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News Briefs

  • 11/27/2023

    The fastest-loading shopping sites are…

    New research has revealed the fastest-loading online shopping sites in the U.S.

    According to a recent study by web design company analyzing data from Google’s Pageview Analytics tool, the Ikea U.S. online shopping site is the fastest to load on average with load time of 1.5 seconds on mobile and one second to load in full when browsing on desktop. This comes out to an average of 1.25 seconds, 0.25 seconds faster than any other site in the study.

    Coming in second place on the list is the U.S. shopping site of U.K.-based fashion retailer Asos. The Asos site loads in an average of 1.8 seconds on mobile and 1.2 seconds on desktop, with an overall average load time of 1.5 seconds.

     Third place goes to Amazon, with an average load time of 1.6 seconds, which is made up of an average load time of 1.6 seconds on both mobile and desktop devices.

     Following closely behind in fourth place is the U.S. shopping site of French beauty retailer Sephora. The Sephora site sees an average load time of 1.8 seconds on mobile and 1.5 seconds on desktop, coming out to an overall average of 1.65 seconds.

    Rounding out the top five is e-commerce retailer eBay. The U.S. eBay site takes an average time to fully load of 1.8 seconds on mobile and 1.7 seconds on desktop, coming out to an overall average of 1.75 seconds.

    [Read more: Shoppers abandon websites for these reasons …]

  • 11/27/2023

    The Container Store in milestone store opening at The Square at West Windsor

    The Container Store

    The Container Store continues to grow its small-format store concept.

    The home storage and organization products retailer has opened its 100th store, at The Square at West Windsor, in Princeton, N.J.  The 15,000-sq.-ft. outpost is Container Store’s sixth location in New Jersey. 

    The opening is in line with the retailer’s plans, announced in August, to open six new small format stores in fiscal 2023, with an additional three planned for the first quarter of 2024.  The Container Store debuted its small format concept  in September 2022, at The Promenade Shops at Briargate, in Colorado Springs, Col.

     The 220,000-sq.-ft. The Square at West Windsor is owned by Garden Commercial.  Earlier this year, a 3,000-sq.-ft. Starbucks — complete with a café,  drive-thru lane, conference room and outdoor seating patio — opened at the center, which is anchored by Lowe’s and Trader Joe’s.

    “The Container Store is a strong, nationally recognized brand and a terrific traffic generator,” said Michael Gartenberg, director of Garden Commercial. “It is gratifying to celebrate this store’s much-anticipated opening at The Square at West Windsor. The Container Store is a wonderful addition that is sure to be well received by the community.” 

     Garden Commercial said it is marketing one remaining, 5,300-sq.-ft. divisible space at The Square at West Windsor.  

    "The Square at West Windsor’s position as a ‘go-to’ retail destination that attracts best-in-class tenants is well established,” said Garden Commercial’s Jonathan Frieder, managing partner. “This legacy continues in a significant way with the openings of our two newest tenants, The Container Store and Starbucks.”

    Based in Short Hills, N.J., Garden Commercial owns and manages in excess of 25 million square feet of retail and office space.




  • 11/26/2023

    Mastercard: Black Friday sales rise 2.5%; apparel, jewelry top gift sectors

    holiday shopping bag with gifts

    Online sales led the way on Black Friday.

    U.S. retail sales on Black Friday (November 24) rose 2.5% year-over-year, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.  (The sales are not adjusted for inflation.) 

    E-commerce sales remained strong increasing 8.5% year-over-year as consumers shopped deals online. In-store sales increased 1.1% year-over-year.

     A number of sporting events aired on Friday, making online shopping an appealing option for game day viewers to shop wherever they might be watching, noted Mastercard. 

    Other key Black Friday trends from the Mastercard report are below.

    •While experiential gifts have been the popular choice the past few years, consumers continue to search for something to unwrap for the holidays. Jewelry and apparel ranked as the top gift sectors of the day. 

    •In addition to shopping, consumers gathered with friends and families for shared meals to celebrate the holidays with the restaurant sector continuing its growth streak.

    •Retailers once again started their Black Friday sales early in the month, giving consumers ample time to search for promotions and score the best deals.

    •While experiential gifts have been the popular choice the past few years, consumers continue to search for something to unwrap for the holidays. Jewelry and apparel ranked as the top gift sectors of the day. 

    •Department store sales as well as furniture and furnishings continued to lag other sectors compared to 2022.

    “Consumers are navigating the holiday season well and taking advantage of holiday promotions, giving them ample choice as they hunt for gifts for everyone on their list,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Consumers are also shopping smarter, using all of their tools – from searching across channels to cross checking on apps and websites – to maximize value while they spend time with friends and family

  • 11/20/2023

    Pet Supermarket taps Five Below exec as CEO

    Pet Supermarket

    Pet Supermarket has named a retail veteran with 25  years of retail, e-commerce and consumer goods experience as its chief executive officer. 

    The Florida-based specialty pet supply retailer named Rich Tannenbaum as CEO.  Most recently, from 2019 to 2023, he held the role of senior VP of global supply chain at Five Below, where he led the retailer’s rapid multinational logistics expansion. 

    Prior to Five Below, Tannenbaum was chief supply chain officer and senior VP of information technology at Midwest retail chain Fleet Farm. He also served 10 years as senior VP of supply chain, IT and enterprise transformation at The Vitamin Shoppe.

    “It is an incredible honor to be selected as Pet Supermarket’s next CEO, and to lead and serve this great organization,” said Tannenbaum. “I appreciate the leadership and work of all who came before me to build Pet Supermarket into the successful business and brand it is today. I am thrilled to help lead the organization into its next chapter of growth and success.”

    The company said that Tannenbaum will help execute “multi-year growth and expansion plans.”

    Pet Supermarket operates over 225 locations in the Southeast region.

  • 11/21/2023

    Miniso to open 15 more U.S. stores by year end, including 100th location


    Miniso continues its U.S. expansion in both existing markets and new regions.

    The China-based discount retailer opened more than 20 new stores in the United States in recent months. Looking ahead, Miniso said it plans to open at least 15 more U.S. outposts by the end of the year and will enter two new states: North Carolina and New Hampshire. 

    The upcoming openings include Miniso's 100th U.S. location, which will open on Dec. 9 at the Florida Mall in Orlando. The 2,080-sq.-ft. store will showcase the brand's various product categories in dedicated zones, including blind box collectibles, toys, plushies, fragrances and more. It will also offer a wide range of Miniso's licensed collaborations, such as Disney, Barbie, Sanrio and an upcoming one with Care Bears.

    "We are thrilled to be on the cusp of opening our 100th store in the U.S.," said Jack Ye, Miniso's founder and CEO. "We’ve always regarded the U.S. as a vital part of our overseas operations, ever since we opened our first store here back in 2017. I am looking forward to continuing to grow our business here and forging even closer relationships with US consumers.”

    In October, Miniso opened five new stores, including its first-ever location in Indiana, a 3,500-sq.-ft. store at Castleton Square in Indianapolis. The retailer also opened its first stores in Louisiana — at the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge — and in Michigan at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills. 

    So far this year, the company, which opened a Times Square flagship in May, has entered 10 new states, for a total of 20 states. In addition to Michigan, Indiana and Louisiana, the brand has opened stores in Oregon, South Carolina, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Georgia, and Oklahoma.

    Miniso also continues to expand on the West Coast, with stores at Fashion Show in Las Vegas, and Northridge Fashion Center in Northridge, Calif.

    Looking ahead to 2024, Miniso is gearing up to extend its footprint into more cities, targeting prime locations including Santa Monica, Calif., and the state of New Jersey.  The company is also looking securing a more prominent location within Times Square.

    Miniso operates 6,115 stores worldwide.

  • 11/21/2023

    Happy Thanksgiving from Chain Store Age!

    Happy Thanksgiving

    The team at Chain Store Age wishes you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

    Our offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24.  We will resume our regular newsletter schedule on Monday, Nov. 27.

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