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NRF: Total Halloween spending to hit $6.86 billion

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — Halloween celebrations will be booming this year as more people than ever are expected to partake in traditional festivities. According to NRF’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch, seven in 10 Americans (68.6%) plan to celebrate Halloween, up from 63.8% last year and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history.

Those celebrating are expected to spend slightly more, too. The average person will shell out $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $66.28 last year. Total Halloween spending is expected to reach $6.86 billion.

The survey found this year’s celebrations will be far from tempered as more people plan to dress in costume (43.9% versus 40.1% in 2010), throw or attend a party (34.3% versus 33.3% last year) and visit a haunted house (22.9% versus 20.8% in 2010.) Additionally, half (49.5%) will decorate their home/yard and 14.7% will dress their pets in costume. Other traditional celebratory activities include handing out candy (73.5%), carving a pumpkin (47.8%) and taking children trick-or-treating (32.9%).

With celebrations increasing, spending is expected to slightly increase across the board as well. The average consumer is expected to spend $26.52 on costumes.

This year, Americans will spend $1 billion on children’s costumes, up from $840 million last year, and $1.21 billion on adult costumes, up from $990 million last year. Additionally, pet owners will shell out $310 million on pint size devils, pumpkins and witch costumes.

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Ace Hardware to build Import Re-Distribution Center in Virginia

BY Staff Writer

Oak Brook, Ill. — Ace Hardware Corp. has selected Suffolk, Va., for the company’s new 336,000-sq.-ft. Import Re-Distribution Center (RDC). Construction is scheduled for completion May 1, 2012.

The facility will allow the company to reduce import and logistics costs and provide an even higher level of service to East Coast retailers, making it possible for Ace stores to more effectively respond to consumer needs dictated by hurricanes and other weather emergencies in the region.

The new Import RDC will receive international goods arriving at the Port of Virginia. Ace executives considered the Panamax – which expands the Panama Canal and is scheduled for completion in 2014 – an added incentive to selecting the location. Panamax will allow larger container vessels easier access to East Coast ports, further lowering land-transportation costs.

This RSC receives and warehouses product shipments from thousands of manufacturers. The products are sorted to fill customized orders received from retailers and then shipped to those stores.

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Cabela’s signs on for Swagg mobile application

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Mobile commerce enabler Firethorn Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, announced Cabela’s as its latest retail partner for its Swagg mobile application.

"Our customers are increasingly expecting a mobile experience to assist with their shopping and gift-giving needs," said Mindy Knight, merchant relations manager of Cabela’s, Sydney, Neb. "Swagg is the perfect fit for our country’s outdoor enthusiasts who lead a mobile lifestyle while hunting, fishing or camping."

Cabela’s is the first Swagg merchant in the outdoor/sporting category. The application is designed to provide shoppers with convenient mobile access to purchase digital gift cards and send them to family and friends. Mobile shoppers can also receive special offers and manage customer loyalty programs through the app.

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