By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – “Beyond expectations,” summed up how Ultra High-Definition TV sales are doing at retail, according to panelists at today’s TWICE/CEA Ultra HD Conference.
Moderated by Alan Wolf, senior editor of TWICE, “Taking Ultra HD to Retail” panelists included Tom Campbell, corporate director of Video and Audio Center; Robert Zohn, owner of Value Electronics; Brian Siegel, merchandising and operations VP at Sony Electronics; and CEA’s Shawn DuBravac.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Wayne, N.J. – Just in the time for the holiday shopping season, Toys “R” Us has updated and redesigned its online store.
The company described the new site as having bigger and brighter images, simpler site navigation and a clean design. The chain has also integrated its Babiesrus.com site with the addition tabs on the top left of the homepage.
Minneapolis — Target has released its Black Friday sales circular, and plans to open an hour earlier on Thanksgiving this year.
The circular, posted here, is highlighted by a Sony PlayStation 4 console, available at 8 a.m. Black Friday morning for $400, and a 40-inch Element LED TV for $270.
Other doorbuster deals include Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD headphones for $119, reduced from $180, and a 16GB iPad Air Wi-Fi for $479 plus a $100 Target gift card.
Seattle – The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is providing Sunday deliveries to Amazon Prime customers in Los Angeles and New York.
The partners plan to extend the service to “a large portion of the U.S. population” next year, Amazon.com said, including customers in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.
Millions of Amazon products are eligible for the delivery program, the e-tailer noted.
Washington – The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported today that 37,600 retail jobs were added in October.
The October figure brings the yearly total of new retail jobs to 295,000, a 2.4 percent year-over-year increase. The only retail segment that did not see an increase was clothing stores, the NRF said.
For the holiday season, the NRF is forecasting its industry will hire between 720,000 and 780,000 season employees this year and experience a 3.9 percent increase in sales.
Simi Valley, Calif. — Volutone Distributing has opened their seventh location, a self-shop facility, located in Irvine, Calif.
Volutone is expanding throughout Southern California, and it has seen steady growth in the custom-integration channel, with additional growth from their expanded categories/product lines secured in 2012 and so far in 2013.
Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot and OfficeMax formally merged yesterday and released mixed financial results for their respective third quarters.
The new company has taken the name Office Depot, although it will continue to operate OfficeMax-branded stores and websites. With $17 billion in combined annual revenue it remains the No. 2 office-supply chain behind the $25 billion Staples, but now boasts 2,200 stores, operations in 59 countries, and long-term cost savings of some $500 million annually.
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears and Kmart will continue their tradition of opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day.
Kmart, which has done so for the past 22 years, will open its doors at 6 a.m. on turkey day, and will remain open for the next 41 hours, through 11 p.m. Black Friday evening.
Sister chain Sears will open for the third consecutive Thanksgiving, beginning at 8 p.m., and will continue to operate through 10 p.m. Black Friday night.
New York – Walmart and Amazon formally began their Black Friday promotional periods today with a blitz of early-bird specials and daily deals.
The jumpstarts were likely driven by an early holiday season marked by six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a Hanukah that arrives before Black Friday.