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NRF convention: Expect some spending uptick in 2011

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A retail industry expert presented research Monday at the National Retail Federation convention in New York City that showed shoppers will continue to spend more this year, spurred by a slowly improving job market and an uptick in income.

However, Ira Kalish, director of global economics for Deloitte, added that enough shoppers are still struggling with their finances that any increase will be modest.

According to Kalish, "For those consumers that have jobs and are not underwater with their mortgages, there could be a slight uptick in spending."

Target and other discounters as well as dollar stores will continue to win shoppers so long as unemployment remains high, while the home-improvement sector will struggle until the housing market rebounds, he said.

U.S. retailers’ profits margins rose by one percentage point to 3.4% in the 2009 fiscal year, according to a Deloitte study released on Sunday.

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Survey: Mobile checkstands may be next trend at retail

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Mill, S.C. — According to the latest “Mobile POS Survey” commissioned by Honeywell and conducted by Harris Interactive online in December, consumers are accepting of a mobile checkout offering at retail — 50% of those who have tried mobile checkouts believed it saves time and 43% like the convenience of paperless receipts delivered via e-mail.

Based on the survey, as many as 72% of adults have been offered the opportunity to check out using mobile point-of-sale, where transactions are completed through mobile point-of-sale units using a mobile computer to scan items and then read a customer’s credit card information for payment, with the receipt printed via a mobile printer or sent directly to the consumer’s e-mail address. Additionally, the survey found that nearly one-in-five adults (17%) uses credit cards for in-store purchases and would be interested in trying mobile POS.

“Over the past two years, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility has surveyed consumers to get their feedback on the latest trends in retail technology,” stated John Waldron, VP worldwide marketing, Honeywell scanning and mobility. “This year’s survey results [showed] a rising interest in mobile POS, and this is in line with the demand we are seeing in the industry.”

Increased interest in mobile couponing, another trend in the retail space, was uncovered in this year’s survey, in comparison to the results found in a similar survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Honeywell in December 2009. The number of adults who own a mobile phone and said they are comfortable using their mobile phones to store coupons rather than printing them out increased from 11% in 2009 to 18% in 2010. Similarly, the number of adults who own a mobile phone and said they are interested in receiving coupons from retailers via their mobile phones increased from 8% to 14% in 2010.

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FOP labels don’t necessarily influence product purchasing intent

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Front-of-pack labels may not sway customers from purchasing certain items in stores.

Conducting a study among more than 1,000 shoppers on their opinion of such labels and changes in purchase intent among 25 major brands with and without FOP labeling, HealthFocus International found that 43% of shoppers said that it’s unlikely that FOP labeling will impact their food choices, but some purchase intent scores changed by more than 25%.

HealthFocus noted that such terms as “better for you” and “indulgent” garnered different attention. For example, purchase intent for such products as frozen pizza dropped with the FOP information, while the purchase intent for some cookie brands rose. Purchase intent for pasta dropped with the FOP information, while some canned soup brands increased.

Among the 25 major brands included in the study were DiGiorno rising crust supreme pizza, Nabisco Chips Ahoy, Barilla pasta and Progresso canned soup.

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