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Kroger to tie loyalty card program to personalized charitable giving

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — In an effort to engender even greater shopper loyalty, Kroger has tied its loyalty card to the charity of a consumer’s choice, according to a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer

"By the end of next year, most Kroger divisions will contribute to a combined $50 million that will be given to schools and other nonprofits based on local shoppers’ charitable preferences and their shopping habits," the report reads. "Kroger’s Community Rewards program will account for one-fifth of the grocer’s total $250 million-a-year charitable activity."

Loyalty card holders identify their favorite local charity online from a list of nonprofits compiled by Kroger. Kroger cuts a quarterly check to those nonprofits in proportion to the amount of products purchased by each shopper. 

 

 

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Thanksgiving holiday dollar volume growth outpaced Black Friday growth, analysis finds

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — Holiday shopping got a big boost during Thanksgiving weekend, and most of the growth came from shopping on Thanksgiving itself rather than Black Friday, according to a new report.

First Data Corp., a payment processing company, released the SpendTrend report Friday, based on its tracking of same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debt, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks. The report found 9% growth over last year, compared with last year’s 5.6% growth over 2011; by contrast, Black Friday spending growth was 3.4%.

"In addition to promotions and early openings, we saw many retailers make it even easier for customers to shop by providing a seamless integration of in-store, online and mobile initiatives that allowed shoppers to buy products wherever and whenever," First Data SVP information and analytics solutions Krish Mantripragada said. "While the start of the holiday spending season was robust, merchants will continue to monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season."

The high growth on Thanksgiving itself may vindicate some retailers’ decisions to open on Thanksgiving. Many retailers took heavy criticism from consumers for opening on Thanksgiving, while those that didn’t often made a point to tell shoppers they would be closed for the holiday.

Average ticket growth for retailers was 3.8%, compared with last year’s 1.9% growth over 2011, and overall transaction growth was 4.9%, with most of that coming from shopper foot traffic on Thanksgiving. Black Friday transaction growth was 2.2%.

 

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Sears Holdings files with SEC for Lands’ End spinoff

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings is spinning off its clothing business, the parent company of Kmart said Friday.

Sears said it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to spin off Lands’ End. The company hopes that separating the management of Sears Holdings and Lands’ end will make it easier for the latter to pursue opportunities on its own.

The retailer announced in late October that it was looking to spin off the Lands’ End and Sears Auto Center businesses in an effort to improve its performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2013. Calling Lands’ End an "iconic brand," Sears Holdings said it has the potential to become a more global brand and that it would not pursue the spinoff as a sale, but as a way to maximize value for shareholders.

 

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