By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) released its 2014 Public Policy Agenda: Retailers Strengthening Communities, which outlines the industry’s top public policy priorities for 2014, and showcases the role that retailers play in communities across America and how public policy affects their ability to invest locally and grow.
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.
City of Industry, Calif. – Newegg.com has launched a Premier membership service that offers expedited shipping and other customer perks.
The program, currently in beta test, mirrors Amazon.com’s Prime service, which provides two-day shipping and access to an expansive library of digital content.
Amazon recently announced a pending increase of $20 to $40 for its program, which currently costs $79 a year.
Washington – Retail sales are projected to rise 4.1 percent this year, outpacing 2013’s 3.7 percent gains.
According to a report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF), continued economic growth, and an expanding labor market and housing sector, will help stoke consumer confidence and expenditures.
“We are cautiously optimistic and hopeful that the economic tides will change in 2014,” said Matthew Shay, president/CEO of the trade association.
New York – Walgreens, the No. 1 pharmacy chain, has expanded its test of Monster listening stations with the opening of a new “flagship” format store here last month.
The listening station, one of only a handful in the country, features Monster’s line of NCredible N-Tune headphones, developed with actor Nick Cannon.
New York – Best Buy and Walmart are offering gift cards and cash to goose sales of tablets and smartphones.
In a year-long promotion, Best Buy is providing a $50 gift card with the purchase and activation of a smartphone under a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. Customers can sign up for the promotion now through Feb. 15, and have until the end of the year to buy and activate a phone. The gift card can be applied to the purchase.
Issaquah, Wash. – Costco said CE comp sales fell by the mid- to high-single digits in January amid gains in other product categories.
Results for the four-week period, ended Feb. 2, encompassed the Super Bowl TV sales cycle, and continued a nearly year-long trend for Costco’s CE business.
In a research note, Janney Montgomery Scott retail analyst David Strasser attributed the softness to an “extremely competitive and promotional” CE marketplace.
Fort Worth, Texas – RadioShack may be planning to close 11 percent of its store base, according to a published report.
The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, said some 500 stores would be shut in consequent months.
A RadioShack spokesperson told TWICE the company doesn’t comment on “speculation or rumor.”
Chester Springs, Pa. – Azione Unlimited, the buying and educational group for custom retailers and integrators, named Savant Systems its most profitable vendor of 2013’s fourth quarter.
Azione recognized Savant with its Golden Goose Award for providing the most profit to its dealers during the period.
“Since signing on with Azione in September, Savant has quickly established itself as a top-five supplier and delivered outstanding profits in a highly competitive category,” said group president/founder Richard Glikes.
Paramus, N.J. — LG Electronics USA recently opened “the State Room” — a giant-sized man-cave-themed lounge decked out in LG large-screen TVs — in the Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping center, here.
The State Room, which will be available to the public up through the end of March, features some of LG’s most popular models of high-end OLED, Ultra HD LCD and Laser (short-throw front projection) TVs.
Los Angeles – The Seahawks may have been the big winners on the scoreboard Super Bowl Sunday, but, as is usually the case, the NFL, Fox, Madison Avenue and, hopefully, a handful of sponsors are taking victory laps this morning for scoring where it counts most – the till.