Report: Parents Save Rebate Checks for Back-to-School Shopping
Washington, D.C. Analysts may be predicting a back-to-school spending slump, but parents still want their kids start the school year in style. That’s why one-fifth of parents have saved a portion of their stimulus checks specifically for back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2008 Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
The study, conducted by BIGresearch, is based on responses from 8,361 participants. The average family with school-aged children will spend $594.24 on back-to-school purchases, compared to $563.49 last year. Total back-to-school spending for kindergarten through 12th grade this year is estimated to reach $20.1 billion, the study said.
Spending in most categories will remain flat over last year, but electronics spending will continue to rise as many parents plan to spend some of their stimulus check on household electronics, such as computers and cell phones. Parents reported they will spend $151.61 on electronics purchases during the back-to-school timeframe, up from $129.24 last year.
Spending on clothing ($234.51 vs. $231.80 last year), shoes ($109.75 vs. $108.42) and school supplies ($98.47 vs. $94.02 last year) will see more moderate increases.
While parents are ready to shop, retailers still have their work cut out for them.
“Strong promotions and must-have brands will help retailers stand out in the crowd as shoppers look for the best bang for their buck this year,” said Tracy Mullin, president and CEO, NRF. “While cost will be the deciding factor, some families will use rebate checks to soften the blow, and take advantage of promotions and deals when they can.”
Taking their time to find bargains, 46.4% of parents will begin shopping at least three weeks before school begins. And hoping to stretch their dollar even farther this year, 73.0% of shoppers will be heading to discount stores, according to the study.
Zahari named president and ceo of Lalique North America
NEW YORK According to reports, Maz Zouhari has been named president and ceo of Lalique North America.
Zouhairi was previously serving as vp of sales and marketing. He succeeds Guillaume Gauthereau.
Supervalu reports 9% net earnings increase
MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu reported sales and earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2009. The company reported first quarter net sales of $13.3 billion compared to $13.3 billion last year, net earnings of $162 million, an increase of 9% compared to $148 million last year, and diluted earnings per share of 76 cents, an increase of 10% compared to 69 cents last year.
Jeff Noddle, Supervalu chairman and ceo said, “While we are pleased with our record results and the continued progress of the Albertsons integration, the ongoing weakness in the economy combined with higher food and energy inflation has created conditions that make us take a more cautious view for the balance of the fiscal year. In light of the macroeconomic environment, we have updated our guidance and are responding with tighter expense controls and other cost-savings activities. We remain confident that we are doing the right things for the long-term health of our business and are effectively managing those factors under our control in order to create a foundation for sales momentum and future growth.”
The company said it expects earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2009 to be in the range of $3 to $3.16 per diluted share. Identical-stores sales growth, excluding fuel, is now projected to be approximately 0.5% compared to previous guidance of 1% to 2%.