OPERATIONS

Conference Board survey finds holiday shoppers in frugal mood

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $497 on gifts this holiday season, The Conference Board reported. Only 7% of consumers said they plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, while approximately 49% plan on spending less than last year.

The survey of holiday gift spending intentions, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. It was conducted in October.

"As the holiday season approaches, we once again find consumers in a frugal mood," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "With the overwhelming majority of consumers expecting to spend the same or less than they did last year, it’s not surprising that they expect a large share of their purchases to be on sale or discounted."

Four out of 10 holiday shoppers say they expect more than half of their purchases to be on sale or discounted. An additional three out of 10 expect a quarter to half of their purchases to be discounted.

Close to two-thirds of consumers expect to purchase a portion of their holiday gifts online, with about 15% saying more than half of their gifts will be purchased online.

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OPERATIONS

Old Navy to offer Shopkick location-based shopping app

BY Staff Writer

Palo Alto, Calif. — Shopkick, the location-based shopping app, announced that Old Navy has joined its partner alliance, with Shopkick walk-in rewards to be live in all of Old Navy’s nearly 1,000 U.S. locations. To celebrate, Old Navy will offer $10 off of a $40 purchase plus 150 Shopkick reward points for the partnership’s first weekend (Nov. 10 – Nov. 13), available exclusively through the Shopkick app.

"Old Navy customers are mobile-savvy, leveraging smart phone technology and apps on a daily basis," said Kate Dickman, senior director, digital marketing at Old Navy. "Using Shopkick, we’re able to share our latest fashions and deals with her in a straightforward, relevant way. It’s another powerful tool to help keep Old Navy top-of-mind while offering us real evidence that she’s come into our store for those particular items."

To provide high-value rewards to shoppers actually walking-in to Old Navy stores, the Shopkick app detects a Shopkick signal, emitted from a patent-pending device located in each participating store and picked up by a shopper’s phone’s microphone. Because the store knows it’s rewarding actual visitors, it then delivers rewards called "kicks," which can be collected at all participating partner store locations. Kicks are redeemed for in-store gift cards, song downloads, movie tickets, Facebook Credits, donations to 30 different causes and charities and more.

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A holiday tasting courtesy of Sam’s Club

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club announced that it is inviting customers to "try before they buy" and plan their holiday menus at the ninth annual Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club event. Showcasing dozens of food and beverage items at multiple sampling booths in each of its 610 Sam’s Club locations, the event takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day from Friday Nov. 18 through Sunday Nov. 20.

During the event, customers will be able to try such items as savory Daily Chef Chicken & Bacon Bruschetta, mouthwatering Butterball Deep-Fried Turkey Breast and The Cheesecake Factory Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cheesecake.

Additionally, samplers that visit the Philadelphia Cooking Creme booths will receive a free copy of Philadelphia’s 146-page glossy recipe book "Cooking with Pheeling". During the three-day weekend event, non-Members can bring in a 1-day pass from the Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club newspaper insert or visit Member Services to take advantage of holiday entertaining essentials and Club exclusives, the company said. Lastly, all Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club guests will receive a handout previewing a portion of Sam’s Club "Day After Thanksgiving Event" (D.A.T.E.) values and gifting solutions.

"The Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club event has become a seasonal tradition for our members over the years, and we welcome our communities to indulge in simply delicious samples of holiday fare, plan menus for holiday entertaining," said Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president of Fresh & Freezer/Cooler at Sam’s Club. "Whether a holiday gathering is for four, 40 or 400, Sam’s Club simplifies the stress of entertaining by providing quality ingredients and ‘taste like homemade’ meal solutions for a successful seasonal celebration."

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