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Deloitte Research Leading Index Falls

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Deloitte & Touche USA LLP said Tuesday its Leading Index of Consumer Spending fell to a new low this month, driven by sharply higher inflation in November, combined with continued falling home prices.

“Increases in energy and food prices are reducing consumer purchasing power,” said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist with Deloitte and author of the monthly index. “Sharply higher inflation caused real wage growth to fall to close to zero percent this month and, combined with continued falling home prices, caused the consumer index to drop sharply. Higher inflation and unemployment are key risks for consumer spending capacity in the months ahead, and we continue to expect uncertainty in the early months of 2008.”

The index comprises four components—tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices—and fell to 2.30%, from a revised gain of 2.61% a month ago.

“January sales will be significantly affected by gift-card redemptions and fresh winter merchandise, and will be critical to retailers,” said Stacy Janiak, Deloitte’s U.S. Retail Leader.

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Joe’s Sports taps ex-Bass Pro pres. as ceo

BY CSA STAFF

WILSONVILLE, Ore. Hal Smith, former president of Bass Pro Shops, has been named president and ceo of Joe’s Sports & Outdoor, a Northwest sporting goods retailer.

Smith most recently served as evp pf Pep Boys. In addition to serving as president of Bass Pro Shops, he has served as president/ceo of several other leading companies, Joe’s Sports & Outdoor reported.

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Wakefern to use IBM POS systems

BY CSA STAFF

ARMONK, N.Y. Wakefern is working with IBM to deploy advanced IBM point-of-sale systems, software and infrared touch displays at ShopRite stores, the companies announced Friday.

Wakefern will install IBM’s SurePOS Application Client/Server Environment, an application that optimizes customer service and improves reliability at the point-of-sale system, the companies reported. Wakefern will also use IBM’s Store Integrator on the IBM 4690 operating system.

ShopRite stores also will be upgraded with IBM SurePOS 700 POS terminals and servers and IBM SurePoint 4820 Touch displays at all check-out lanes.

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