FINANCE

Brand Keys: Back-to-school spending to rise 9%

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Households with school-aged children (pre-school through 12th grade) plan to spend more this year on back-to-school necessities with a predicted increase of 9 % for an average spend of $655, according to the 15th annual survey conducted by Brand Keys.

Average anticipated spending in all major back-to-school categories reflect higher levels from 2013:

Clothing: $348 (+16%)
Shoes (athletic & dress) $127 (+15%)
Supplies $ 89 (+13%)
Computers/Electronics/
Tablets/Smartphones: $213 (+12%)
Books/Study Aids $ 18 (+80%)

Preferred retail categories for back-to-school shopping were:

Discount Stores: 99% (+2%)
Online 93% (+30%)
Department Stores: 35% (+25%)
Office Supply: 30% (+20%)
Specialty Retailers 34% (+13%)
Catalogs 30% (-5%)

This year, the top-10 list of most popular retail and e-tail brands consumers mentioned as places they intended to shop included:

Retail E-tail

1. Wal-Mart Amazon.com
2. Target Walmart.com
3. Macy’s eBay.com
4. CVS Kohls.com
5. Best Buy Macys.com
6. TJ Maxx Zappos.com
7. Staples Overstock.com
8. Footlocker Gap.com
9. Payless Nike.com
10. Apple stores Target.com

Nearly 35% of consumers indicated they had already bought and stockpiled supplies for the first day of school. Another 25% indicated they would wait for the ‘Summer Sales.’ The remaining 40% are waiting until the last minute.

Brand Keys surveyed 8,300 U.S. households with school-aged children.

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News

Lowe’s launches on-demand delivery service for pros

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s continues to invest in capabilities to better serve professional customers, and has launched ProExpress, an on-demand delivery service to that end.

Since April 2014, these light-duty trucks have made thousands of deliveries directly to business sites to meet a wide range of needs. Through the program, Lowe’s has helped pros by fulfilling emergency orders such as smoke detectors to pass an inspection, or shingles to complete a job before a storm. The ProExpress trucks also regularly visit businesses to restock shelves with cleaning and maintenance supplies.

The ProExpress program is currently available at more than 200 Lowe’s stores across the country and is designed to complement existing store delivery services by providing a resource that is fully dedicated to pro customers.

"For pros, time is money," said Mike Horn, VP of ProServices. "The ProExpress program allows us to offer our pro customers the ultimate convenience and flexibility by delivering the materials they need, when they need them."

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REAL ESTATE

Jamba Juice plans 500 new U.S. stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Emeryville, Calif. – Jamba Inc., parent company of the Jamba Juice chain, is launching a new franchise recruiting campaign focused on single-store development in existing and new domestic markets. Jamba is looking to add 500 new domestic stores in the next five years and double year-over-year store development via the new recruiting program.

The recruitment effort will be communicated through an aggressive marketing campaign that will leverage print and online media, PR and a multiple-market road show aimed at attracting potential local franchise owners. Jamba is also offering incentives for new partners who agree to meet specific development criteria. Incentives include a 50% reduction in initial franchise fees, and a three-year graduated royalty reduction plan.

Jamba Juice currently has 854 stores globally, of which 551 are franchise-owned and operated.

Throughout August and September, Jamba will host franchise recruiting roadshows in Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. areas, Dallas, Atlanta, Manhattan, Northern New Jersey, and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.

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