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PriceGrabber survey: 52% of consumers to spend $500 or more on holiday gifts

BY Staff Writer

Los Angeles — Fifty-two percent of consumers plan to spend $500 or more on gifts this season, according to a new survey by PriceGrabber, a part of Experian. Thirty-six percent said they will spend less than $500, and 12% indicated that they do not have a budget.

Other key findings of the survey, conducted from Sept. 7-15, 2011, include:

Consumers overwhelmingly chose clothing as the most popular holiday gift purchase (chosen by 66%), followed by gift cards (52%), books, CDs, DVDs or videogames (46%) and toys (43%).

Tablets were the most popular choice of those respondents who selected electronic products as holiday gifts, followed by iPods or MP3players.

When asked when they believe the best deals will be available for holiday shopping, 29% of consumers said after the Thanksgiving holiday, and 28% said Black Friday specifically.

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CVS announces executive promotions

BY Staff Writer

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced the promotion of three senior executives within its retail organization.

  • Robert Price, chief marketing officer of CVS/pharmacy, takes on an expanded role in the company with the addition of retail innovation and store design to his responsibilities;
  • Scott Baker, RPh, executive VP, internal operations, real estate and supply chain, adds inventory management and logistics to his responsibilities; and
  • Judith Strauss Sansone has been named senior VP merchandising for CVS/pharmacy. She most recently served as VP merchandising and pricing.

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Office Depot and Century Payments to launch electronic payment processing service

BY Staff Writer

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot announced the launch of Office Depot Merchant Services, an electronic payment processing service for small and medium-sized businesses.

In partnership with Century Payments, Office Depot will provide a private branded solution to enable small and medium-sized businesses with direct access to accept electronic payments via all major debit and credit cards at the point-of-sale. Businesses can now conveniently accept payments using a variety of cutting-edge equipment options that will allow companies to process payments from a retail location, through the Internet or with a mobile device.

"Understanding how to accept different types of electronic payments and choosing the right merchant processor for your business is vital," said Steve Schmidt, executive VP corporate strategy and new business development for Office Depot. "Office Depot Merchant Services makes it simple to accept all types of credit cards — no matter what type of business you have."

In addition to simplifying payment processing, Century Payments has pledged to donate one backpack to the Office Depot Foundation for every new customer that activates an account with Office Depot Merchant Services.

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