Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Stores have a solid start to back-to-school season

By
From page B11 | August 15, 2014 |

NEW YORK — The back-to-school shopping season is off to a promising start, but retailers may be sacrificing profit for sales.

The National Retail Federation expects the average family with school-aged children to spend $669.28 for back to school items, up 5 percent from last year. That would be the second-highest amount since the industry trade group started tracking spending in 2004.

But major retailers like Walmart and Macy’s are discounting merchandise and increasing spending to upgrade their stores and websites just to grab the attention of U.S. shoppers during the second biggest shopping period of the year. All that discounting and investing has worked to start the season off strong, they say, but it also hurts their bottom lines.

“Stores are going to have to invest in price and e-commerce aggressively in order to be competitive,” said Ken Perkins, president of RetailMetrics LLC, a retail research firm. “The pie is not growing, and they’ve got to do everything they can to keep them from losing market share.”

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, says it’s been investing in several ways to attract shoppers this season. The company cut prices on 10 percent more back-to-school items compared with last year. It also increased the number of back-to-school products sold on its website by 30 percent to 75,000 this year from last year.

The company also has made some long-term investments. Walmart said it’s doubling the number of smaller stores it has this year to compete with dollar chains. And it has increased its spending on its e-commerce operations to compete with online competitors like Amazon, a move that contributed to it slashing its annual profit outlook.

“In an environment where customers have so many choices about where to shop and how to buy, and many of them are feeling pressure on their budgets, we have to be at our best,” said Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon in a pre-recorded call Thursday.

But all that investing has hurt its results. On Thursday, Walmart reported that its profit in the latest quarter was virtually flat during the latest quarter.

Kohl’s Corp. also reported flat profit in its latest fiscal quarter on Thursday, as it cut prices, revamped its beauty departments, and spent on services such as one that enables it to ship online orders directly to shoppers from its stores.

The department-store operator also has started to roll out a loyalty program where shoppers get one point for every dollar they spend, with them receiving a $5 reward for every 100 points.

The retailer is hopeful its moves will boost business during the back-to-school shopping season: Kohl’s said that in July it had its first gain in revenue at established stores in several months.

“I believe our customers will be excited by the newness that they find in our stores and when shopping online this fall,” Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell told investors Thursday.

Still, Mansell says the period is not a predictor of how shoppers will spend during the winter holiday shopping season in November and December, which traditionally is the biggest shopping period of the year. “Last year, we had a really good back-to-school business and then business died mid-September,” he said.

For its part, Macy’s Inc., which owns Macy’s and upscale Bloomingdales chains, reported on Wednesday that its profit and sales for its latest quarter missed Wall Street estimates because it did so much discounting of merchandise.

The retailer also has been investing in its online business. The company said it just finished rolling out a program that allows shoppers to order on macys.com and then pick-up their order in stores. Additionally, the company said that it has sharpened its focus on customers ages 13 to 30, which has re-energized the back-to-school business.

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are doing what it takes to win with the customer,” Karen Hoguet, Macy’s chief financial officer, told investors.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

 
 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 25 Comments

 
India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

 
Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Sports

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9