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Retail Briefs

Kohl's, JCPenney and Macy's Beat Wal-Mart in Newsweek Green Ranking

Newsweek magazine last week released its ranking of the 500 greenest companies in the U.S., naming Kohl's as the greenest retail company and ranking it No. 18 among all companies.

Newsweek reported: "[Kohl's] has the largest solar power program of any retailer globally; and pursues green building certification." Kohl's operates 78 locations with solar panels and has a goal of taking the number to 100 in the near term. In late 2008, the retailer began to sell reusable shopping bags.

JCPenney ranked 4th within the retail sector and 44th among the 500. Macy's and Wal-Mart ranked 5th and 6th, respectively, in the retail group and 50th and 59th, respectively on the big chart.

BJ's Adds to Board of Directors

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. has elected Leonard A. Schlesinger, president of Babson College, to its board of directors. BJ's described Schlesinger as "a leader" across both academic and retail industry sectors. He is also the author, co-author or editor of nine books.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Len Schlesinger to the BJ's Board of Directors," said Herb Zarkin, chairman of BJ's. "His breadth of retail experience as well as his organizational and operational expertise will be a tremendous asset to BJ's management team."

JCPenney Tests 2D Coupon Technology

JCPenney has contracted with Cellfire for a technology that allows shoppers to download and carry "2D" barcode coupons on their mobile phones, which can then be scanned directly at the register using the phone's display screen. The program is underway at 16 stores in the Houston market.

JCPenney will promote the initiative to Houston-area members of the JCP Rewards program through Internet and mobile ads, e-mail and other messaging. The downloadable coupons are the same as they would receive from JCPenney by mail. Coupon offers will be available almost every week, with some exclusive to JCP Rewards program members.

Moms Big on Social Networking

New research from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association finds women with children at home are more likely to be engaged in online social networks than other adults.

They are more likely to use Facebook (60.3%), MySpace (42.4%) and Twitter (16.5%) than average adults (50.2%, 34.4%, 15.0%, respectively), according to the survey conducted by BigResearch. In addition, 15.3% maintain their own blog.

"Retailers who aren't engaging customers through social media could be missing the boat," said Mike Gatti, executive director for RAMA, a division of the National Retail Federation. "Twitter, Facebook and blogs are becoming increasingly popular with moms as they search for coupons or deals and keep in touch with loved ones. The web provides efficient, convenient ways for brands to stay in front of their loyal shoppers."

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