E. Raintree Dr., Scottsdale, AZ
2584 Baseline Rd., Boulder, CO
1651 Broadway St., Boulder, CO
3180 New Center Pt., Colorado Springs, CO
5910 S. University Blvd., Littleton, CO
9229 N Sheridan Blvd., Westminster, CO
340 N. Main St., West Hartford, CT
4301 Main St., Kansas City, MO
1090 St. Francis Dr., Santa Fe, NM
7250 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Las Vegas, NV
19440 N.W. Cornell Rd., Hillsboro, OR
6930 S. Highland Dr., Salt Lake City, UT
(Photo\Mike Blake, Reuters)
Need a mate this Valentine’s Day? Whole Foods wants to help.
The high-end seller of organic, natural and gourmet food has been throwing singles’ mixers in stores around the country as Valentine’s Day approaches.
The chain’s hometown of Austin hosted an event called “Check Out” and to give us a flavor of the evening, it supplied this picture:
While the holiday season celebrations have ended, shoppers are still bargain-hungry. We haven’t seen major price cuts on hot items like the iPhone or Wii, though there does seem to be a trend brewing in bargain basics.
Here are just a few of the deals announced so far this week:
Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets cut prices on thousands of items for 90 days at its 155 stores.
“With consumer confidence at an all-time low and the poor economy, we know that our customers are looking for long-term ways to save money,” said Weis Markets President David Hepfinger.
Food prices are on their way to posting their biggest increase in nearly 20 years and it’s not just the average consumer who is feeling the pain.
Whole Foods Markets Inc, the upscale supermarket chain known for selling natural and organic food to an affluent clientele, has rolled out programs to show consumers how to budget shop at its stores.