U.S. retailers posted moderate sales for February, offering hope sales might continue to improve in the spring. In a survey of 13 retailers by Thomson Reuters, retailers including Costco, T.J. Maxx and Victoria's Secret all reported February same-store sales gains that topped analysts' expectations, while Gap reported a better-than-expected 3 percent gain. In all, retailers posted a 1.8 percent increase, topping the 1.2 percent consensus estimate.
Registration is open for the Dallas Market Center's PBJ: Play.Baby.Juvenile show, a brand new juried event that is set to take place March 21-22. Focused on gifts and products for children 2 years old and younger, the show will feature new and established manufacturers specializing in carriers, food items, teethers, swaddle blankets and more.
The mobile company is set to develop several apps for its popular franchises, including the preschool series Sid the Science Kid and Pajanimals. The downloadable "appisodes," available on iTunes, will include games, activities, stories, animated videos and music. The first app launching in April, "Sid the Science Kid's Slide to the Side Appisode," will coincide with the release Sid the Science Kids: The Movie on DVD.
The gaming system Nintendo of America is partnering with Jakks Pacific to create a line of costumes and toys featuring favorite characters from popular games, including Donkey Kong, Zelda and Mario. From toys, novelties, key chains, plush and games to accessories, Jakks Pacific plans on expanding the offering for Nintendo characters. "We are eager to offer a robust and comprehensive lineup of products to satisfy our fan base and generations of Nintendo enthusiasts," says Steve Singer, vice president of licensing at Nintendo of America.
Target continues to expand its global reach. Last week the retail giant said it will open 24 Canadian stores in April and plans to have a total of 124 stores in Canada by the end of the year. On a smaller scale, Target will open 15 to 20 more doors in the United States, including three new City Target stores.
The international Licensing Industry Merchandiser's Association has added a webinar series to help members better understand the licensing industry. The series begins on March 6 with a webinar about CPSC regulations and testing programs, followed with a discussion on how to build a licensing plan on March 20 and a webinar on April 3 to discuss how to advance licensing efforts, find partners and expand the scope of a property. Sessions begin at Noon EST and are free to LIMA members. Non-members can tune in for $200.
Clothing resale is on the rise, according to a report released by children's clothing resale website Thredup.com. Announced Wednesday the first ever Children's Clothing Resale Report was the result of a yearlong analysis of customer trends. In 2012 358,000 items were sold on Thredup and sellers earned $800,000. Parents saved $4 million by buying used instead of new and 341,000 pounds of clothing were recycled. Based on Thredup survey data, the average family has $1,318 worth of kids' clothing that can be resold.
J.C. Penney reported a net loss of $552 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $87 million in the year-ago period. Total sales for the quarter decreased by almost 30 percent to $3.88 billion. Analysts had expected $4.08 billion. Same-store sales declined 31.7 percent and online sales fell almost 35 percent to $315 million. For Spring '13 J.C. Penney plans to open close to 20 home wares shops designated in 505 stores as well as nearly 700 Joe Fresh shop-in-shops and a further 60 Sephora shops, bringing the total to 446.
Last week, the Joester Loria Group announced that it's partnered with G&W Industries for its apparel line in the U.S. The collection will feature pieces for newborns, infants and toddlers that display the author's illustrations. Categories will include layette, play wear, active wear and swimwear and will hit retail shelves for Fall '13, with a toddler collection in development for 2014.
The company will produce all of the toys for DreamWorks Animations' How to Train Your Dragon franchise, which includes the first film, a sequel and the television series, DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk.