NRF: More consumers want email, Internet on phones
Washington, D.C. More consumers are looking for phones which offer access to email, the Internet, picture-taking and even calendars, according to new research conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation’s Mobile Retail Initiative. The data shows an increasing number of people want to be “tuned in” more than ever before.
According to the most recent survey of 9,578 adults used in the analysis, nearly nine out of 10 adults (87.5%) said they have a cell phone, an increase of 17.9% from January 2006 (74.2%).
With e-commerce now expanding to m-commerce, many people want the luxury of being able to shop or browse company’s websites from their phone. The survey found 41.5% of adults want a cell phone with Internet access, compared to just under one-third (32.6%) that said so in July 2008. More than half (51.4%) of adults 18-34 years old say they want to be able to surf the web on their phone, compared with the 41.0% who said so in July 2008.
“Americans expect more from their phones than the ability to talk to family and friends,” said NRF president and CEO Matt Shay. “Aside from sending pictures and sharing stories and experiences over social networking sites, consumers want to be able to connect with their favorite retailers in a way they never have been able to before – instantaneously. The emergence of m-commerce has created a paradigm shift that has the retail industry very excited.”
When it comes to other cell phone features or attributes, adults said email access has also increased in importance over the years. Over half (51.1%) of 18-34 year-olds say they want a cell phone with email access, up from 28.1% in January 2006. But young adults aren’t the only ones who favor email access: According to the survey, 42.6% of all adults want email on their phone, up significantly from 22.5% four years ago.
Survey respondents also said that phones with cameras (59.0%), calendars (42.7%) and text messaging (55.6%) are important attributes.
Whole Foods toughens personal-care organics policy
WASHINGTON According to The Organic Consumers Association, Whole Foods Market has introduced a new policy that states that it believes personal-care products that claim to be organic should meet the same standards as food products, which are currently regulated by the USDA’s national organic program.
“In the wake of the BP oil spill, Whole Foods’ announcement couldn’t come at a better time. Now more than ever, Americans are searching for alternatives to petro-chemicals, including in the bodycare aisle,” says Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and executive director of OCA. “The new Whole Foods policy is a major victory for people who want to stop washing petrochemical formulations all over their bodies and then down the drain. These consumers want trusted options for real organic personal care. Whole Foods policy will force major organic cheater brands to drop organic claims from their branding and labeling.”
Whole Foods’ new policy mandates that “organic product” or “product made with organic [specified ingredients]” claims must be certified under the USDA National Organic Program, just like food. A more limited “contains organic ingredients” claim for personal care may be certified under the NSF ANSI 305 standard, which has additional allowances for personal care products. All organic claims which are not certified, including “organics” in branding must otherwise be dropped. Brands have been told they have until August 1 to explain how they will change their labeling or formulations to comply with the new standard. Those that don’t submit an explanation are expected to be dropped from store shelves over the coming year while those that comply will have until June 1, 2011 to be in full compliance with Whole Foods’ new policy, OCA reported.
RadioShack names SVP human resources
FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack announced that Mary Ann Doran has been named SVP human resources. She is responsible for RadioShack’s overall policy and strategy related to human resources. Doran reports to Julian Day, chairman and CEO.
“We’re pleased to have Mary Ann join our leadership team,” Day said. “Her depth of retail experience and her passion for training and development will advance our commitment to delivering a smart, helpful in-store experience that addresses the changing needs of our customers and maintains The Shack’s leadership position in mobility.”
Doran joins RadioShack after serving as SVP human resources for Zale Corp. in Irving, Texas, where she had worked since 1996. Doran’s earlier experiences in human resources also include The Bombay Company, of Fort Worth, Texas, and the Jordan Marsh Stores Corp. of Boston, a regional department-store chain that ultimately joined the Macy’s organization.