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Report: Holiday spending growth to edge up Q4

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco — A report released Thursday by Kurt Salmon Associates said that, while consumer confidence remains shaky, retail sales should see a modest increase through the holiday season, boosted by broadened growth in personal consumption.

Specifically, the report predicts personal consumption expenditures to grow between 2.1% and 2.6% for the final quarter of 2010.

"Now, a year and a half into the recovery, we are seeing discretionary spending picking up," said Todd Hooper, Kurt Salmon partner and retail expert. "While high unemployment is preventing some consumers from taking part in the emerging recovery, we still expect the improved discretionary spending to translate into modest year-on-year gains for retailers."

High unemployment continues to drag down consumer confidence, which remains below pre-recession levels and which declined slightly in August and September. Kurt Salmon’s analysis also reveals that while consumers are ready to spend more, their new purchasing habits are not yet set.

"Consumers are still settling into their post-recession spending rhythm," Hooper said. "They know they have to adjust their spending, but they are still sorting out priorities. During this transition, they are not able to consistently anticipate how their spending will change for any given category."

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Staples Q3 profit rises on cost controls

BY CSA STAFF

Framingham, Mass. – Staples reported Thursday that profit for the third quarter rose 7% as the office supply retailer clamped down on expenses. Net income increased to $288.7 million, from $269.4 million.

Revenue edged up to $6.54 billion from $6.52 billion. Analysts expected $6.53 billion.

"We are seeing a steady improvement all areas of the business," CEO Ron Sargent said. "I don’t think we’re expecting a robust recovery next year, but I think we are expecting continuing progress with the national economy."

North American retail revenue rose 1% to $2.6 billion. However, same-store sales dipped 1%.

Staples, which bought Dutch office supply company Corporate Express NV, said international revenue fell 4% to $1.4 billion, mainly because of a 2% decrease in same-store sales.

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Dollar Tree reports 37% rise in Q3 net income

BY CSA STAFF

Chesapeake, Va. — Dollar Tree said Thursday that net income for the quarter ended Oct. 30 rose 37% to $93.2 million, from $68.2 million in the year-ago period.

Consolidated net sales for the third quarter were $1.43 billion, a 14.2% increase from $1.25 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales increased 8.7%.

During the third quarter, Dollar Tree opened 86 stores, expanded or relocated 27 stores, and closed two stores. The company currently operates 4,009 stores in 48 states.

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