FINANCE

Conference Board Predicts Strong Holiday Spending

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $471 on gifts during the holiday season, up from last year’s estimate of $449, according to the Conference Board. The survey is more optimistic than other recent surveys, which have shown shoppers to be in a less giving mood.

The survey of Christmas gift-spending intentions, which sampled 5,000 U.S. households, reported that the top Christmas spenders will be East South Central households (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee), which intend to spend $583. Lowest Christmas spending will be in the West North Central region (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), where consumers intend to spend $397 on Christmas gifts.

One-third of all households will spend $500 or more on Christmas gifts, with 35% spending between $200 and $500. The remaining 31% planned to spend less than $200.

Meanwhile, 38% of all consumers will buy Christmas gifts on the Internet, the same percentage as a year ago. Forty percent of shoppers will buy books; 39% will purchase apparel and footwear.

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Dillard’s debuts female activewear dept.

BY CSA STAFF

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Dillard’s announced today the launch of its new female-oriented activewear department.

Dillard’s new Tranquility department features yoga-inspired multipurpose activewear supporting the multi-faceted, busy lifestyle of the female Dillards customer, the company reported. 

According to the company, the Tranquility department is designed for the busy woman, who may not have the time to change clothes after going to exercise. The clothes are meant to be functional at the gym, but fashionable enough to be worn throughout the day, Dillard’s announced.

Dillards president Alex Dillard stated, The launch of Tranquility is a perfect example of how we are responding to the changing needs of our customer with fashions supportive of her active lifestyle and reflective of her contemporary attitude. 

Tranquility features six active apparel lines is currently found in 25 Dillards locations. Selections from Tranquility are also available online at www.dillards.com. The company expects to expand the department to 100 stores for the upcoming spring 2008 season and into additional locations for fall 2008.

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‘Heroes’ star to represent Dooney & Bourke

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK “Heroes” star Hayden Pannettiere will represent the Dooney & Bourke this December as the brand’s guest designer for the company’s national ad campaign, Dooney & Bourke announced last week. As part of the collaboration, Dooney & Bourke is introducing The Hayden Bag, which is targeted toward the young consumer.

Using Panettiere ideas, designer Peter Dooney created the limited edition Hayden Bag, which retails for $500, the company reported.

The collections featured in the Hayden advertising campaign are scheduled to hit Dooney & Bourke retail boutiques by the end of the year. They will also be available at department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, and Nordstrom and online at www.dooney.com.

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