Planalytics sees strength in weather-driven demand
A June weather report from Planalytics pointed to a number of ways in which last month’s weather events boosted store sales across the country.
For example, both Father’s Day and Independence Day were at their coolest in years; with the exception of heavy rainfall and the presence of Hurricane Arthur in the Northeast, cool and dry conditions created favorable conditions for outdoor activities.
Although temperatures in the U.S. and Canada tended to be on the warmer side, the U.S. was still cooler than it was last June, though Canada had its warmest June since 2006.
Additionally, a spike in severe weather (5,700 events) made a notable impact on seasonal sales. In addition to Hurricane Arthur over the July 4 holiday, June saw five of the seven strongest tornadoes of the year so far in the Plains and Midwest.
“June provided a number of weather-driven opportunities for businesses," said Planalytics president Scott Bernhardt. "Key holidays and significant weather events had consumers purchasing need-based products throughout the month. While weather was changeable in June, those who were able to stage inventory in the right markets at the right times provided value to consumers.”
Among other notable statistics, there was less rainfall overall this year compared to June of last year, despite the hurricane. June 2013 had the most rainfall in over 50 years. In the West North Central region, rainfall reached a 50-year peak.
As far as temperature goes, this year saw the warmest first week of June since 2006, though Father’s Day was the coolest since 2003. In specific regions, New England was at its warmest since 2001, with San Francisco at its warmest since 1993. The West South Central region was at its coolest since 2007, with Little Rock, Kansas City and Memphis each marking 10-year records for coolness.
Kristin Coleman named general counsel at Sears Holdings
Sears Holdings has hired Kristin Coleman as SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary, where she will oversee the Legal, Corporate Communications, Environmental Services, Global Compliance, Government Affairs, Internal Audit and Product Safety business units.
"I am pleased Kristin is joining our leadership team. She is a proven leader with experience managing legal, compliance and corporate governance issues," said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO.
In her most recent role, Coleman was VP, general counsel and corporate secretary at Brunswick Corporation. Prior to that, she served as VP and associate general counsel at Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and as an attorney with Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago.
"Having started her career as a litigator and transitioning into corporate law, she brings a breadth and depth of experience to Sears Holdings in litigation and governance, including mergers and acquisitions and securities, which will serve us well as we continue on our path to transform the company," added Lampert.
Sears expands Free Store Pickup
Shop Your Way members at Sears and Kmart will now have 2,000 more store locations from which to elect Free Store Pickup services.
Using the integrated shopping option, customers can pick up their online orders at their choice of over 2,000 locations nationwide, ready in five minutes or less. This is especially convenient for customers who wish to buy Kmart supplies, but live substantially closer to a Sears location.
The service also makes it possible to obtain free pickup for exclusive brands like Bongo and Outdoor Life.
"Sears was the first broadline retailer to provide the convenience of free buy online pick up in store more than 12 years ago, and we continue to introduce integrated offerings to help our members shop on their own terms," said Imran Jooma, executive VP, Sears Holdings. "Leveraging the breadth of both Sears and Kmart’s online and in-store networks means more convenience for members and opens an even wider brand-name product selection available to fans of both stores."
According to the company, multichannel transactions are on the rise. Of all online sales, they comprise 60%. The number of online and multichannel sales increased by 26% over the last year.