STORES Magazine - May 2009 - (Page 14)

trEnDS Deals “R” Us Parents will do just about anything to shield their youngest children from family budget woes. So when Toys “R” Us merchants began to notice that even the most indulgent parents were cutting back on buying toys, they came up with a plan. Last month the toy superstore unveiled “$1-$2-$3 Fun” shops in the front section of its U.S. stores. The shops feature about 100 items ranging from rings and wands for playing dress-up to coloring books, paintbrushes, dinosaur eggs and tic-tac-toe games. U.S. toy retail sales fell 3 percent in 2008, according to market research firm NPD Group, and the “value” shops are an effort to woo shoppers back to the chain’s 846 domestic stores. In light of the overall economy, Toys “R” Us managed to hold its ground in 2008: net sales were down a mere 0.005 percent for the fiscal year. Chairman and CEO Gerry Storch attributes the results to a number of actions taken over the past year, including the continued integration of the toy and baby businesses (led by the growth of the new “R” superstores) and “aggressive efforts to preserve margins and control costs.” Step right up to . . . The Pillow Bar If you’re chasing that elusive perfect night’s sleep, another option is now on the table . . . or at the bar, to be more specific. The Pillow Bar, a kiosk operation, debuted at a Texas mall last year and has expanded to three more locations in the Lone Star State as well as a website. Why are shoppers snuggling up to The Pillow Bar? Merrimac Dillon, developer and owner, says it’s because it “takes the guesswork out of the perfect night’s sleep.” The product breaks the mold for the industry standards of soft, medium or hard and endeavors to perfectly match an individual’s sleep preference — side, back or stomach. The pillows were designed based on consultations with a neurosurgeon and a chiropractor to ensure that the product was perfectly matched for different sleep preferences. The 300thread-count, double-stitched, 100 percent cotton sateen pillows are filled with sterilized and double-fluffed, 650-fill white Hungarian goose down and are delivered in a lavender sachet. “The designs of the pillows make the product a necessity for support of the neck and spine, while the materials used in the production of the pillow make it the ultimate personal luxury item,” Dillon says. “By creating a sleep environment perfectly matched to your sleep preference, you are investing in sweet dreams.” It is, indeed, an investment. A standard pillow retails for $195; king-sized pillows go for $280. Not sure you’re ready to spend that much? Try the travel/boudoir pillow for $72. 14 STORES / MAY 2009 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

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

STORES Magazine - May 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Facts to Chew On
What Shoppers Think
Deals "R" Us
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Brand X Power
Home Improvement
Credit Where Credit's Due
Locate, Locate, Locate
New Playbook
Staying in the Fast Lane
Clean and Green
Driven to Please
Farm System
Rx for Shrink
Zeroing Out Zombies
Rogues Gallery
Ounce of Prevention
Loeb Retail Letter
Chain Action
Optimism Rocks
ARTS Update
Point of View
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2009