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Report: Consumer spending rises more than expected

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report released Monday by the Commerce Dept. said that March consumer spending in the U.S. advanced more than forecast – rising 0.2% after a 0.7% increase in February.

The bigger-than-expected gain reflected a jump in services, such as utilities, due to cooler-than-usual temperatures. On average, Bloomberg economists expected spending to be flat in March. “It’s a relatively decent showing for spending, but consumers won’t be able to sustain the current pace if income growth continues to disappoint,” Millan Mulraine, an economist for TD Securities USA, told Bloomberg.

Incomes increased 0.2% in March after climbing 1.1% in February.

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Publix to balances scales with specialized software

BY CSA STAFF

Tampa, Fla. — Publix has selected Applied Data Corporation’s InterScale scales management software to transmit data to and from the barcode labeling scales in its stores.

ADC is a leading provider of fresh item management (FIM), recipe management and scales management software for the grocery retail and food service industries.

InterScale communicates with more than 50 different types of barcode labeling scales, printers and kiosks, from a variety of manufacturers. It is a toolset within ADC’s InterStore FIM software suite and works with the NutriGen Recipe Manager and the P-Cubed In-Store Food Production Manager to provide grocers with an integrated software solution to help increase efficiency in their fresh departments. It also includes fresh inventory management, perishable production planning and ordering.

"InterScale allows Publix to not only send on-time scale batches, but it also lays the groundwork for future FIM projects," said Steve Loveridge, ADC’s CEO.

Publix is headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., and operates 1,068 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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Mobile coupon app expands retail selection

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES — Yowza, a leading mobile coupon app for iPhone and Android, has announced that more than 70,000 locations nationwide now accept Yowza coupons.

"Our users made their position clear: Get me more coupons! So, for the past six months, that’s been our focus," says David Teichner, CEO of Yowza. "We are proud to say that tens of thousands of new locations comprised of both national and local chains now give shoppers great money-saving offers through Yowza."

Yowza works directly with most merchants to only display current and valid offers. This one-to-one relationship with merchants helps guarantee that shoppers can use the coupons and deals they find on Yowza, rather than being disappointed and turned away at the register.

Yowza is making itself even more accessible to local merchants, thanks to a new free signup option, which allows the retailer to list one coupon every month. Any small or medium merchant can now join the ranks of massive chains by visiting the site and building their own account free. Paid accounts, which allow more offers and options start at $49 per month.

"We are committed to continually adding merchants that provide valuable offers for our users. Our development team is also focused on app enhancements that make the shopping experience even easier. For example, they recently incorporated some features to highlight new merchants, merchants who receive the most activity are listed under ‘popular’ and the app now also has online offers for shoppers to use as well," says Teichner.

Among retailers that offer coupons via Yowza are Payless, Michael’s, Kmart, Macy’s, Sears, Toys ‘R’ Us and Kohl’s.

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