Making a Comeback


JC Penney is making a comeback; and it's all thanks to an unlikely group of shoppers.

The aging department store is starting to recover thanks to a new business plan that includes upgrading its line of designers and targeting younger clients. The company's chief merchant says young men ages 25 to 35 are driving big growth. He says they have money to spend and are very opinionated about the style and fit of their clothes.

In addition to upgrading what's available the store is also appealing to millennials with a variety of beauty lines, appliances and a focus on clothes for children. And the changes seem to be working. JC Penney predicts a steady growth of 3% over the next couple of years. And it's not just JC Penney looking for a reboot.  read more »

A New Type of Shopping


Shopping is getting a new look and big stores are buying into the latest technology.

When it comes to snatching up your latest desire more people are skipping the stores and heading online. But that doesn't mean brick and mortar stores are on their way out. Instead they are changing the way they do business in order to keep customers interested.

For example industry experts say one of the things they expect to see in stores of the future are holograms in dressing rooms. These will allow people to try on clothes without getting undressed. Or if the store doesn't have the coffee cup or picture frame you just have to have shoppers will be able to print out full versions using 3D technology.  read more »

The Christmas Season


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; even in September.

We're a few months from the holiday season but some of the biggest electronics companies want their gadgets to appear on your shopping lists. So far we've seen the introduction of new iPhones that come in different colors, new video game players and competition is heating up among developers of smartwatches.

Samsung is releasing its $300 Galaxy Gear. The watch can be linked wirelessly to newer Samsung phones and tablets and allows you to do everything from checking your email to making phone calls all from the device worn on your wrist. The watch will be available in a few weeks in six different colors.  read more »

Attention Shoppers


Attention shoppers; your favorite store could be tracking your cell phone.

According to the New York Times major retailers are testing technology to track customers using Wi-Fi signals from their phones.

But it doesn't stop there. Stores are also using video surveillance and data from apps to learn the sex of each shopper, how many minutes they spend in the aisles and how long they look at something before buying it. Then companies take that information and use it when designing the layout of stores, deciding on sale items and issuing coupons.  read more »

Singles Day


China just celebrated its biggest shopping day of the year; but only people with a certain status were spending.

In China, November 11th or 11/11 is known as “Singles Day.” Starting in the early 90s by college students, it is a day that offers big discounts to unattached young people. The students that created it say it is meant to be a Valentine’s Day for people without a partner.

So on the day; symbolized by the four single digits, people buy themselves the items they have been coveting. And in some cases they buy gifts for the object of their affection or get a great deal on a date in an attempt to end their single status.  read more »

Tax Free Shopping


People in the south are celebrating a new holiday and its tax free.

Last week Arkansas shoppers braved record high temperatures to join in on the first ever tax free shopping weekend. In February the state’s lawmakers approved the holiday to give parents a tax break on their back-to-school shopping; this included savings on clothes, school supplies and uniforms.

Clancy Graham is the owner of a boutique in Arkansas and says the amount of business brought in by dropping the tax was unbelievable. Graham says their sales goal was tripled and more money was made in that one weekend than over the entire month. But while shoppers are gleefully spending the state is feeling the pinch. Officials say the tax free holiday will cost the state about $2 million in revenue.  read more »

Shop Til You Drop


Burning up the plastic at your favorite store? Your spending could be out of your control.

You might think you can put a handle on how much your next spree will cost you. But according to MSN Money there are eight unusual factors to blame for your shopping. Marketing experts say we are more seduced by outside factors when we shop than we realize. For example, where your last name falls in the alphabet can contribute to shopping behavior.  read more »

Merry Christmas...Or Else

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These days it’s safer to be politically correct; but if you’re a major retail store, it can hurt your bottom line.

Over the past years you may have noticed signs that read “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” adorning the windows of your favorite store. But this year the message will most likely read “Merry Christmas” whether you celebrate the holiday or not.  read more »

A Habit Changing Economy


Old habits die hard, except in this economy.

As bank account balances dwindle many Americans are turning away from their regular retail haunts and shopping for a bargain. A Goodwill store that recently opened in Paramus, New Jersey is seeing a steady stream of business from people that used to favor department stores.

Experts say the stigmas that used to be attached to thrift stores have fallen away as people accept the fact they can’t afford to pay full price. And it’s not just clothing stores. Shoppers are clipping coupons and favoring store brands at the grocery store. When it comes to buying expensive items and holiday shopping, stores are seeing a surge in layaway. And credit card companies are reporting a surge in purchases at fast food restaurants like McDonalds.  read more »

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A Seasonal Business Boom


With the holiday’s right around the corner, people are already feeling the spirit. And this year this means good news for the unemployed.

Last year’s holiday season was a little dismal with most people feeling the recession’s pinch. But now consumer confidence is up and stores are getting out the help wanted signs in anticipation of long lines and big crowds. The electronics chain Best Buy is planning to hire 29,000 seasonal workers. The company also plans to spend more on promotions this year and open about 50 mobile product locations to boost the sale of smart phones.  read more »

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