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NPD Group: Holiday shoppers to spend more; seek out deals

BY Marianne Wilson

Port Washington, N.Y. — The majority of consumers intend to spend the same as or more than last year, with fewer saying they plan to spend less, according to The NPD Group’s Holiday Spending Survey, the twelfth annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions.

“Consumers are feeling better about the economy compared to last year and they plan to take advantage of sales during key periods,” said Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “But this year’s holiday will be a tricky one for retailers. With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Government distractions, and lack of newness in the marketplace, retailers will have to rely more on promotions to excite the consumer.”

Comparison shopping and comparing prices online remain consumers’ top pre-purchase actions. One-third of consumers plan to buy all of their holiday gifts on sale.

Overall, the holiday shopping season will get off to an earlier start compared to last year. According to the report, this year more consumers have already started, or will start shopping before Thanksgiving.

“Consumers who plan to shop early expect the retailers to respond with extended store hours, and better deals offered earlier,” said Cohen.

Consumers’ purchasing plans are similar to last year, with the same Top 10 items on their holiday shopping list.

“With no new trendy items besides some updated versions of the same hot products from past years, consumers will not shop with fear due to lack of inventory. The must-have items will also be available at a wider variety of retailers, minimizing the panic shopping of years past,” said Cohen.

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Family Dollar opens DC in Utah

BY Staff Writer

St. George, Utah — Family Dollar on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of its 11th distribution center, in St. George, Utah.

“Opening our 11th distribution center is an important milestone for us,” said Howard Levine, Family Dollar’s chairman and CEO. “This facility is ideally located to support our growth in the West, helping us keep our stores well-stocked as we continue to provide customers in this region with great value and convenience.”

Family Dollar’s distribution center was built by The Conlan Company. The company has partnered with Family Dollar in building distribution centers in Marianna, Fla, Rome, N.Y., and Ashley, Ind.

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Growth continues at eBay as mobile surges

BY CSA STAFF

Global ecommerce and payments leader eBay said its third quarter revenues increased 14% to $3.9 billion and noted exceptional strength from mobile initiatives.

Profits declined to $689 million, or 53 cents a share, compared to $837 million, or 64 cents a share, but on an adjusted basis to exclude non-recurring expenses increased to $837 million, or 64 cents a share, compared to $718 million, or 55 cents a share.

“We delivered strong third quarter results, with mobile driving a significant portion of our new user growth and continuing to transform how consumers shop and pay around the world,” said John Donahoe, eBay president and CEO. “Our scale and experience, the strength of our global commerce platforms, our technology assets and our mobile commerce capabilities strongly position us to be a leader in the commerce revolution under way.”

According to Donahoe, eBay has enabled $200 billion of commerce volume during the past 12 months, a 20% increase. That growth, he said, “demonstrates the strength of our core businesses and our power as a partner, not a competitor, to merchants, brands and retailers.”

Of note during the third quarter was cross-border trade volume of $11 billion, that represented 22% of the company’s total enabled commerce volume, or ECV, which increased 21% to $52 billion. Mobile enabled commerce volume increased 75% in the quarter, with downloads since inception on the eBay app exceeding 200 million and the company’s suite of mobile apps attracting 3.2 million new customers.

The eBay payments unit, PayPal saw revenue increase by 19% to $1.6 billion as PayPal gained five million active registered accounts and ended the quarter with 137 million users.

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