FINANCE

Easter Spending to Reach $14.4B

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. With Easter falling on March 23, the earliest Easter since 1913, consumers will be welcoming the first tastes of spring while planning for the holiday.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2008 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, consumers are expected to spend a total of $14.44 billion on Easter food, apparel, gifts, flowers, decorations and candy. The average consumer will spend $135.03 on the holiday, similar to last year’s expected $135.07.

This year, 79.0% of consumers will hit the stores to stock up on marshmallow chicks, Easter baskets, plastic bunnies, flimsy hats and chocolate-covered eggs. Of those celebrating, the majority will spend the most on Easter meals ($41.09 on average). Consumers will also dish out an average of $23.82 for apparel, $21.42 for gifts, $18.12 on candy, $9.11 on flowers and $7.21 on decorations.

Discount stores will see the most Easter traffic this year (58.8%) while department stores (35.6%), specialty stores (23.6%) and specialty clothing stores (7.6%) will also benefit from shoppers.

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Amazon engages in social networking

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE Amazon.com today launched two applications on the social networking site Facebook that allows users to see what their friends would like to get from Amazon, as well as their activity on Amazon.com. Amazon Giver allows users to see what their friends on Facebook have on their Amazon Wish Lists. Users can choose to purchase a gift for them from Amazon.com via the application, or view suggested items based on interests they have listed on their Facebook profile. Amazon Grapevine allows users to see friends’ activity on Amazon.com, such as when they update their Wish List, write a review or tag a product, via News Feed updates.

Amazon said that both features share only the information with Facebook users friends that each user has affirmatively chosen to share via an opt-in mechanism.

“Amazon.com is pleased to bring the convenience of shopping on Amazon to our customers, many of whom are also Facebook users, with the Amazon Giver and Amazon Grapevine applications on Facebook Platform, said Eva Manolis, vp of Amazon.com. By combining Amazons vast selection of products with Facebooks millions of users, we are able to make activities like gift-giving more efficient and rewarding for Facebook users.”

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Office Depot expands printing services

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot has added large format printing capabilities to its stores through the Office Depot Design, Print & Ship Depot. According to the company, customers can now print signs, posters and banners; visual aids; photo enlargements; store signage; engineering print services such as blueprints, schematics, drawings, and maps – all up to 60 inches wide.

Customers will also have access toXerox Certified print specialists who will help them with their projects.

Large format prints are available on a variety of media types including: matte presentation paper, glossy photo paper, artist canvass and indoor/outdoor vinyl materials.

Todays small business customer is looking for more than just a place to make photocopies they are looking for a true partner that will help them take care of their business, said Randy Pianin, senior vp of the Office Depot Design, Print & Ship Depot. Whether you are an architect in need of a last-minute blueprint, or have a store that needs a sign or banner, Office Depot has the solution. 

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