DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products are partnering with Target for an exclusive summer collection featuring the Justice League. The line is co-created by both the retailer and studio, and its designs center on new comic book series DC Comics-The New 52, which features updated versions of favorite superheroes Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Superman.
Toys based on the popular Disney character Doc McStuffins are flying off the shelves across the U.S. and the U.K. The property's supplier in the U.K., Flair, is working closely with its U.S. counterpart Just Play to ensure they have Doc McStuffins items in stock. "Doc is really selling well and is a great hit in our portfolio with fantastic results that have echoed the launch success in the U.S.," says Nic Aldridge, marketing director of Flair.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that J.C. Penney is now in talks with Wells Fargo and at least two other investment firms, seeking a $500 million loan to shore up the troubled retailer's cash reserves. The loan would come due in five years and be backed by the company's inventory, accounts receivable and intellectual property. Earlier in the week J.C. Penney announced that it borrowed $850 million from its $1.85 billion revolving credit facility.
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.
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.
Baby Gap has launched a line of infant and toddler apparel inspired by Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The limited-edition collection includes one-pieces, cardigans, knit bunny caps, shirts and printed dresses and denim for newborns to size 24 months. Retail prices range form $6.99 to $55.
The toy store company revealed last week that its December sales were down from last year, in both international and domestic markets. In December in the U.S., sales decreased by 1.8 percent over 2011, with the total sales for the year being down 1.9 percent. And in the international market in December only, sales were down 3.5 percent, and overall sales decreased 4.1 percent.
According to the NRF, 11.3 percent of holiday shoppers are finished purchasing their gifts. The average consumer has completed 56.5 percent of their shopping list, up from 46.5 percent last year. It's a record completion rate for this point of the season. The most popular items including clothing, toys and gift cards.
The average American consumer is projected to spend up to $750 this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. That's a slight increase from the $740.57 spent last year. NRF is forecasting holiday sales will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion. This holiday season, 52.3 percent of those surveyed say the state of the U.S. economy will affect spending plans, down from 62.2 percent last year.
A self-governing research group in the United Kingdom anticipates that retailers in the United States will drop $8.9 billion during the 2012 holiday season (mid-November through Christmas) due to burglary, employee theft and salesperson or distribution losses. That number is 4 percent more than that of last year. Furthermore, the National Retail Federation forecasts return scams will cost retailers another $2.9 billion this holiday season.