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Christmas sales to slow across Europe

BY CSA STAFF

London A report released late Tuesday said that Christmas retail sales growth is expected to slow across Europe this holiday season. According to an Associated Press report, which cited research by Kelkoo, an anticipated rise in online purchases is predicted to be offset by declining sales at brick-and-mortar stores.

The Kelkoo report predicted that total sales will rise just 0.8% this year to U.S. $433 billion, compared with $428 billion in 2009, and $421 billion in 2008.

Dragging down the growth, according to the research, is a predicted fall in in-store sales to $388 billion, from $393 billion last year. Conversely, online sales are expected to rise by 25.1% to $44.3 billion.

“The retail outlook this Christmas is tepid, with trading conditions set to remain challenging in the months ahead,” said Kelkoo CEO Richard Stables. “However, online spending is showing no signs of slowing down, and is mounting a real challenge to the dominance of the high street.”

“Internet sales across Europe are set to be more important than ever this Christmas, with consumers spending record amounts online, and online commerce acting as the primary driving force for overall retail growth during the festive season,” he added.

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Sears store takes second place in EPA contest

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings announced that the Sears store in Glen Burnie, Md., won second place in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) first-ever National Building Competition. The competition challenged teams from fourteen buildings across the country to measure their energy use and work off the waste with help from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.

According to Sears Holdings, the Glen Burnie store achieved 31.7% reduction in energy use, $45,612 savings on its energy bills and reduced its carbon footprint by more than 272 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

“We are extremely proud of the Glen Burnie team, but this is just one example of our many sustainability initiatives,” said Bruce Johnson, interim president and CEO.  He added, “Sears Holdings is committed to continuing to explore new ways to conserve natural resources and reduce waste while also saving money.  We are proud of the strides we’re making and our efforts toward becoming a green company.”

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Survey: DROID, iPad among hot holiday gadgets

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES According to a new PriceGrabber survey the Motorola DROID smartphone, Apple iPad and Xbox 360 will be among the most sought-after gadgets this holiday season.

“Shoppers have become very smart over the past few years, forcing intense rivalry among popular manufacturers. This year, we expect to see an uptick in product wars and especially fierce competition around new product releases in the categories of mobile phones, tablets, DSLR cameras and 3-D televisions,” stated Laura Conrad, president of PriceGrabber. “We expect all of the products on the PriceGrabber top products list to succeed in winning the consumer dollar during the 2010 holiday shopping season.”

Other hot gadgets for 2010, according to PriceGrabber include the Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera, the Samsung 55-inch 3-D LED television and the Apple TV.

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