National Retail Federation Reports that Retail Sales Increased in July

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Washington, D.C.,-- The National Retail Federation reported this month that July was a “mixed bag” for retailers. Back-to-school categories like clothing and sporting goods brought boosts to sales, although home-based categories, like building materials and furniture stores showed declines.

The association reports that July retail sales, recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 5.4 percent adjusted year-over-year. Additionally, Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 1.0 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

REI Announces New Store in Knoxville, TN

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REI-Logo BW for webSeattle, Wash.,-- REI announced that they will open a new REI store at Knoxville, Tenn.,-based Papermill Plaza in Fall 2014. This is the retailer’s second location in Tennessee. The other store is located in Brentwood. The Knoxville store will be 23,500 square feet, located in the northeast corner of Papermill Drive and Kingston Pike Road. The new retail outlet will include a bike shop where assembly and repair services will be available, as well as a community space for outdoor-related classes and presentations. The new store is expected to create 50 new jobs, for which online applications will be taken next summer.

Congressional Tax Committee Representatives Tour Retail Store

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congression tax committeeLawrenceville, N.J. – Last month, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) toured Mrs. G. TV, Appliance and Sleep Center as part of their “Simpler Taxes for America” tour. This was the second location on the tour, which begain in St. Paul, Minn. The store is the first retail facility to be visited.

Consumers Like Personalized Brick-and-Mortar Better Than Online, Says Survey

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wild iris mountain sports storeLos Angeles, Calif. – More than two-thirds of American consumers reported they prefer to shop in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, according to a recent study from Synquera, by Instant.Ly. The study found that 67 percent of respondents prefer brick-and-mortar over online. However, that number is tempered by the 73 percent of respondents that said the greatest deterrent to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is the checkout process.

Sport Chalet Sets Up Immersive Shop in Downtown LA

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figat7thLos Angeles, Calif. – Sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet has a new location at the FIGat7th shopping center in Downtown Los Angeles. The new store, which was designed by global design firm Gensler, features a store hub dubbed the “Expert Center” where classes and clinics are held covering a wide range of activities from cycling to hiking to scuba diving. Accompanying the store’s grand opening will be 52 consecutive weeks of in-store clinics where professionally trained expert staff members will help customers explore and learn more about their favorite athletic activities.

Alabama Outdoors Closes Tuscaloosa Location and Boosts Running Offering

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RunningSectionAlabama OutdoorsTuscaloosa, Ala. – Outdoor specialty retailer, Alabama Outdoors, is closing its 5,000 square-foot store in Tuscaloosa, AL. The building lease ends July 31st and the owners plan to liquidate the inventory before then. With over 15 years of service in the area, President Scott McCrory told a local newspaper that he planned to explore options for another location in the city, but for now it was best to take advantage of the ending lease. Alabama Outdoors has stores in eight other Alabama cities: Homewood, Trussville, Inverness, Montgomery, Huntsville, Florence and Mobile.

Sperry Expands Big Box Distribution

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DicksSportingGoods webLexington, Mass. – Sperry Top-Sider, the maker of nautical-inspired footwear that was acquired by Wolverine last year, is bringing its performance footwear line to 49 different Dick's Sporting Goods stores nationwide. Also available at Dick's is the Sperry Shock Light shoe, which is designed to reduce the impact of boat vibrations while aboard a water vessel.

Sperry's distribution also includes independent, marine, outdoor and department stores. Since early 2010, the brand has launched 26 flagship retail locations in the U.S as well.

REI to Open Stores in Flagstaff and Columbus

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reiSeattle, Wash. – REI, the outdoor specialty chain and cooperative, is expanding its reach to Flagstaff, Ariz. and Columbus, Ohio beginning Spring 2014. The company will hire approximately 50 new employees for each new store. There are more than 4,200 REI members in the Flagstaff area and more than 5,100 in Columbus.

The 23,550 square-foot Flagstaff store is part of the latest phase of development at a shopping center near downtown Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University. REI also has stores in Tempe, Paradise Valley and Tucson that opened in 1986, 1996, and 2010 respectively. The 23,400 square-foot Columbus store will open in Easton Gateway; REI opened its first Ohio store in Cincinnati last October.

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