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Retail briefs

Depot and Lowe's win ENERGY awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has bestowed two home improvement retailers with ENERGY STAR awards, which are held annually to recognize companies and organizations for contributions to environmental protection and energy efficiency through partnerships with ENERGY STAR.

Lowe's Companies was awarded the ENERGY STAR 2004 Retail Partner of the Year for the second year in a row. The Home Depot received the National Product Campaign Award for its support of two national energy-saving campaigns last year.

Filene's unit in Massachusetts to add more home

May Department Stores has announced plans to expand its Filene's store at Emerald Square, North Attleboro, Mass. into the space currently occupied by Lord & Taylor. This will allow that Filene's unit to increase its offering of home merchandise, as well as men's furnishings and apparel. As one of the 32 Lord & Taylor stores May previously announced it would divest, this unit is expected to close April 3.

Following the close, the Lord & Taylor space will be remodeled, and the new Home store will be located on the lower level. Filene's will also add a furniture department for the first time at this location, as well as express checkouts. Combined, the Filene's stores will total approximately 275,000 square feet of retail space.

Survey reveals holiday shopping trends

NEW YORK — There was a twist to consumers' shopping patterns over the 2003 holiday season, according to a recent survey by WSL Marketing.

Although mass merchants and department stores attracted the most shoppers again during the recent season, the number of shoppers who said they went mass remained flat — but department store shoppers visited that channel more often than they did a year earlier.

Also stepping up visits were dollar store shoppers, 32 percent of whom shopped that channel more times in 2003 than they did in 2002. As had been expected, 49 percent of Internet shoppers stepped up their online buying.

The big loser: warehouse clubs. Some 44 percent of consumers surveyed by WSL said they shopped clubs less. However, those who held the course were most often upper-income households, and they went more often.

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