FINANCE

NPD report: Thriftier post-recession consumers stretch food dollars

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago — A report released Tuesday by The NPD Group said that U.S. consumers have emerged from the recession with a honed ability to stretch their dollars and, now faced with rising food costs, they are turning to the cost-savings tactics they’ve mastered over the past few years.

“During the recession consumers adopted thriftier spending behaviors and as time went on they became comfortable with making concessions and getting by with less,” said Dori Hickey, director of product development at NPD and author of "What’s Next on the Road to Recovery."

“At the height of the recession consumers said they used coupons more, were stocking up on sale items, buying more private labels, shopping at discount stores more, among other money-saving strategies. With food prices rising and consumers experienced at getting the most from their food dollars, consumers are going to be increasing these types of behaviors once again.”

According to NPD’s The Economy Tracker, which monitors consumer sentiment about the economy and spending, a greater percentage of consumers, 21.9%, plans to increase their spending on groceries over the upcoming months, which is up from 16.6% in February.

In March, 40.1% of consumers voiced plans to spend more on gasoline over the upcoming months, up from 27.6% in February.

With increased spending on commodities such as groceries and gasoline, value and price are once again top-of-mind with the majority of consumers. According to The Economy Tracker, 74% of consumers strongly agreed that they expect coupons and special deals will be much more important in deciding what to buy. Sixty-seven percent said that they would shop less in general and 53% said that they would be buying in bulk.

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FINANCE

RILA and CargoNet align to prevent cargo theft

BY CSA STAFF

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and CargoNet jointly announced that they have strategically aligned to combat cargo theft across the retail industry.

According to the 2010 United States Cargo Theft Report issued by CargoNet, reported incidences of cargo theft increased by 50% compared with 2009. According to the FBI, cargo theft is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States.

“Cargo theft has become a significant pain point for retailers,” said Lisa LaBruno, RILA VP loss prevention and legal affairs. “Through this joint endeavor and use of the information-sharing network that has established CargoNet as an industry leader, we hope to stem the tide of cargo theft and maximize recoveries for retailers.”

Through CargoNet’s information-sharing network, theft incident details are passed on to statewide law-enforcement systems and several non-law enforcement channels almost immediately after a theft is reported. The network ensures law enforcement can efficiently find critical information to help solve complex investigations, identify perpetrators, and recover stolen product.

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Macy’s Lundgren pay package down 8%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren’s compensation package dipped 8% in 2010 to nearly $11.8 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

Lundgren received a salary of $1.5 million in 2010, the same as the year before. The stock awards he received were valued at $3.6 million when they were granted, about a 50% rise over what he received the year before, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Pulling down his 2010 compensation was a 15% decline in the value of the stock options he was granted. For last year, the options were worth $1.24 million when they were granted, compared with $1.45 million for the stock-option grant made in March 2009. His performance-based cash bonus also was lower, at $5.25 million in 2010, compared with $7 million the year before.

The retailer also cut the compensation it paid to Lundgren for perks, which fell almost 70% from 2009 to $171,840 last year. The costs for Lundgren to have a company car and driver dropped from about $261,000 in 2009 to $42,237 last year. Starting in 2011, Macy’s said it also will limit Lundgren’s personal use of company-owned aircraft to $75,000 worth per year. His aircraft use totaled $94,881 in 2010.

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