Pain at the Pump
High prices at the pump are a legitimate excuse for slumping sales, according to a recent How America Shops PULSE survey. The survey, from WSL Strategic Retail, New York City, confirms something WSL has observed over the past three years: The more gas prices increase, the more shoppers reduce their driving and spending. What’s more, the cutbacks have now moved beyond lower-income consumers to include middle-income shoppers as well.
Fifty percent of the respondents surveyed said they are driving less because of increasing gas prices, and 40% said they are spending less when they shop. On top of the “cutback” list: fashion accessories (70% cutting back), eating out (67%), home decor (65%) take-out foods (63%) and specialty take-out coffee (59%).
The categories least likely to be affected by cutbacks are prescription drugs, OTC medications, cell-phone service, premium cable and hair/skin.
Long lines greet iPhone debut
CUPERTINO, Calif. The long-awaited debut of Apple’s iPhone was greeted with long lines outside of Apple and AT&T stores on June 29 with some people camping out days to get one. Analysts expected Apple’s new smart phone to sell about 200,000 units during its first weekend in release.
The combination phone and Web browser is selling for $499 for a basic phone and $599 for a version with 8GB of memory. The sleek phone that’s operated with a touch screen also comes with an iPod and a camera. The phones are being sold exclusively at 166 Apple stores and 1,800 stores operated by service provider AT&T. Apple ceo Steve Jobs said he hopes to sell about 10 million iPhones during its first year on the market.
CE vet Callahan passes on
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. CE veteran Phil Callahan died from what is believed to be a heart attack June 26 at the age of 57.
Callahan spent several years at Mitsubishi and also held positions at Sumiko, Hitachi and Princeton Graphics Systems. In June 2005 he founded a public relations and consulting firm named Callahan Public Relations and Consulting.