‘Super Saturday’ retail sales increase 15.1%


CHICAGO — Boosted by a very weak comparison period, ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported that total GAFO retail sales for the last Saturday before Christmas (Dec. 18), or "Super Saturday," increased a sharp 15.1%, compared with last year, while the company’s retail traffic index reported a similar 10.1% total U.S. foot traffic uptick for the same period.

While Saturday sales and traffic seemed to dramatically increase, after blizzard on the Eastern seaboard significantly slowed spending in parts of the South and in much of the Northeast last year, according to ShopperTrak.

“The year-over-year increases were dramatic but obviously slanted as shopping activity was essentially crippled in the Northeast last year,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “That said, we shouldn’t discard the day as $7.58 billion spent is steady and compares admirably [with] $7.87 billion spent on Super Saturday 2008 when there was no blizzard.” Martin continued, “At this point we anticipate Super Saturday will represent the second largest traffic day and third largest sales day this holiday shopping season.”

ShopperTrak reported Black Friday sales totaled $10.69 billion, which most will likely finish as the No. 1 sales and traffic day for the fifth year in a row. The company also anticipated procrastinating shoppers will flood various retail locations on Dec. 23, bumping the day just above Super Saturday as the number two performing sales day this holiday shopping season. Dec. 23, 2009, also finished No. 2 ahead of Super Saturday.

“The week leading into Christmas is hugely important for retailers as five of the top performing sales days are expected to fall during this period,” Martin said. “Looking back a bit further, the ten days prior to Christmas typically account for anywhere from 31 to 34% of total retail sales for the entire season which makes this a pressure filled few days for retailers.” Martin continued, “Annually we see Black Friday weekend’s strong start as one bookend to the season and the week leading into Christmas as the other. Winning retailers know this pattern well and will have the strategies in place to attract foot traffic and ultimately move sales levels into the black over these upcoming critical days.”

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.


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2010 CVS Caremark Charity Classic boosts nonprofits

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The work of 62 nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts received a boost with support from funds generated by the 2010 CVS Caremark Charity Classic.

CVS Caremark’s chairman and CEO, Tom Ryan, along with PGA Tour Professionals and CVS Caremark Charity Classic co-hosts Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon, presented more than $1.3 million to area charities at the company’s customer support center headquarters.

Over the course of the tournament’s 12-year history, more than $14 million has been raised to support the work being done by charities in Southeastern New England.

The CVS Caremark Charity Classic incorporated several new elements into this year’s tournament, including a refreshed website and a new Twitter feed and Facebook page for fans.

A total of 62 nonprofit organizations are receiving funds raised through the CVS Caremark Charity Classic this year. Among the beneficiaries who attended the check presentation gathering were representatives from the following 20 working charities whose hundreds of volunteers were instrumental to making the tournament a success:

  • American Heart Association

  • American Red Cross of Rhode Island

  • Autism Project of Rhode Island

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence

  • Bradley Children’s Hospital

  • Brain Injury Association

  • Button Hole

  • City Year Rhode Island

  • March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter

  • Meeting Street School

  • Rhode Island Family Shelter

  • San Miguel School

  • Save The Bay

  • Serve Rhode Island

  • Sojourner House

  • Special Olympics of Rhode Island

  • Spurwink School Rhode Island

  • Teaberry Knoll Academy of Therapeutic Riding (Seekonk, Mass.)

  • The Learning Center for the Deaf (Framingham, Mass.)

  • Tides Family Services

Click here to see a local news segment about the awards.


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CVS Caremark Charitable Trust awards $3.3 million in grants

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust announced on Tuesday that $3.3 million in grants has been awarded to 72 nonprofit organizations across the country.

About half of these grants align with CVS Caremark All Kids Can, a program focused on making life easier for children with disabilities and for their families. The other half of the grants will provide support for medical services for the underinsured and uninsured.

While the grants fund a wide range of programs, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust found that approximately 65% of the 2010 grant recipients will use the support to address four key areas, comprising autism and early intervention services; informational and technology tools; life and workforce skills; and access to healthcare and medical services.

"The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is pleased to recognize organizations that are truly making an impact in their communities by offering support for children with disabilities and providing access to health care for the uninsured. This year, we are seeing a high demand for support in specific areas, including assistive technology and life skills training programs," stated Eileen Howard Dunn, VP of CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "In today’s challenging economic climate, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is proud to support these organizations in addressing key initiatives that truly make a difference in the lives of children and families in the communities we serve."


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