BRA Retailer Survivor Series Returns

Retailer Survivor Series Tools for Succeeding in Today’s Economy BRA Retail Certification Program The Board Retailers Association (BRA) is hosting two Retailer Survivor Series one day prior to the opening of the Surf Expo trade show on January 13, 2010 and the ASR trade show on February 2, 2010. Retailers are encouraged to take advantage of the trip to the trade shows by attending a full-day of certified retail education focused on current market issues facing specialty retailers. The primary purpose of the Retailer Survivor Series is to educate retailers and provide the tools necessary to continue to survive the market and increase profitability. The Retailer Survivor Series is an eight track program with two tracks running simultaneously at each show: Surf Expo – January 13, 2010 Course I – Marketing & Brand Management Includes community centric retailing, customer service strategies, media management, special events and advertising. Course II – Store Design & Operations Includes visual merchandising, retail design, store environment, fixtures, rental shop efficiency, real estate and lease negotiations. To register, please visit http://www.boardretailers.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=zd5%2bGSaIOXg%3d&tabid=137 ASR – February 2, 2010 Course I – Merchandising Includes analytical trends, pricing and promotion, OTB, inventory budgeting and control, cash flow structuring and private label production. Course II – Digital Retailing Includes online retailing, driving web traffic, web analytics, social marketing and targeting the youth market. To register, please visit http://www.boardretailers.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=d0NI%2flGb2hY%3d&tabid=137 The Retailer Survivor Series utilizes interactive seminars, presentations, workshops and roundtables designed to encourage dialogue, education, interaction and involvement among all sectors of the industry. Make the most of your visit to Surf Expo and ASR by registering for the BRA Retailer...

Sports Authority CEO Retiring

Sports Authority announced Wednesday that Doug Morton, 59, will be retiring as chief executive. Morton, who has been with the sporting-goods retailer for 22 years, will remain as chairman. The Englewood-based company will be operated by an interim executive operating committee until a replacement is named. Morton joined Sports Authority in 1986 and was named CEO in 1995. During his tenure, the company acquired multiple sporting-goods retailers and created the nation’s first national full-line sporting-goods chain. “When I began my career with Sports Authority, we were a small chain of stores and no one could have imagined the transformation of our company into a multibillion-dollar retailer with a national footprint. As chairman, I will continue to champion our brand and our people,” Morton...

‘Carryback’ Legislation Would Help Struggling Retailers Survive Holiday Season

Some retailers could be forced to lay off workers or close stores unless Congress moves quickly to pass “net operating loss carryback” tax legislation that would give them the cash they need to buy inventory for this year’s holiday season. “Because retail sales have fallen so dramatically over the past year and access to capital has been so limited, retailers are struggling to find the cash they need to operate their businesses as the economy moves toward recovery,” NRF Vice President and Tax Counsel Rachelle Bernstein said. “If struggling retailers cannot finance inventories for the 2009 holiday season – their greatest opportunity for revenue for the year – they could go out of business. Extension of the NOL carryback period would provide an important source of capital to finance ongoing operations and retain employees. If NOL carryback is not enacted soon, tens of thousands of additional retail jobs will be lost.” Congress needs to pass H.R. 2452, the Net Operating Loss Carryback Act, sponsored by Representative Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Select Revenue Subcommittee. Under the legislation, businesses suffering losses during 2008 or 2009 would be able to “carry back” those losses to offset profits from up to five years ago. The companies would then receive tax refund checks that would provide an infusion of cash to help keep doors open and workers on the payroll. Losses can already be carried back for up to two years, but in the current economic climate some companies have seen low profitability for several years. The five-year carryback period was included in the $787 billion economic...

Mininum Wage Hike To Take Effect July 24 in 31 States

Millions of American workers are about to get a federally-mandated raise, which will go into effect on July 24. The raise, which was implemented two years ago before the recession, represents the final wage hike in a three-step boost to the federal minimum wage increase passed by Congress. The minimum wage will rise 70 cents — or about 11% — to $7.25 per hour from $6.55. (Last summer, it went up 70 cents from $5.85.) Whether Congress would have approved the wage hike had legislators known how dismal the economy would look two years later is an open question. But there’s no doubt the timing is awkward. The hike will give about 4.5 million workers a raise and boost hourly wages by $1.6 billion a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The final phase of the federal minimum wage hike will impact 31 states whose minimum wage levels are below $7.25, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and New York. Firms in these states will have to match the federal minimum. The increase has no bearing on 20 states (including Washington, D.C.), which already mandate an hourly wage of $7.25 or...

Mininum Wage Hike To Take Effect July 24 in 31 States

Millions of American workers are about to get a federally-mandated raise, which will go into effect on July 24. The raise, which was implemented two years ago before the recession, represents the final wage hike in a three-step boost to the federal minimum wage increase passed by Congress. The minimum wage will rise 70 cents — or about 11% — to $7.25 per hour from $6.55. (Last summer, it went up 70 cents from $5.85.) Whether Congress would have approved the wage hike had legislators known how dismal the economy would look two years later is an open question. But there’s no doubt the timing is awkward. The hike will give about 4.5 million workers a raise and boost hourly wages by $1.6 billion a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The final phase of the federal minimum wage hike will impact 31 states whose minimum wage levels are below $7.25, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and New York. Firms in these states will have to match the federal minimum. The increase has no bearing on 20 states (including Washington, D.C.), which already mandate an hourly wage of $7.25 or...

Highlights from the 2008/2009 Snowsport Season Analysis

I had the pleasure of being permitted to listen in on the SIA/Leisure Trend conference call this afternoon highlighting the 2008/2009 Snowsport Season Analysis from August 2008 – March 2009. There were about 100 people registered for the call led by Kelly Davis of SIA and Scott Jaeger of Leisure Trends. Kelly began the call by reiterating that retailers sold less and made less this year. There were still 57.1 million ski/riders this season which is only a 5.5% decline from last year’s record setting season. Passionate riders find the money and snow will always trump the economy. Below I have taken the liberty to highlight some of the interesting reports. Not a shocker but it was a tough year for specialty retailers. Northeast retailers faired okay with Southern California retailers reporting the worst sales stats. Strong early season sales helped to offset slow downs at the end of the season in some cases. Online sales ($5456 million) made up for brick-and-mortar sales. In fact, internet sales were up 12.1% while specialty stores were down 7.82% and chains were down 7.36%. There was aggressive discounting across the board, which is going to have long-term effects on profit. There will be fewer OTB dollars out in the market next buying season. In addition, consumers are being trained to seek discounts. There needs to be a partnership between retailers and manufacturers not to devalue industry products as a whole. Hot Trends: In the ski arena, the sale of ski systems are down. People want freedom in bindings. Flat ski twin tips are up. Carve skis are down. In the snowboard category,...