Retail e-commerce spending for the first 42 days of the 2011 holiday season is up 15 percent year-over-year, for a total of $26.8 billion spent online, according to data released Wednesday by comScore. The most recent week of data (ending Dec. 11) reached a record $6.1 billion in online spending. The fastest growing online retail category was Digital Content & Subscriptions, followed by Jewelry & Watches, Consumer Electronics and Video Games and Computer Software.
Toys"R"Us announced Thursday that its stores nationwide will remain open for 112 uninterrupted hours beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and continuing through 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The retail giant will also hold a two-day sale from Tuesday, Dec. 20 to Wednesday, Dec. 21.
A recent report from Panjiva, a company that collects date on global trade, names Barbie as the top holiday import to the United States for a second year in a row. From August to September, the months when a majority of holiday imports are received, the U.S. accepted a total of 2,598 shipments of Barbie products, a 13 percent increase from 2010. Most of the Barbie products were imported from Hong Kong and Indonesia. Barbie sales are increasing. Worldwide, gross sales were up 17 percent in the third quarter.
For the 2012 back-to-school shopping season, Kohl's and Vera Wang Group will launch Princess Vera Wang, a juniors' contemporary lifestyle collection. The first collection, set to hit store in August, will include apparel and jewelry. Plans to grow the juniors' line into other categories are in the works.
Sony Pictures signed several consumer product deals for many of its classic properties. Trevco, a Michigan-based distributor of licensed trend items, will create kids' and toddlers' T-shirts for some of Sony's classic TV shows, such as "Bewitched," "Charlie's Angels" and "I Dream of Jeannie." There will be 16 different designs for each property, with new designs being added every six months.
Beanstalk, a global brand licensing agency, plans to expand the licensing program for its "Talking Friends" collection of mobile apps. "Talking Friends" characters such as Talking Tom Cat and Talking Ben the Dog will grow across multiple categories, including apparel, accessories, footwear, sleepwear, home décor, collectibles and plush and will debut in 2012. Smith & Brooks, Belltex, Dragon-I, Sound N Light, Zagwear, C-Life and Berkshire Fashions are among the licensees who have already signed up for the products.
Zinkia Entertainment has chosen Random House Children's Books as the publishing partner in its effort to develop a broad range of brooks for the U.S. and Canadian markets for its award-winning children's brand, Pocoyo. Airing on Nick Jr., Univision and select PBS stations, "Pocoyo" follows the adventures of a fun-loving boy as he discovers the world around him.
Shares of Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. continued their steady ascent, reaching a 52-week high Thursday of $55.96, due largely to an expected strong end-of-year finish and a successful holiday sales season.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a voluntary recall of some Bella Bliss children's pajamas Thursday because they failed to meet federal flammability standards. About 2,300 pairs of pajamas, two-piece cotton sleepwear sets sold in sizes 2 to 12, were imported by the company. While no injuries have been reported, the CPSC says there is a risk that children could be burned if the pajamas catch fire, according to CNBC.com. The pajamas were sold through the Bella Bliss catalog and website as well as various apparel stores and websites.
Iconic designer Oscar de la Renta is introducing a capsule collection for kids' sizes 18 months to 14 years. Vice President of Design for Childrenswear Catherine Monteiro will lead the in-house production. Initially, the girls' and boys' line will be sold through de la Renta's website and boutiques. Come spring, the line will branch out to more retailers including Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods.