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Expert: Online Sales to Jump This Holiday Season

BY CSA STAFF

West Lafayette, Ind. Although retail sales are expected to be weak this upcoming holiday season, online shopping is expected to increase at least 10%, according to a Purdue University retail expert.

Online sales are estimated to be $35 billion to $40 billion this holiday season, which is less than 7% to 9% of all holiday shopping, said Richard Feinberg, a researcher with the Purdue Retail Institute.

Feinberg said online holiday shopping peaks two weeks before Christmas because consumers believe Dec. 8-12 is the last period they can order something and receive it in time for Christmas. Shipping is one of the keys to a successful season for Web retailers.

“If Internet retailers want consumers to order through the holiday period, they have to make certain they have shipping that will get the product to them on time,” Feinberg said. “Free shipping continues to be the magic words that attract shoppers.”

Feinberg said more than 50% of online retailers will offer free shipping and more than 75% of them will offer special deals.

The institute estimates that there will be 35 million Internet shoppers on Cyber Monday alone, which is the Web equivalent to Black Friday. Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Overall, the institute estimates 135 million consumers will buy holiday gifts online this year, including 5 million new households who have not done so in the past.

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Brown to serve as home solutions advisor for Meijer

BY CSA STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Katie Brown, author, syndicated columnist and host of “Katie Brown Workshop” on PBS, is partnering with Meijer to serve as the company’s “Home Solutions Advisor.” The announcement was made today by Dave Clark, vp of brand and product development at Meijer.

“Katie Brown brings such an appealing and engaging approach to everything from holiday entertaining to backyard gardening that we felt she was the perfect fit for Meijer,” said Clark. “She connects so strongly with our shoppers — from her Midwest roots to her fun and simple solutions geared to those who want to save time and money.”

In her new role, the author and TV host will help develop new product lines for Meijer and help spearhead a number of efforts designed to provide Meijer shoppers with practical and easy-to-follow solutions to projects in and around the home.

Brown has been the host of  the “Katie Brown Workshop” on PBS for the past four years. She was also previously the host of “Next Door With Katie Brown,” which aired on the Lifetime network.

“This is a long-term partnership we’re undertaking with Katie, and right now, we’re looking at a host of areas in which to best utilize her talents,” said Clark. “We’re excited about the possibilities that Katie presents — from branded product lines to online programs. She brings such a wealth of opportunities for us and our customers.”

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Rite Aid expands list of generics available through RX Savings Card

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid expanded the list of generic medications to more than 500 available at significant savings through its free RX Savings Card.

The card, which requires no membership fee and is free to anyone who enrolls, offers significant savings on more than 10,000 prescription drugs at all Rite Aid drugstores nationwide. It also provides an immediate 10% discount on more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products, including 1,500 over-the-counter medications.

The Rite Aid RX Savings Card offers the best overall value to our uninsured patients, those without coverage for certain drugs and those who have reached their benefit limits, said Bill Wolfe, Rite Aid group vp of pharmacy. In just a few months, members have already saved over $15 million on their prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and Rite Aid Brand items that are already a value over national brands.

Customers can get a list of the medications covered by the Rite Aid RX Savings Card at any Rite Aid pharmacy. The card can be used for prescriptions for any member in a family, including pets, but cannot be used in conjunction with prescription insurance. Those receiving benefits from publicly funded health care programs are ineligible.

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