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News Briefs

  • 11/28/2023

    Macy’s taps ex-Caesars Entertainment exec as chief marketing officer

    Macy's building

    A veteran executive with 25 years of experience in entertainment, media and sports industries will head up marketing at Macy’s Inc.'s namesake banner. 

    The department store giant has appointed Sharon Otterman as chief marketing officer of Macy’s, effective Dec. 11.  She will report to Tony Spring, president and CEO-elect, Macy’s Inc., who is scheduled to succeed Jeff Gennette when he retires in February. 

    Most recently, Otterman served as chief marketing officer of Caesars Entertainment, where she launched Caesars Sportsbook, a new sports betting brand in the U.S., and enhanced the sports betting and gaming brand experience. 

    Prior to Caesars Entertainment, Otterman served as executive VP and chief marketing officer at Madison Square Garden Company (from 2015 to 2018). Before that, she was chief marketing officer for NBCUniversal’s News Division (from 2009 to 2015). From 2003 to 2009, Otterman was the VP of marketing at ESPN (from 2003 to 2009). 

    In her new role at Macy’s, Otterman will lead  strategic marketing, spearheading the company's brand evolution and building awareness, engagement and loyalty among customers. This includes brand activation, campaign advertising and content planning, creative, visual merchandising, branded entertainment, and media strategy for the Macy’s brand.

     She also will be responsible for leading and building upon Macy’s signature experiences, including the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy’s July 4 fireworks and annual Spring Flower Show.

    “Sharon brings a diverse background in media, entertainment, and digital transformation to Macy’s,” said Spring. We are excited to leverage her expertise to bring more retail theater across our shopping experiences. She is a passionate strategist and has a successful track record of evolving brands, developing creative marketing campaigns, and driving profitable growth.”

  • 11/28/2023

    Little Words Project to open Mall of America store

    Little Words Project

    Little Words Project’s newest retail store will be in a big location.

    The bracelet brand, which was founded in 2013 to spread wearable positive messages, is opening its 11th brick-and-mortar store at Mall of America on Dec. 2. At the new 1,078-sq.-ft. store, customers can shop an assortment of the Little Words Project’s pre-designed bracelets, demi-fine collection, Little Layers, and experience the brand’s signature beading table, a custom activation where visitors can create their own pieces by appointment. 

    “Best known for its commitment to kindness and self-love, Little Words Project has created an incredible community around one singular product - the beaded word bracelet - a style that’s seen a massive revival in the pop culture zeitgeist,” said the company. “Each bracelet is meant to be worn, loved, then passed along to someone else in need. With a loyal following and slew of celebrity fans, Little Words Project has garnered national attention and has been worn by millions.”

    Little Words Project opened its flagship location on Bleecker Street in Manhattan’s West Village and has since opened more stores nationwide, with locations in Miami, Boston and Austin. THe brand said it is looking to expand its store count in 2024.

    At 5.6 million square feet, Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America with more than 520 world-class retail stores and restaurants, in addition to entertainment.

  • 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.




  • 11/27/2023

    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 …]

  • 11/26/2023

    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.

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