Study: Brick-and-mortar still appeals to customers
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Reports of the store’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
According to the annual Global Shopper Study from mobile solutions provider Zebra Technologies Corp., more than three-quarters (76%) of shoppers feel positively about shopping in stores and nearly one-half think that technology solutions are helping retailers enable and improve their shopping experience.
In addition, more than three in 10 shoppers would prefer to go to a retail store to pick up items purchased via online or mobile channels. At the store, consumers are very interested in Wi-Fi and location-based, in-store services such as mobile coupons (51%), shopping maps (45%) and associate assistance (41%).
However, not all is rosy in the world of store-centric omnichannel retail. The study identified that more than one-third of shoppers (34%) believe they are better connected to real-time information than in-store associates. Meanwhile, 64% of shoppers would be willing to purchase more merchandise if they received better customer service and 52% value retailers who use technology to make the in-store experience more efficient.
Other findings include:
- Retailers can recover 66% of out-of-stock incidents by offering shoppers an immediate discount.
- Nearly eight in 10 respondents are willing to share some level of information with retailers. But, retailers rank low on the list of institutions that shoppers trust with personal data as only 5% reported they completely trusted retailers.
- Sixty-four percent of shoppers value retailers who give the flexibility to control how personal information is used to tailor experiences.
Rite Aid reports August same-store sales
CAMP HILL, Penn. — Prescription counts decreased a little and pharmacy same-store sales were up in August, according to numbers reported by Rite Aid Thursday. The company, which also announced its Q2 sales figures, said that overall same-store sales increased by 1.6% in August over the same period last year, and pharmacy store sales were up 2.1% over 2014. The company also saw fewer prescriptions filled and a 222 basis point negative impact from new generic introductions.
As for the quarter, same-store sales rose 2.1% over the same time last year to $6.602 billion. Among drug store sales, prescriptions constituted 69.3% of all sales and third-party prescription sales made up 98.7% of sales. So far in Rite Aid’s fiscal year, drug store sales are up 2.3% over last year to $13.2 billion, with an increase of 3.2% in pharmacy same-store sales. Despite a lower monthly prescription count, so far this year the company has dispensed 0.9% more prescriptions than it did during the same period last year.
The company also reported that front-end sales rose 0.5% in the first 26 weeks of its fiscal year.
Costco reports Q4, FY2015 sales
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Coscto on Thursday reported results from August, Q4 and fiscal year 2015. In August, the company had net sales of $8.7 billion, which is down about 1% from the $8.8 billion in the same month last year. However, net sales were up about one percent for Q4 and up 3% for the entire fiscal year. For the entire year, Costco’s net sales were up 3% over 2014 at $113.7 billion.
In terms of comps, the company’s U.S. operations gained 1% in August, 2% in Q4 and 3% for FY2015 over the same periods in 2014. Costco’s international comps fared less well, with a year-long decrease of 4%, an 11% decrease for August and 9% downturn in Q4 over the same periods last year.
The company noted that with Labor Day coming a week later this year, pre-sales didn’t bein in August and that had a lowering effect on net sales of about 1%.