STORES Magazine - February 2009 - (Page 8)

CONSIDER THIS / EXECUTIVE EDITOR’S PAGE Feeling Hopeful BY SUSAN REDA I t’s been a few weeks since I watched the inauguration and I’m still feeling invigorated with a renewed sense of hopefulness. I’m hopeful that President Obama’s policies can right some of the financial wrongs that continue to plague our nation; hopeful that unemployment figures can move in the opposite direction; and hopeful that the crisis of confidence that seems to permeate consumer sentiment can be lifted. It’s reasonable to assume that retailers didn’t feel especially hopeful when they saw the final figures for holiday 2008. Results fell below expectations, but there were a handful of top-selling items this past holiday season – or, as I prefer to think of them, reasons to feel hopeful. Specialty apparel retailer J.Crew did not have a great fourth quarter, but executives have plenty of reasons to feel hopeful. President Obama and his family appear to have made J.Crew their house brand. First Daughters Malia and Sasha Obama donned coats, gloves and scarves specially designed from the crewcuts line; Michelle Obama, already a dyed-in-the-wool J.Crew fan, wore the retailer’s gloves to complement her ensemble for the daytime inaugural festivities. And, not to be outdone, the president attended the inaugural balls wearing an ivory colored silk bow tie designed for him by – you guessed it – J.Crew. J.Crew apparel is not inexpensive; it’s also not designer-priced. The First Family’s embrace of this all-American brand sends a subtle-yet-powerful signal that they know how to dress for a special occasion and still keep a wary eye on the family budget. It’s a good reason for other specialty apparel retailers to feel hopeful that shoppers will follow their cue. Other reasons to feel hopeful include the sales of items like Apple iPods (22.7 million), iPhones (4.4 million) and Mac computers (2.5 million) during the holiday season. Nintendo sold more than 10 million Wii units in the United States last year. Amazon isn’t saying exactly how many Kindles it sold during the holiday season, but the e-book reader ranked as the best-selling electronics item on the site for weeks — even though it was routinely out of stock. And then there’s the ubiquitous Ugg boot from Australia. Nordstrom in Chicago reported increased traffic in the Ugg section, and several styles were sold out on the retailer’s website. A Nordstrom spokeswoman reports that the store limits sales to four per customer, and numerous retailers share “can’t keep ‘em in stock” stories. I realize these are not apples-to-apples comparisons, but these items do have one thing in common: they’re all premium products. In a sluggish economy, when every headline and survey says that shoppers are cutting back and cutting out, shoppers managed to dig deep for items that were special. That’s a good reason to feel hopeful. STORES Magazine STORES Digital Edition STORES Knowledge Series® STORES First Edition STORES Retail Deals 325 7th St. NW, Suite 1100 Washington, D.C. 20004 202/626-8101 RICK GALLAGHER Publisher Vice President 202/626-8103 FAX: 866/640-8136 E-mail: SUSAN PATTERSON Assistant Publisher 202/626-8102 FAX: 202/661-3042 E-mail: EDITORIAL SUSAN REDA Executive Editor 516/437-1245 FAX: 866/640-8138 E-mail: HARRY LISTER Managing Editor 202/626-8199 FAX: 866/640-8137 E-mail: EMINE BEHNAM Production Manager 202/661-3047 FAX: 866/235-1939 E-mail: MARY ALICE ELMER Copy Editor LUCY D. REDDAWAY Creative Director ADVERTISING & MARKETING MIKE GRIBBIN Advertising Director 410/893-8003 Kim Daniele Molly Deise Therese Draddy Chris Hodges Dan McClure Tim O’Connell Executive Publishing Inc. 900A Main St., Suite 103 Bel Air, MD 21014 410/893-8003 FAX: 410/893-8004 E-mail: CIRCULATION ELENA CAIOLA Senior Director, Circulation and Information Management 202/626-8146 FAX: 866/640-8139 E-mail: DORIS MASON Circulation Assistant 202/626-8172 FAX: 866/640-8140 For article reprints, including e-prints, please contact our Reprint Coordinator at Wright's Reprints 877-652-5295 or At STORES, we appreciate hearing our readers’ thoughts and comments. Please address your correspondence to, or contact me at (516) 437-1245. 8 STORES / FEBRUARY 2009 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - February 2009

STORES Magazine - February 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Are You a Pusher or a Puller?
What Shoppers Think
Online Retail Satisfaction
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story - Something’s Got to Give
First Look
Online Partners
Inventory Systems
Drug Store Systems
Business Intelligence
Inventory Managment
Online Marketing
Supply Chain - Better Data, Better Decisions
Returns Management - Identifying Fraud
Data Security - Securing Intimate Data
Anti-Shoplifting - Mall of Shame?
Risk Management - Securing Consumer Confidence
Loeb Retail letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - February 2009