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Newsroom, OCB Commentary

President’s Day – Second to Black Friday for Sales

Happy President’s Day! Are you going shopping today — looking for a new car or a great deal on a mattress? Why does it seem like there are so many sales on President’s Day? Here’s some background:

Established in 1885, the holiday was originally created to honor George Washington and held on his birthday, Feb. 22. It became known as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents after it was moved to the third Monday of every February, in order to create a three-day weekend for workers. Today, that extended weekend comes in handy as retailers take the opportunity to create a shopping bonanza second only to Black Friday.

According to a survey by retail site Shop It To Me, “February is the month of the year with the best sales – a distinction driven by Presidents’ Day deals.”  Donovan Ramsey noted on the personal finance website Farnoosh: Continue Reading

Ethics, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, real estate

The Making of a Walmart Shopper

From Flickr user laurieofindy

I’m admitting something that may cause some of my friends to hate and shun me.  Others will try to change my mind, citing all the politically correct reasons why Walmart is evil incarnate.  I know I’ve crossed a line where some of you can’t and won’t follow.  But, in my little community – the southeastern-most section of Brooklyn Center – Walmart has become one of the places I frequent.

To be honest, the first time I wheeled into the new Walmart in Brooklyn Center this September, I wanted to hate it. Because it occupied the site of my former beloved Brookdale Mall. The working class version of Southdale, it of the famed animal-themed parking signs.

But, as I slowly explored the massive aisles and sections of the new Walmart superstore, it felt like I’d returned to my childhood. It brought to mind pleasant memories of the old Woolworth’s store at Brookdale and the Zayre Shopper’s City on Osseo Road (preceding Brooklyn Blvd.) and 63rd – places my sisters worked during high school. Continue Reading

leadership, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

5 Twin Cities Holiday “Experiences” You Can Give This Year

This post, by Timothy Huebsch is republished from the Leadership and Community blog.

Snow has finally arrived.  In my mind this is what really triggers the holiday season.  As I shoveled snow last weekend, it made me reflect on the holiday season and think about the gifts that I need to find in the next few weeks.

Everywhere you look you see ads for new electronics, toys, and clothes.  Speaking for myself, the things I remember most from my past are not the physical gifts but much more the experiences. The great thing is that we live in a community where there are countless opportunities to create an experience for others that will help them see a new part of the community and spend time together with others.  It could be an  event you choose to do with them or you can be the conduit by giving them tickets to do it with someone else.  The great side benefit this has for the community is that it allows people to try something new and then share the story with countless other friends.  In effect you are creating ambassadors that help spread the word throughout the community.

The options are countless —  Here are a five that come to mind that are worth considering: Continue Reading

Centers, Faculty, Local business, Newsroom

Gearing up for Christmas Shopping Already? UST Survey Optimistic on Holiday Spending Sentiment

The findings of the 11th annual University of St. Thomas Holiday Spending Sentiment Survey were released today. Equipped with 11 years of research data, University of St. Thomas marketing professors find the mood of holiday shoppers is close to pre-recession levels.

This survey has been conducted in late October since 2002 and provides more than a decade’s worth of longitudinal data on Twin Cities holiday shopping trends. The survey measures the intent of Twin Cities shoppers: how much they think they will spend for holiday gifts, what they will spend it on, and where they will spend it. The research is conducted by Dr. Lorman Lundsten, Jon Seltzer and Dr. John Sailors of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.

Key findings this year:

  • This year’s predicted household spending for holiday gifts, $773, compares to $703 last year and $680 in 2010.
  • Based on survey responses and the population of the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, the researchers predict that metro-region shoppers will cumulatively spend just over $1 billion this year, up 9.3 percent from last year’s predicted $915 million. This year’s predicted spend is the highest in the 11 years of the survey; the previous high was $959 million in 2004.
  • As for where shoppers plan to buy gifts, shopping malls remain popular — accounting for about half of all shopping — but they gave up some ground to non-mall stores and to the Internet. Target and Macy’s were clear winners and tied for first as specific retailers named by respondents, followed by Best Buy, Herberger’s and Kohl’s.
  • The top gift this year: cash.

 

The relative popularity of 14 major gift categories: Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, Events, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, OCB Commentary

Entrepreneur’s Story: Megan Tamte Founder of Hot Mama

Every entrepreneur has their own story about the adventure they began when launching a new venture. Megan Tamte, co-founder and CEO of the Hot Mama retail chain shared her story with a full house of graduate business students and alumni at a recent Master’s Pub event. Hot Mama is a chain of clothing boutiques catering to contemporary, fashion-loving moms. Tamte co-founded Hot Mama in 2004 with her husband, Mike.

The idea for Hot Mama was inspired by a stressful shopping experience Tamte had shortly after the birth of her first child. The stores were too crowded for strollers, the sales associates did not understand what she was looking for and the overall experience emphasized the fact that her ability to shop had changed forever once she became a mother.

Tamte realized that there was a market need for a store that catered to moms. With that realization, a significant amount of planning, the courage to give it a try and friends and family who supported the concept, the first Hot Mama store was opened in Edina. Today there are 30 stores in 11 states with plans to have 50 stores by 2015.

When asked about words of wisdom, Tamte shared the following tips:

Feeling scared is a good thing. Continue Reading

Local business, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Save Thanksgiving: Petition to Target Gathers 190,000+ Signatures

savethanksgiving2On Monday, a Target employee delivered a petition to Target Corporation in downtown Minneapolis asking for the retailer to delay the opening of its stores on Black Friday.  Target is scheduled to open at midnight Friday morning to compete with retail giant Wal-mart.  Target is making it mandatory for their (scheduled) employees report to work at 11 p.m. Thursday night to gear up for the crowds.

More than 190,000 signatures of upset Target employees and shoppers have been gathered.  Employees are saying, “Target is putting us in a difficult position.  They are forcing us to choose between Thanksgiving, spending time with family, sleep, and work.”

Continue Reading

Career Services, EveningMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Supply Chain Management Opportunities Growing for MBAs

A recent article in BusinessWeek highlighted the often underappreciated business function of supply chain management, and the growth in opportunities for business students who focus their studies in this critical operations function.

12242010SantaClaus[1]While perhaps not as flashy as finance or marketing, it is an important and increasingly complex area of the value chain, given the global nature of sourcing raw materials and products.

As I tell my young children, those products on the shelves came from somewhere, and talented supply chain managers make sure they do so reliably, with the proper quantities and delivery timing, and at a competitive price.

These factors are essential for Santa (the main concern of my kids’ inquiry), as we head towards the holidays…I wonder how many supply chain MBA’s work on the North Pole?

Centers, Local business, Newsroom

Twin Cities holiday shoppers are on the rebound, research shows

Preparing to find the best deals on Black Friday next week?

After three-straight years of trimming their holiday budgets, Twin Cities shoppers have reversed course, according to data collected in the ninth annual University of St. Thomas study released today of Twin Cities holiday shopping trends.

The University of St. Thomas Holiday Spending Sentiment Survey was conducted in late October and is designed to measure how much Twin Cities shoppers think they will spend for holiday gifts, what they will spend it on, and where they will spend it. The research is conducted by Dr. Lorman Lundsten, Dr. Dave Brennan and Dr. John Sailors at St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.

According to the survey, household spending for holiday gifts is predicted to be 6.8 percent more in the Twin Cities this year than in 2009.  This marks the first year since 2006 that holiday shoppers predicted they will spend more rather than less.
Spending trends
This year’s predicted household spending for holiday gifts, $680, compares to last year’s $637, which was the lowest since St. Thomas began the study in 2002. The highest predicted outlay, $796, was in 2004. Read the full report in the Bulletin »