New consignment store concepts -- geared toward children and teens, for instance -- are opening amid the recession. These businesses are seeing new customers, as people who previously used to sell their clothes at consignment shops now are buying there, too.
A new Web site and iPhone application from Dunkin' Donuts make placing large orders easier. The person making the coffee run can send out a group alert asking people what they want, and those people can place their orders online. The person going to Dunkin' Donuts can print out the order or look at it on a mobile device.
Luxury retailers such as Saks and Neiman Marcus are trimming orders this year, which could help reignite the urgency and scarcity inherent in the luxury sector. Luxury-brand shoes are expected to be among the hardest items to find in stores.
Consumers prefer to use debit cards that require them to enter their personal identification number to pay for their groceries rather than any type of signature-based debit or credit cards, a Gartner survey found. "Brick-and-mortar businesses who accept electronic consumer payments should promote use of PIN-based debit card payments by steering consumers to them through payment terminal programs and/or by offering store-based incentive programs," said Avivah Litan, Gartner vice president.