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Shoppers’ Reliance on Credit Cards to Drop This Holiday Season

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C., More consumers will be leaving their credit cards at home as they hit the stores for holiday shopping, according to the NRF 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Action Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. While debit/check cards will remain the favored form of payment this holiday season, fewer people will be relying on credit cards when purchasing holiday goods (28.2% vs. 29.5% in 2004). In fact, cash has replaced credit cards as the second most-popular payment method, as one in four shoppers (28.5%) plans to primarily use cash during the winter holidays, up from 25.9% last year. A small percentage (9.1%) of shoppers will be writing checks at the register.

“Debt-conscious consumers will prefer to pay out-of-pocket for gifts this year and are making a conscious decision to reduce their reliance on credit cards,” said NFR president and CEO Tracy Mullin.

According to the survey, books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games remain gift favorites, with 62.1% of those polled planning to purchase at least one as a gift. Consumers are also planning on purchasing clothing and clothing accessories (60.3%), gift cards (52.5%), and toys (45.0%) this holiday season.

NRF continues to project that holiday sales will increase 5.0% this year to $435.3 billion.

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Finlay Signs New Agreement With Federated

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Finlay Enterprises, the leading operator of licensed fine-jewelry departments in department stores, has signed a new three-year agreement with Federated Department Stores for the four Macy’s divisions in which Finlay currently operates. The new agreements were negotiated as a result of Federated’s recent acquisition of The May Department Stores Co. and the merged companies’ subsequent divisional realignment.

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Couche-Tard Has Strong Quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Laval, Canada, Alimentation Couche-Tard posted strong second-quarter growth: Net earnings jump 44.9% to $55.5 million in the quarter ended Oct. 9. Revenues increase by 29.9% or $551.6 million to $2.39 billion. The company also signed an agreement in the second quarter to acquire 16 sites in New Mexico, United States and two agreements in the third quarter for 26 sites in Tennessee and seven sites in Ohio.

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