retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• The Raleigh News & Observer has a story about how retailers get people to buy during the holiday season: "Retailers have long played Christmas music, knowing it not only inspires holiday cheer but can also impact how long and how often shoppers browse. But research within the past decade, including a new study by Washington State University researchers, has found that combining tunes with simple, store-appropriate smells could help retailers increase sales even more."

Indeed, a recent study "found that simple scents boost buying the most. For 18 days, the researchers watched more than 400 customers in a home-decorations store as the air held different scents — orange-basil blended with green tea, simple orange and no particular scent at all. The 100 who shopped with the simple scent spent 20 percent more money, the researchers found."

CNBC reports that Toys R Us CEO Gerald Storch is saying that after a shopping lull following Black Friday, he expects the coming weekend - the last before Christmas - to be extremely busy. "The whole world is expecting it to pick up this weekend heading into Christmas," he says.

According to the piece, "To ensure consumers have ample opportunity to shop, Toys R Us stores will be open nonstop from 6 am Friday right through 10 pm on Christmas Eve."

A prediction? Or wishful thinking from a CEO who has struck me as a little out of touch with modern realities? I'm thinking this sounds more like the latter, but we'll see...
KC's View: