Martha Refik

The numbers are filing in regarding Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the early holiday shop in general and while most reports are claiming shoppers are flocking to retail stores thus far, many are buying smaller ticket items and spending a bit less than the early returns from 2006. Many consumers were drawn to discount stores and bargain prices, reflecting concerns about the economy, including rising energy costs and falling home prices. According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), conducted by BIGresearch, more than 147 million shoppers hit retail Black Friday weekend, up 4.8% from last year. The spending numbers reflected

While Saturday has traditionally been the “big” shopping day for most U.S. consumers, recent studies are revealing that shopping on Sunday is becoming, “an all-day event” for many consumers. “We have gotten into the habit of getting together for lunch and shopping on Sunday afternoons, especially in the late summer/early fall,” began Linda Conklin, of Queens, New York. “Sundays just seem less crazy and more conducive for that kind of social-shopping experience. The less rushed you feel when shopping, the better for everyone.” For decades now, Blue laws forbidding retail businesses to open on Sunday have been dying, but retail analysts claim that it’s

As the retail industry has undergone dramatic change in the last decade, so too has the definition of “customer service.” While good customer service means different things to different people and different locations, bad customer service is usually much easier to define. The National Retail Federation (NRF) clearly recognizes the changes the retail industry has undergone along with the redefining of the term customer service. The organization recently released a set of customer service competency standards it would like to see used in future training centers, schools and colleges. It offers a professional certification in customer service at its new NRF University Web site

Could anyone have envisioned that people would someday really pay $4.50 for a cup of flavored coffee? Or that a chain of coffee cafes would actually change the face of retail in the U.S.? Obviously, Howard Shultz did. And some 11,000 locations later, the entire retail world is looking to see what the next move is for this amazing retail story that began in the 1970s as a one location coffee house but soon grew to a national (and now international) phenomenon. A record breaking Q1 performance has only added more perk to the pot as the Starbucks chain now claims to be serving over 40

More Blogs