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Deloitte Consumer Spending Index slides in April

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Falling real wages and rising jobless claims in April contributed to largest single month drop in the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index since November 2007. The Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, fell to 3.16% from an upwardly revised gain of 3.78% a month ago.

Deloitte said that the index, which is comprised of four components — including tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — saw a drop due to "a sharp deterioration in real wages coupled with a rise in jobless claims."

According to Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index, “rising food and energy prices have started to undermine consumers’ purchasing power, which may continue to lose ground to inflation in the months ahead, particularly if unemployment claims head higher.”

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Survey: Tablets ideal for shopping

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Retailers have plenty of challenges to overcome when it comes to shoppers using smartphones for shopping, with awkward usability (49%), credit-card security (36%) and connection speeds (31%) topping the list, according to a survey by the e-tailing group.

“The customer is leading the charge when it comes to mobile, making it imperative that merchants understand how they desire to use these devices," asserts Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group. "Such knowledge will be essential for driving revenue as well as positioning marketing and merchandising strategies to peak consumer interest."

The online survey, The Shopping Mindset of a Mobile Consumer, was commissioned by Coffee Table, iPad’s e-commerce-enabled catalog marketplace. Respondents were shoppers who spent $250 or more online annually and currently own a smartphone and/or tablet device.

The survey found that given the "anytime, anywhere" nature of mobile, consumers are using their smartphones prior to making a purchase. Just as with websites, the store locator serves as an important destination in anticipation of store visits. Smartphone users have followed similar trends with frequent usage of store locators seen by 44% of respondents while one-in-three consumers take an aggressive stance when researching. This includes information gathering activities such as checking for sales and specials (40%) and looking for competitive pricing at Amazon (38%) or at other retailers (32%). Strong browsing of an online store for product of interest (37%), and seeking out the always popular product ratings and reviews (36%) also play an important role in this early shopping stage.

Tablets are perceived as ideal tools for researching products and browsing followed by purchasing, according to the survey. Tablet owners appear to use these devices to browse and buy online more frequently than smartphone owners. Daily to weekly usage at 29% tablet/22% smartphone and monthly or more (31% vs. 28%) indicate a proclivity for making shopping part and parcel of today’s tablet culture.

Moving beyond browsing, the study revealed a higher concentration of buyers in the tablet segment as 68% of tablet owners vs. 48% of smartphone owners made a purchase, confirming the tablet’s strong positioning as a shopping tool. One-in-four made at least six purchases in the past six months versus 16% on their smartphones while 39% made two to five purchases versus 30% on smartphones.

Charting satisfaction of tablet versus smart phone users, 88% of tablet owners reported that their most recent shopping experiences via these devices were very to somewhat satisfactory compared to 73% of smartphone users.

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ABC FineWine & Spirits selects JustEnough Software allocation & replenishment solutions

BY CSA STAFF

Newport Beach, Calif. — JustEnough Software Corp., a provider of demand management solutions, announced that ABC Fine Wine & Spirits has successfully gone live with its allocation and replenishment solutions. The technologies were selected to replace the retailer’s existing allocation system.

“JustEnough’s flexible, easy-to-use solutions are the perfect fit to help us allocate the right products and in correct quantities to the right stores in an efficient manner,” said Bob Gibson, director of marketing, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, which operates nearly 150 specialty beverage stores. “Now that we are live with JustEnough, we look forward to accelerating and improving our ordering process, as well as driving up service levels across our network of stores.”

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