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Retail Briefs

Cost Plus Reports Holiday Results

Cost Plus reported sales slipped 1.8% to $261.1 million during the nine-week holiday selling period that ended Jan. 2.

Same store sales rose 0.3%, an improvement over a 6.6% decrease for the same period in 2008. Traffic was up 4.8% while average ticket fell 4.3%.

“We achieved a 91% sell-through of our holiday merchandise at the end of December with higher margins than last year. Our inventory is clean and we are well positioned to enter the new fiscal year with fresh value-priced merchandise,” said Barry Feld, president and ceo.

Target Mimics Clubs in Bulk Promo

To goose post-holiday clearance sales, Target is launching a bulk-buy promotion on items ranging from basic household goods to bath towels.

Launched Jan. 3, “The Great Save” sale runs through Feb. 21 at 1,000 of the retailer’s 1,740 stores. Products are displayed together in a dedicated area of the store. Target touts the event as providing “a warehouse-club-like setting without membership fees or ID cards.”

As seen on the company website, most of the bulk packaging has been applied to sundries. Items such as purses, rugs and home décor are offered individually, marked as discounted merchandise. There is also a Treasure Hunt section of revolving “temporary price cut” deals, which at launch included a twin/full Spider Man quilt marked down to $16 from an originally pricing identified as $50.

Anthony to Lead Sharper Image Consumer-Direct Business

Camelot Venture Group, the license holders and operators of the Sharperimage.com ecommerce business as well as the catalog business, has hired Mark Anthony as senior vp and general merchandise manager responsible for developing, sourcing and merchandising products.

The site and catalog will carry product from both Sharper Image supplier licensees and non-licensees.

Anthony most recently served as operational vp/gmm at Brookstone, spending 12 years overseeing all web and catalog merchandising.

Camelot – a private investment group that focuses on online, catalogs and retail among other areas – re-launched the Sharper Image website three months ago. Its first catalogs will drop in time for the June Father’s Day holiday. .

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