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NRF: More consumers will save tax refunds

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – More Americans this year are expected to put their tax returns in the bank. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s Tax Returns Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 46% of those expecting a refund this year will put their money into savings, up from 44% last year and the highest percent in the survey’s history.

Two-thirds (66.6%) of those surveyed are expecting a refund this year. As for other ways consumers will use their refunds, 37.7% will pay down debt, and one-quarter (25.3%) will use it toward everyday expenses. One-in-10 (10.7%) will treat themselves and invest in a major purchase, and 12.8% will spend their refunds on a vacation.

Young adults between 18 and 24 are most likely to save their tax returns, with nearly six-in-10 (57.7%) planning to contribute to their savings accounts, higher than any other age group. They are also the most likely to use their refunds for everyday expenses (34%) and to purchase a big-ticket item such as a new television or piece of furniture (18.3%). Three-in-10 (30.2%) will use their checks to pay down debt, second to last behind those 65 and older (27%).

“Financial security is top-of-mind for all Americans, and refunds can play a huge role in helping achieve that,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Whether consumers use a refund to pay down debt, bulk up their savings, or buy that big-ticket item they’ve been saving for, a check from Uncle Sam, large or small, goes a long way these days.”

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Jos. A. Bank issues tender offer for $300 million in stock

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. has commenced a tender offer to purchase up to $300 million in value of shares of its common stock at a price of $65 per share. The closing price of the company’s common stock on Feb. 18, 2014 was $54.20 per share.

The tender offer will expire on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, unless extended by the company. Tenders of shares must be made on or prior to the expiration of the tender offer and may be withdrawn at any time on or prior to the expiration of the tender offer. The tender offer is subject to a number of terms and conditions described in the offer to purchase that is being distributed to stockholders, including the consummation of the previously announced acquisition of Everest Holdings LLC ("Everest"), the parent company of Eddie Bauer.

Jos. A. Bank expects to fund the tender offer with cash on hand. None of the company’s directors or executive officers or Everest Topco LLC, the owner of Everest and a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, will participate in the tender offer.

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Jamba Juice launches omni-channel loyalty program

BY Dan Berthiaume

Emeryville. Calif. – Jamba Juice Company has unveiled its new Jamba Insider Rewards customer loyalty program in stores nationwide. Now, typing a phone number entry on a touch-screen allows Jamba Juice customers to earn rewards, personalized offers, and free products without the need to carry a rewards card at every point of sale.

Rewards include discounts for activating an account and making purchases, as well as personalized offers via email or text such as percentage off coupons, free food item with a smoothie or juice purchase, and $2 off freshly squeezed juices coupons

Powered by Spendgo, the Jamba Insider Rewards loyalty program tracks customers’ reward points through the entry of a 10-digit telephone number on a touch-screen pad at the point of purchase and sends real-time alerts of available rewards and surprise offers such as a free boost with smoothie purchase. The program enables custom rewards based on an individual’s previous purchase behavior, making the program not only convenient, but also tailored to their buying habits and favored menu items. The program was piloted in select stores last year and witnessed double-digit percentage participation rates well above industry averages.

"Using the latest in innovative web, mobile, and touch-screen technology, Jamba Juice is endlessly committed to amplifying the consumer store experience," said Julie S. Washington, senior VP and chief brand officer, Jamba Juice Company. "Here at Jamba Juice, we’re both delighted and proud to launch Jamba Insider Rewards™, a program that goes beyond most current corporate loyalty offerings today by providing consumers an open, cloud-powered rewards approach in a way that is modern, intuitive, personalized and void of your typical plastic card hassles at checkout."

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