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Target to unveil exclusive Sam & Libby shoe line

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target will unveil an exclusive collection of shoes made by Sam and Libby starting in May 2013, the mass merchandise retailer said Monday.

Target said the partnership with the shoe brand would be ongoing and feature 20 styles of women’s footwear with an expanded assortment of colors starting at $24.99.

"Sam and Libby are pioneers in the footwear industry, and this partnership delivers the designer fashion and affordable prices our guests love finding at Target," Target SVP apparel and accessories Trish Adams said. "The attention to detail reflected in each style is incredible, and we look forward to adding Sam and Libby for Target to our roster of exclusive brands."

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Retail foot traffic edges up on Black Friday, but sales decline slightly

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Retailers saw increased foot traffic this Black Friday, but that didn’t generate higher sales, according to ShopperTrak, the world’s largest counter of retail foot traffic.

According to ShopperTrak’s analysis, when compared to Black Friday 2011, retail foot traffic rose 3.5%, to more than 307.67 million store visits. However, retail sales decreased 1.8%, with shoppers spending an estimated $11.2 billion on Friday, compared to $11.4 billion last year.

While sales may have slipped on Friday, those figures do not encapsulate the entire weekend. "Black Friday continues to be an important day in retail," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "This year, though, more retailers than last year began their ‘doorbuster’ deals on Thursday, Thanksgiving itself. So while foot traffic did increase on Friday, those Thursday deals attracted some of the spending that is usually meant for Friday."

For more, you can access graphics from ShopperTrak’s analysis at this link. On Tuesday, ShopperTrak will unveil their estimates for the entire ‘Black’ Weekend, which will provide a better understanding of the overall picture for retailers this holiday season.

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Duracell powers smiles this holiday season

BY Jason Owen

BETHEL, CT. — Duracell, partnering with Toys for Tots, is looking to "power" jubilant faces this holiday season. The company announced an exclusive sweepstakes on their Facebook page allowing consumers to win some of the holiday’s hottest toys while helping those in need.

The Power Holiday Smiles program, which started Thanksgiving Day and runs through Dec. 20, will feature a giveaway every hour of the day. Hundreds of toys, from Furby to LeapFrog Tag Junior Reading System to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 will be given away. For every entry Duracell receives, they’ll donate a battery to the Marine Corps.

"We’re proud to play a crucial role in those special gift-giving moments for families in need, while giving consumers the chance to access the most popular toys and gifts," said Volker Kuhn, general manager for Duracell North America, commenting on the dual purpose of the campaign.

Bill Grein, VP of the Marine’s Toys for Tots Foundation added, "Toys for Tots is excited to partner with Duracell to help power our toys because we know that the small act of receiving a toy for a child is a magical and important experience."

Duracell kicked off the program last week with ABC Family’s Lucy Hale, star and singer of "Pretty Little Liars," who handed out battery-powered toys at P.S. 64, a Lower East Side elementary school in New York City recovering from loss of heat and power during Hurricane Sandy. Said the star, "The holiday season is such an important time to help those less fortunate. I’m excited to support Duracell’s campaign to power as many smiles as possible through this initiative to give back to kids in need."

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