FINANCE

Deloitte survey: Consumer spending drops sharply in March

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A survey released Tuesday by Deloitte found that falling home prices and rising energy costs have negatively impacted consumer purchasing power.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index tumbled in March due to a drop in real home prices and a decline in real wages driven by rising energy prices. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

“Inflation anxiety may continue to wear at consumer confidence in the months ahead,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index. “Despite the recovery, consumers continue to save at a relatively high level, suggesting that consumers have the means to spend — but not the will. However, a continued improvement in the employment figures could be enough to instill a greater sense of security among U.S. households and offset some of the rising cost pressures as well.”

The Index, which is comprised of four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices — fell to 3.62%, from an upwardly revised gain of 4.07% a month ago.

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FINANCE

Report: Smartphones impact customer expectations

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A recent survey by Deloitte found that the proliferation of smartphones – coupled with social network popularity — has had a significant impact on what consumers expect from retailers and their in-store shopping experience.

The survey found that 43% of smartphone users say they have used their phones specifically in a store to assist with their shopping. However, 37% said that they wanted to use a smartphone inside a store but couldn’t because of internet access and connectivity issues, making the case for retailers to consider providing Wi-Fi access in the store.

Forth percent of those surveyed said they interact with retailers through social networking sites. And of the respondents who use social networking sites to connect with retailers, 63% use it to find out about promotions, and 56% use it to browse products.

The survey also found that consumers expect access to retailers via smartphones: 24% of all survey respondents expect their favorite retailers to provide them with access to information via downloadable apps, social media and mobile alerts. In addition, 17% said that retailers’ use of social media, smartphone apps and mobile technologies has made it easier for them to shop.

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Dec-18-2012 03:30 pm

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S.Sdasdsa says:
Dec-18-2012 03:30 pm

Thank you for some other informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information. online-credit-check.com

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Wal-Mart details environmental progress

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores on Monday released its "2011 Global Responsibility Report." According to the report, the chain has made steady year-to-year improvement towards its goals of creating zero waste, using 100% renewable energy and selling products that sustain people and the environment.

The company is targeting a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 from its 2005 base of stores, clubs and distribution centers by 2012, from a 2005 baseline. By yearend 2009 — the most recent year for which it has such data — Walmart had reduced its GHG emissions by 10.6%.

Here are some highlights with regards to Walmart’s U.S. operations:

Renewable Energy: In 2010, Walmart completed the installation of 35 solar projects in Arizona, California and Puerto Rico. Eight of the installations utilized thin-film solar technology, (according to the report, the new technology, while similar to traditional crystalline panels in appearance, significantly reduces the use of raw materials in the manufacturing process.), and more installations are in the works. The thin-film solar arrays are expected to supply 20% to 30% of the total energy needs for each location.

The company also completed two microturbine wind projects on the parking lot light poles at the Walmart in Worcester, Mass., and at the Sam’s Club in Palmdale, Calif.

Lighting: As of March 2010, the majority of new and remodeled U.S. Walmart stores had replaced the 77-watt ceramic metal halide spotlights used to highlight produce, fixtures and wall-mounted signage with 12-watt LED PAR38 spotlights, saving approximately 50% in energy per installation.

In addition, 12.5-watt LED fixtures also replaced the 64-watt fluorescent fixtures in many of its store restrooms, generating an anticipated savings of 9,000 to 15,000 kilowatt hours per site. An additional 200 stores retrofitted the 58-watt traditional fluorescent lamps in low- and medium-temperature refrigerated cases with 20-watt LED fixtures, saving in excess of 67,000 kWh in each case door lighting and indirect refrigeration annually in the average superstore.

Refrigerant Leaks: Walmart’s U.S. facilities team has initiated a refrigerant leak reduction program across domestic stores and warehouse clubs that will significantly reduce GHG releases from refrigeration systems. (After purchased electricity, refrigerants are the chain’s second-largest source of GHG emissions.) As of 2010, this initiative led to a reduction of more than 107,000 pounds of refrigerants.

Fleet Efficiency: Walmart realized a 65% improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline in the United States. During the past two years, the chain has replaced nearly two-thirds of its fleet with more efficient tractors. Investments also include the purchase of 3,000 skirted trailers, which will drive fleet efficiency. In 2010, Walmart delivered 57 million more cases, while driving 49 million fewer miles.

Waste: According to this new tracking program, piloted from January through October 2010, Walmart’s stores in California have redirected 81% of their waste from landfills. The company has since rolled this program out to each state and anticipates having a U.S.-wide redirection rate with similar results.

The report can be found at walmartstores.com/Sustainability/7951.aspx.

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