Gas Up, Spending Down
A new study by Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen Co. found that half (49%) of U.S. consumers are reducing spending to combat high gas prices—and restaurants may feel the greatest pinch.
Of the 26,000 consumers surveyed from coast to coast, 41% are responding to inflated fuel costs by eating out less; this number is up three points (from 38%) from six months earlier. Thir ty-one percent of consumers are reducing their spending to a small degree, and 18% are reducing their spending to a great degree.
“Our research shows consumers are adjusting their spending to a significant degree in order to counterbalance rising gas prices,” said Todd Hale, senior VP of consumer shopping and insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services. “Large numbers of consumers eating out less and staying home more often signal a tough year for some restaurants.…”
The largest percentage of those surveyed (70%) have developed a combining-errand tactic for battling higher gas prices, planning their routes carefully and running mu l t iple errands at once. Supercenter s, mega-stores and big-box stores stand to benefit the most from these strategies, where more items needed are in one store.
Increased fuel prices are resulting in more coupon clipping, with 25% of consumers using coupons to save money, up from 20% in June 2007.
Stage Stores says Peebles evp to retire
HOUSTON Stage Stores today announced that Dennis Abramczyk, evp and coo of its Peebles Division, will be retiring after approximately nine years with the company. He will continue to serve in his position until a replacement is found.
Jim Scarborough, chairman and ceo, commented, “We want to thank Dennis for his contributions and service to our company, and we wish him well as he begins this new phase of his life. We will immediately begin a search for his successor, and we are pleased that Dennis will be staying on until the conclusion of our search process, as this will ensure a smooth and orderly transition.”
Home Depot to cut 500 HQ jobs
ATLANTA Home Depot is cutting 500 jobs at its headquarters. According to reports the cuts make up 10% of the 5,000 employees who work at the headquarters.
The cuts are partly due to the struggling U.S. economy, which has hurt market conditions, reports said. Employees were notified of the eliminations today, they will be paid through April 4.
Home Depot reported fiscal 2007 third quarter consolidated net earnings of $1.1 billion, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or 73 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006.