Retailing Briefs


Batteries Plus Reports Record June


Specialty retailer Batteries Plus reported a recordsetting month in June, with 24 of its 30 corporate-owned stores hitting their highest-ever sales levels. The chain also franchises some 435 locations in 46 states, including 60 stores that opened last year alone. CEO Russ Reynolds attributed the growth to increased power demand for portable electronics, the expanding battery retail segment, and “the open back-and-forth dialogue between the franchise owner and corporate.”

Smartphone Promos Abound At Retail


Dealers including Best Buy, Walmart and online startup

served up a plethora of smartphone promotions this month. Last week Best Buy offered a 20 percent discount off any set of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones with the purchase of any HTC smartphone, and a one-day free phone offer on Motorola’s Atrix 4G (AT&T), the Nexus S 4G from Google (Sprint), and Samsung’s Fascinate (Verizon).

At Walmart, a week-long back-to-college promotion knocked down prices on Sharp’s FX Plus for AT&T, to $28.88; Samsung’s T139 for Walmart’s prepaid Family Mobile service, to $54.96; Samsung’s Galaxy S 4G for T-Mobile, to $78.88; HTC’s Droid Incredible 2 for Verizon, to $148; and Nokia’s E-5 for the prepaid Straight Talk service, to $199.

Meanwhile, cellular startup TheCheapPhoneShop promises deep discounts on smart and feature phones through its partnerships with

and Wirefly, the consumer arm of master agent and online services provider Simplexity. The site offers phones and plans from all major carriers as well as free delivery, usually overnight.

Conn’s, GE Capital Extend Finance Program


Conn’s has extended and expanded its consumer finance program with GE Capital’s retail finance unit. The program, which began in 2009, was renewed through 2014 and will include the introduction of a Conn’sbranded credit card, expanded product offerings and financing promotions, and special cardholder discounts and shopping opportunities. Approximately 60 percent of Conn’s retail sales are financed.

Best Buy Adding 100 Vending Machines


Best Buy plans to install its Express vending machines in nearly 100 new locations over the next year. The retailer has already rolled out 150 of the self-serve kiosks to airports, train stations, casinos and turnpike rest stops since 2009. The latest batch, which will similarly carry computer accessories, digital cameras, storage devices and headphones, will appear at such new venues as ferry hubs, events, multiple locations at college campuses, and at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif. Said business leader Julie St. Marie, “As part of [our] multichannel strategy, Best Buy Express is uniquely positioned to offer the latest and greatest technology products for consumers at the same great prices offered in [our] stores, whenever and wherever they need it.”


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