Tag Archives: retail

Study Finds Flower Longevity Guarantee Plays Role in Purchasing Decisions




The American Floral Endowment (AFE) just released a comprehensive Public Benefits study on Longevity Guarantees for Flowers. This multi-part study examines several aspects of consumer preferences for longevity guarantees on flowers including: consumer willingness to pay for longevity guarantees, consumer preferences for longevity labels on cut flowers and consumer preferences for redeeming longevity guarantees. The study was conducted by Chengyan Yue, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota, with support from Alicia Rihn, University of Minnesota, Bridget Behe, Ph.D., Michigan State University, and Charles Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University.Guarantees… Read More →




The latest consumer news




There has been some relatively good news regarding consumer spending lately…consider these tidbits: The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had declined in July, improved moderately in August — source. We did not see a significant decrease in back-to-school spending despite the continued concerns over the economy — source. There is strong evidence that firms who are focused on their core customers continue to prosper — source. The demand for lawn and garden consumables like fertilizers, pesticides, growing media, seeds, mulch, etc. are expected to increase by 3.4… Read More →




Weather Brings Retailers a GOLDEN Egg this Easter Weekend!




From Bill Kirk, Weather Trends International: After three very disappointing Easter periods the past few years with record cold and snow, retailers are about to lay a golden egg this holiday weekend (the most important period in Q1). The weather will be nothing short of exceptional with the NORTHEAST having the most ideal conditions – warmest and driest in 20+ years for the Easter weekend.  The last time Easter weather was this ideal was in middle April 2006 when 1,543 record high temperatures were set across the country… Read More →




From Conspicuous to Conscious Consumption




An interview with Dan Stanek, Executive Vice President, TNS Retail Forward It wouldn’t surprise you if I said that this holiday shopping season is expected to be weak. But would you be taken aback if I said that there is a fundamental shift in consumer values underway that may have a lasting impact on retailers? If your eyebrows are raised, listen up. What changes are you observing in consumer values? What I am seeing is the pendulum swinging away from the conspicuous consumption of the 1980’s and 1990’s… Read More →




Retail Holiday Outlook




Two independent surveys project the troublesome holiday outlook for retailers: According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2008 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $832.36 on holiday-related shopping, up a paltry 1.9 percent over last year’s $816.69. This represents the lowest increase in planned consumer spending since the survey began in 2002. A Deloitte survey released Wednesday was a bit more bleak in its findings. Almost six in 10 consumers said they would reduce spending this holiday… Read More →




Customer Service Christmas




Here’s a good quote from yesterday’s BusinessWeek.com: “Call it a customer service Christmas. Consumers are expected to rein in spending this year, and the retail climate favors big-box stores that can offer bargains. But because small retailers can’t win price wars, experts say independents need to leverage their biggest advantage over the chains: personal relationships with customers and the ability to deliver superior service. With some economists predicting one of the weakest Decembers since 1991, retailers that falter could face a cold winter.” For the entire story, click… Read More →




“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”




From the NYT… News on the economy was mixed on Friday morning, with the release of a mildly relieving Producer Price Index report(measuring the average change over time in selling prices received by domestic producers of goods and services) and a discouraging retail sales report for August. Stock markets initially fell on the reports, but stabilized by noon on Friday. The price index for finished goods, a measure of the change in prices businesses pay, fell 0.9 percent in August after a 1.2 percent increase in July, according… Read More →




Coping with a down economy




As promised, here are a few strategies to consider for coping with a down economy. Some of these steps are radical, while others are a more milder form of defense. Implement them according to the conditions you experience in your market area. Conserve your cash. Don’t spend a dime on anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to your operation. Examine every personal expense you have to find alternatives to any spending patterns. Refinance anything and everything you can. Stretch out the payments because getting cash later on will be… Read More →




Ecomomic Rx for Business




“In good times, running a company is exhilarating. Money is flowing, customers are happy, employees have a spring in their step. In not-so-good times—like now—the very same job can feel like scaling Mt. Everest in a snowstorm while wearing a knapsack filled with bricks and suffering from a bad case of the flu.” In the latest Florists’ Review magazine, Quint Studor offers “Eleven Ways to Infuse Your Company with the Leadership Skills to Thrive in Tough Times” — a good read. For more, click here. Another good read… Read More →




What can we learn from Saks???




The wider economy was the scapegoat for Home Depot, which posted a 66% drop in net income. However, Saks Fifth Avenue appeared unbowed by the difficulties and continues to illustrate the way luxury brands can avert some of the pain felt by other retailers. The economic downturn has been particularly difficult for home-improvement chains such as Home Depot and rival Lowe’s. The retailers are double-teamed by a drop in the housing market and a slowdown in consumer spending. Saks was the inverse of Home Depot, posting a 66%… Read More →