National Retail Federation Reports Strong Thanksgiving Holiday Sales

According to NRF, the National Retail Federation, one-third of consumers shopped online this past holiday weekend, leaving two-thirds in stores to take advantage of the many discounts and sales available nationwide. Early reports indicate that retail sales are 8.7% above last Thanksgiving weekend. It’s hard to tell whether this Black Friday’s success is a clear indicator of upcoming holiday sales through Christmas. We’ll have to wait and see. Be sure to check back here for additional updates on retail sell-through over...

SANUK FOOTWEAR TO USE FRONT WINDOW BY CLARINOVA TO DRIVE FOOT TRAFFIC TO RETAILERS

LA JOLLA, CA—Sanuk Footwear has found an innovative way to support its retailers by implementing technology that will drive foot traffic to stores that carry Sanuk products. Sanuk will use Front Window software from Clarinova to improve online searches for its products. Front Window technology will ensure that individual retailers are easily found in local web searches, and that these retailers’ current inventory is available online. Front Window software builds search engine optimized websites, called microsites, which are specially designed to improve local search results. These microsites feature the latest product images and promotions for the brand—Sanuk in this case—along with the retail store’s information. With the help of Front Window, Sanuk and its retailers will benefit from a co-branded microsite for stores where Sanuk sells its products. “The goal of these microsites is to guide consumers to local retail stores when they search for Sanuk footwear online but prefer to buy offline,” explains Scott Yankton, President and COO of the start-up Clarinova Inc., and co-founder of surfboardbuilders.com. “These sites tell consumers exactly which Sanuk products can be found at which retail stores, which is a huge benefit for consumers who want to see what’s in the stores so they can go and make a purchase.” “The sites generated with Front Window will also include a map feature so people can easily find retail stores where Sanuk footwear is sold,” continues Yankton. In addition, Clarinova will promote all of the Sanuk microsites through local business directories, social media, email marketing, search engines and blogs to ensure that they are highly visible. According to Yankton, data shows that over 90%...

Exclusive Products for Specialty Retailers

For years, the action sports industry has produced exclusive collaborations between retailers and manufacturers on certain products and limited-edition lines. Specialty retailers have always asked for exclusive product as a means to help them stand out, in what has become a very crowded retail world. Manufacturers comply to varying degrees, but specialty retailers often aren’t able to compete for these deals with bigger and larger retailers. Despite the difficulties that often accompany exclusive deals, the resurgence of the movement is one good indicator that the economy is recovering. Andrew Asch, Retail Editor for California Apparel News recently wrote an article on the “The Art of the Exclusive.” Be sure to check it out to delve into this issue further at...

ActionWatch Releases Back to School Specialty Retail Sales Reports

ActionWatch reports that August comparable sales are generally up for the specialty retailers participating on their panel, which is a good indicator for specialty action sports retailers everywhere. The ladies apparel and footwear market, accessories and hardgoods all performed relatively well. For the full article, see http://business.transworld.net/48882/features/mens-and-womens-august-apparel-comps-fare-better-in-core-shops/?cmpid=enews1011 In addition, national retail sales results for September were positive for both specialty and department stores. For the full story, please visit...

Leisure Trends Group August 2010 Topline Retail Sales Tracking Reports Show Positive Results

Leisure Trends Group (LTG) recently released their TOPLINE RETAIL MARKET OVERVIEW for August 2010, which showed that specialty retailers in the outdoor market are seeing positive gains with an overall average retail sales margin of 41%, the highest in three years. While unit sales were flat, the steady average margin shows that retailers were giving out fewer discounts leading to a 4% increase in average retail prices. Retailers in the outdoor market, like the action sports market, are still keeping inventories fairly lean, carrying 7% fewer inventory units than August 2009.  Overall, monthly turn increased 12%. Lets hope that we see improvements like this paralleled in the action sports specialty market. For more information, please visit...

CIT Group Releases Survey on Retail Holiday Expectations

According to a recently released survey by CIT Group, retailers are feeling optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, which is expected to be a $852 billion business over all retail categories. 57% of retail respondents to CIT’s survey indicated that they plan to stock more inventory this X-mas than in 2009 and 69% plan to spend more on advertising. Both are good signs that the overall retail sentiment is positive heading into the season and the beginning of a new year. While 72% of retailers said that they planned to offer more discounts this year than last, heavy discounting is still a top concern. The question is, can retailers balance sales and discounts to come out on top this...