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Luxury Shopping Index Declines

BY CSA STAFF

Stevens, Pa., Luxury consumers’ confidence in the economy took a hit in the third quarter.  After rising to 102.7 in the second quarter, the Luxury Consumption Index declined to 96.0, down 6.7 points, according to Unity Marketing’s latest tracking study of the luxury market.

The Luxury Consumption Index measures the luxury consumers’ feelings and attitudes about their financial well-being.  The majority of luxury consumers (53%) felt their financial position was the same and no better than during the previous three months.  Further, nearly 40% said the country as a whole was less well off in the third quarter.  

“The market for luxury goods and services is driven by consumers’ feelings, certainly not needs,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the new book Let Them Eat Cake:  Marketing Luxury to the Masses — as well as the Classes.  “Luxury consumers (average income $136.5k) with their surfeit of material wealth have no pressing need to go shopping when things don’t look promising.  Luxury consumers are in a unique position to wait it out when times are tough and that is just what they did in the third quarter.” 

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Lowe’s Q3 Earnings Up 15.5%

BY CSA STAFF

Wilkesboro, N.C., Lowe’s Cos. income rose 15.5% in the third quarter to $522 million, up from $452 million in the same period last year. Comp-store sales increased 5.2% as total sales increased to $9.1 billion, from $7.8 billion a year ago.

“Continued signs of a robust housing market, improving employment and strong demographic trends provide a foundation for our optimism for the future,” Robert Tillman, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

The company’s 5.2% comps on top of the 12.2% increase in last year’s third quarter marked the best two-year performance in almost a decade.

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Barnes & Noble 3Q Profit Falls 25%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Barnes & Noble, Inc. reported earnings of $10.2 million in the third quarter ended Oct. 30, a decline of 25% when compared with earnings of $7.6 million in the prior-year period. The book chain attributed the decrease in part to higher expenses and soft demand for bestsellers. Higher purchases of DVD media, juvenile products and cafe merchandise helped offset some of that weakness, the retailer said. Same-store sales were up 0.9% for the 13-week period, while overall sales rose 4% to $894.9 million at Barnes & Noble stores. Total revenues for the third quarter increased 15% to $1.46 billion from $1.27 billion.

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