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Retail CFOs to emphasize online, mobile retail in 2013, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Retail executives are moderating their expectations for 2013 following uneven sales in December and January, according to a new survey of CFOs by professional services firm BDO USA.

The survey of 100 CFOs at retailers across the country found, however, that reduced economic concerns had led many to focus on ways to adapt to the rise of online shopping. As a result, retailers are beginning to integrate online sales into their sales-accounting practices to develop a more accurate picture of their performance, and 66% said they include online sales in their comps as e-commerce began accounting for a larger portion of sales overall. Nearly three-quarters expect e-commerce sales to increase by 6.9% this year.

The report found that consumers can also expect to see more engagement in mobile channels, with 60% planning to maintain mobile investment this year and 38% planning to increase it. They’re also looking for ways to integrate mobile and create an omni-channel shopping experience, ranging from installing mobile technologies like GPS and similar apps in their stores to developing mobile shopping apps for the growing numbers of smartphones and tablets on the market.

Digital promotions are also growing in importance, and executives are analyzing holiday strategies to see which ones work best, the survey found. One-third of CFOs cited email and social media promotions as a top strategy in 2012, and 16% cite free shipping. With consumers focused on deals, promotional discounting remains a stalwart of holiday strategy, with 29% of CFOs indicating that it was the most successful strategy last year. When asked about successful tactics, 41% cited extended store tactics, while 22% cited Thanksgiving weekend promotions.

 

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Legislation would allow states to levy sales taxes on out-of-state online purchases

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings, the parent company of mass merchandiser Kmart, is throwing its support behind a bill that would grant states authority to enforce existing sales tax laws and require out-of-state online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on sales made to their residents.

The Marketplace Fairness Act was sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; as well as Reps. Steve Womack, R-Ark.; Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Peter Welch, D-Vt.; and John Conyers, D-Mich.

"Sears Holdings has been and continues to be a strong supporter of restoring balance and fairness to the system by enabling states, if they so chose, to enforce the collection of taxes that are already owed by every customer making a purchase, whether the purchase is online or in a retail store," Sears Holdings’ statement read.


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Elmer’s introduces ProBond Advanced adhesive

BY Ken Clark

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A sticky situation just got stickier.

Elmer’s Products has introduced Elmer’s ProBond Advanced adhesive, which is being promoted as a multipurpose glue that’s as strong as a polyurethane competitor, but without the foamy mess.

“We developed ProBond Advanced in response to demand from consumers,” said Emily von Stein, associate product manager for Elmer’s hardware category. “They’ve told us that they don’t like the messy foam of polyurethane glues, but still need an adhesive that can provide heavy-duty adhesion on nearly any surface. ProBond Advanced satisfies that need and goes a step beyond by not only eliminating the annoying foam mess, but also being easy enough to clean with just water.”

ProBond Advanced works on wood, concrete, metal, glass, ceramics and more. It is 100% weatherproof, making it ideal for both interior and exterior projects. Unlike popular polyurethane glues, ProBond Advanced won’t foam up after it’s dry, thanks to its acrylic formulation. This saves DIYers, contractors and woodworkers the time and hassle of cleaning up their projects and hands after working.

The product comes in 2-, 4- and 8-ounce bottles at suggested retail price points of $4.99, $6.50 and $10.99, respectively.


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