San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Issaquah, Wash. — Strength in CE contributed to a 7 percent increase in Costco’s April sales.
Net sales were just shy of $8 billion for the four weeks, ended May 5, and U.S. comp sales rose 4 percent excluding gasoline.
The No. 1 warehouse club cited consumer electronics as one the “better performing” categories within its hardlines sector.
Spokane, Wash. – CE specialty dealer Huppin’s closed its venerable downtown store here last month and consolidated its brick-and-mortar operations into its two-year-old showroom in North Spokane.
President/CEO Murray Huppin said the company’s customer base had shifted to the newer 8,000-square-foot store, which is larger, more accessible, and provides a bright, open shopping experience.
Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax reported lower sales but higher operating and net income for its fiscal first quarter, ended March 30.
The chain, which agreed to be acquired by Office Depot in a $1.17 billion deal set to be completed by the end of the year, said total sales were $1.76 billion in the first quarter of 2013, compared with $1.87 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
Scarsdale, N.Y. – Independent video dealer Value Electronics is holding its Ninth Annual Flat Panel Shootout this week.
The competition compares leading displays before an audience of calibrators, consumers, media and manufacturers reps.
This year’s evaluation models are all 60- to 65-inch premium LED and plasma TVs from Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, LG and Sony, which will be calibrated to Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standards.
Arlington, Va. – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) backed the U.S. Senate introduction of the Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013, legislation to stop frivolous patent lawsuits introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-.N.Y.).
In a statement Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA said, “We applaud Senator Schumer for introducing legislation that promises to make it easier for companies to fight back against frivolous lawsuits by so-called Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs or patent trolls).”
Washington – The U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act yesterday by a vote of 69-27, putting the fate of mandatory online sales tax collection in the hands of The House of Representatives.
The Senate measure, which received bipartisan support and was endorsed by President Obama, would compel retailers to collect and remit state and local sales tax on all online transactions, putting an estimated $23 billion into government coffers. Only online businesses with out-of-state sales of $1 million or less would be exempt.
San Bruno, Calif. – Now that it’s established itself as the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, Walmart has set its sights on dominating cyber shopping as well.
The company is investing heavily in technology and fulfillment capabilities to deliver what Walmart’s global e-commerce president/CEO Neil Ashe described to analysts at a Barclays retail conference this week as “a personalized shopping experience that exceeds your expectations each time.”
Framingham, Mass. — Staples said it will begin selling 3D printers in the U.S., claiming it is the first major retailer in this country to do so.
The Cube 3D Printer from 3D Systems, a provider of 3D content-to-print solutions, is immediately available on Staples.com for $1,299 and will be available in a limited number of Staples stores by the end of June.
Winston-Salem, N.C. – An in-house video used as a rallying cry for members at its recent PrimeTime! meeting has been released by the Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG) for use as a TV commercial.
The ad, like the original video presentation, highlights the advantages of independent dealers over the big-box shopping experience.
The video, “The Independent Resurgence,” was re-edited by popular demand into 30- and 60-second spots that can be customized to reflect each member’s store name, local marketplace and vendor partners.