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Consumers in Holiday Spirit

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C., Consumers will be feeling the holiday spirit this year, according to the findings of the latest National Retail Federation (NRF) survey. The NRF 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Action Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that the average consumer plans to spend $738.11 this holiday season, up 5.1% from the previous year. Consumers will spend an additional $86.62 on themselves. The survey is in line with NRF’s holiday sales forecast, announced last month, which expects total holiday retail sales to increase 5.0% over last year to $435.3 billion.

The survey found that consumers plan to shop at a variety of outlets for their holiday gifts this year, with discounters (71.4%) and department stores (59.4%) once again the top destinations. On-line shopping continues to grow in popularity, with 42.6% of consumers planning to purchase gifts on line, up from 38.3% last year. More than one-third of consumers (37.9% said that sales or price discounts are the important factor in their decision to purchase from a particular store.

Books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games remain the most popular gift items, according to the survey, with 55.5% of consumers hoping to receive something in that category. Apparel is another gift favorite, with 54.5% of consumers hoping to receive clothing or accessories this year. Other popular items include gift cards (52.5%), electronics (38.4%), jewelry (26.4%) and home decor (23.3%).

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Kroger, Virginia Union Reach Agreement

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, The Kroger Co. has reached a tentative agreement with the union representing about 3,500 Kroger associates at 47 stores in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Details have not yet been released.

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Goody’s And ShopKo Get New Bids

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, The acquisition process surrounding Goody’s Family Clothing and ShopKo Stores became much more complicated. Goody’s Family Clothing Inc. received takeover bid number two, this one from an undisclosed buyer offering to purchase the clothing retailer for $8.85 per share. The 369-store chain had agreed in principal to be acquired by a previous bid from Sun Capital Partners for a lower price. The latest offer is net of the termination fee and expenses for the earlier takeover agreement, and may be raised after the completion of due diligence, according to Goody’s.

ShopKo is asking its two bidders to make a “best and final” offer. Sun Capital Partners and Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison are engaged in a bidding war for the Green Bay, Wis.-based chain. Sun Capital offered its $806 million bid, prompting an $822 million bid from Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison.

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