NRF revises holiday forecast
WASHINGTON — With just days left before the holiday shopping season draws to a close, the National Retail Federation has increased its forecast as the economic environment gives way to increased consumer spending.
November retail industry sales — which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants — increased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over October, and 6.8% unadjusted over last year, NRF said. What’s more, there were solid retail gains across all sectors, including health and personal care stores, with sales increasing by 0.9% seasonally adjusted over last October, and 7.3% unadjusted over last year. For this holiday season, NRF said it adjusted its forecast to 3.3%, up 1% from its original outlook.
“The start to the holiday season has surpassed all expectations,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “While employment data is still a concern, we are starting to see improvement in other economic indicators that support an increase to our forecast. In order to sustain this momentum for retailers and the U.S. economy, there must be a renewed focus on jobs as we enter the new year.”
Pampers expands online resources with new baby shower, registry guide
CINCINNATI — Pampers has launched a new baby shower and registry guide on PampersVillage.com for expectant moms and dads. The online resource features two applications, My Baby Registry and My Baby Shower.
The My Baby Registry app offers users such components as retail barcode scanning, instant sharing capabilities with Facebook networks and an interactive blogging feature for expectant parents that want to share their pregnancy experiences with friends. The app marks Pampers’ first fully integrated digital application, as well as the first iPhone application for the brand.
Meanwhile, Pampers’ My Baby Shower app provides expectant parents, family and friends the useful tools for party planning from start to finish, including advice on themes and tips, helping users keep track of guest lists and letting users share photos of the event. My Baby Shower currently is available on the Facebook platform.
Click here to visit the website.
Former CVS executive joins Market Performance Group
NEW YORK — Former CVS/pharmacy executive Steve Ortleb has joined Market Performance Group, a consulting and sales management services company, as a director on the MPG sales and retail services team and a retail adviser for the MPG Strategy Consulting group.
Ortleb has nearly 15 years in category management and merchandising analysis at CVS/pharmacy. This experience was garnered through various category management and merchandising analysis positions with CVS/pharmacy and AC Nielsen. During his time with CVS/pharmacy, he held roles within the healthcare and beauty merchandising divisions, as well as the merchandising analysis department. His experience includes category manager positions for a wide variety of categories, including cough-cold, allergy, skin and sun care, and first aid.
An early pioneer in category management, he developed and implemented the Category Review Process at CVS, and was project owner for SKU optimization, clustering and the world wide retail exchange.