Retailers have plenty to cheer at the beginning of the new year.
Holiday sales increased 4.9% in 2017, setting a new record for dollars spent, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. It was the largest year-over-year increase since 2011. Online shopping saw large gains of 18.1% compared to 2016, boosted by a late-season rally. (The SpendingPulse report details holiday shopping from Nov.1 through Dec. 24 and covers retail sales across all payment types.)
Costco earned $640 million, $1.45 a share, in the quarter ended November 26, compared with $545 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.33 a share.
Net sales rose 13.3% to $31.12 billion, better than analysts expected. Total same-store sales 10.5%.
Costco’s comparable E-commerce sales jumped 43.5%. The increase comes as the retailer has been investing to grow its digital capabilities, including a partnership with delivery service firm Instacart to offer two-day and same-day delivery.
Kroger is teaming up with Chase Pay, the digital engagement wallet from JPMorgan Chase & Co., to offer mobile payments. The initiative will kick off in select retail markets and e-commerce programs in 2018.
Kroger’s payment solutions are a part of the company’s “Restock Kroger Plan.” One of the key strategic drivers is to expand partnerships to create customer value, which includes Kroger forming alliances to accelerate digital and e-commerce platforms.
The discounter, which said 84% of Americans are still shopping for the holidays, is making a big push for its same day in-store pickup service. It’s made more items eligible for the service than ever before. Also, customers will be able to shop for qualifying items, notated with “Free Pickup Today,” online until 4 p.m. local time on Dec. 23. The items can be picked up in stores until 6 p.m. on Dec, 24.
The discounter will execute approximately 2,000 real estate projects in fiscal 2018. The emphasis will be on remodeling. Dollar General plans to open 900 new stores (compared to an estimated 1,285 new units in fiscal 2017), remodel 1,000 existing sites and relocate 100 stores (compared to 760 combined remodels and relocations this year).
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