Americans shake off economic pessimism – NBC/WSJ poll by John Harwood at CNBC. “The proportion of Americans who say they are satisfied with the economy has risen 10 percentage points in the last five months, to 45 percent.” Read more
Retailers expect stronger growth in 2015 by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz at Chicago Tribune via Star-Tribune. “Retail sales are expected to rise 4.5 percent this year, a full percentage point more than the 3.4 percent growth in 2014, according to Kantar Retail…Online sales, though still 10 percent of total retail sales, are expected to grow 15 percent this year.” Read more
Snake bites customer on head in Lowe’s by Therese Apel at The Clarion Ledger via USA Today. “The unidentified customer opened a cabinet inside the store around 2:30 p.m. and was bitten by a chicken snake inside of it, WTVA reported. Amanda Manna, spokeswoman for Lowe’s, acknowledged the incident but said she couldn’t comment. “All I can share is that we’re currently investigating the incident,” she said.” Read more
J.C. Penney Resurrects Its Catalog by Suzanne Kapner at WSJ. “The new, 120-page book will feature items from Penney’s home department and will be sent to select customers in March, the first time the struggling department-store chain has sent out a catalog since 2010.” Read more (Subscription)
…J.C. Penney stopped mailing the ‘Big Book’ catalog in 2009 and phased out its distribution of 70 smaller catalogs a year later via Yahoo. Read more
Younger folks want healthier food – and will pay for it by Bruce Horovitz at USA Today. “The most health-centric are Generation Z — consumers under age 20 — with 41% saying they would willingly pay a premium for “healthier” products. That compares with 32% of Millennials (ages 21 to 34) and about 21% of Baby Boomers (about 50 to mid-60s).” Read more
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Why Lilly Pulitzer for Target is Going Where No Capsule Collection Has Gone Before Old-money label meets big-box retail by Robert Klara at Adweek. “But there’s something else going on here, and it has more to do with age-old class divisions than it does with prices. Target may have partnered with high-end brands in the past, but Lilly Pulitzer is the first old-guard, social-register brand to sign on, and that makes a big difference.” Read more
Porch.com Raises $65M Series B Round As It Prepares To Take Its Service Nationwide by Frederic Lardinois at TechCrunch. “Other investors in this round include previous investors Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and Capricorn Investment Group, as well as Founders Fund, Battery Ventures, Panorama Point Partners, and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” star Ty Pennington.” Read more
Wal-Mart Takes Aim At Shareholder Bid To Limit Gun Sales by Aebra Coe at Law 360. “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is on the warpath over a federal court decision forcing the retail giant to include in its proxy materials a Wall Street church’s proposal to tighten board oversight of certain gun sales, saying the decision could have a ripple effect across the entire retail industry.” Read more (Subscription)
Six arrested in bar code scam by Marcos Ortiz at ABC Utah 4. “It was so easy because nobody paid attention,” said Leishman “We would go in and buy tools, like $200 tools for $8 bucks…Switching out bar codes may be catching retailers off guard, especially big box stores where there is self-checkout. Jake Hunsaker is a store manager for Cricket cellular. Their store was not targeted by the group.” See the video / Read more
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