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Study Shows Fewer Shopping Trips

BY CSA STAFF

Schaumburg, Ill. A Nielsen study revealed that consumers are combining errands and making fewer shopping trips. Reasons behind the trend, according to The Nielsen Co. report released on Monday, include high gas prices and other economic pressures.

Nielsen’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) research showed that while shopping frequency across most retail channels is flat or declining, supercenters, which enable consumers to combine shopping trips with more items in one store, continue to show growth.

Nielsen’s research shows that retailers are responding to consumers’ desire for value and convenience with increased store openings. Store count is on the rise in many retail channels, according to the report, particularly in warehouse clubs, supercenters, dollar stores and convenience stores. Store closings and conversions of mass merchandise stores to supercenter formats have resulted in a decline in overall mass merchandise count, and while supermarket count is up, the growth is not at the rate of other retail channels.

“Increased store counts tell us that value and convenience are winning in the marketplace,” said Todd Hale, senior VP of Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services.

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The Great Indoors

BY CSA STAFF

Given environmental concerns and efforts to get consumers in the United States into the fresh air—where public health advocates hope they will get a little exercise—it is hardly surprising that natural motifs have become even more iconic.

American consumers like their home decor to reflect popular virtues, so natural looks have been moving indoors. The trend has been particularly apparent in domestics, where patterns and colors have reflected landscapes, forestscapes or desertscapes, and has become more evident in other categories that have a strong decorative element.

Gibson Overseas, at the Housewares Show, is introducing Organic Luxury, a line that incorporates these so-called eco-friendly design themes in patterns such as Stilwell, a graphic branch and leaf look (pictured), and Whisper Leaf, more abstract, yet still reliant on a natural device.

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It’S All Good in the Hoodie

BY CSA STAFF

When it comes to dressing kids, the juxtaposition between fashion and function couldn’t be more important. The apparel must fit the on-the-go lifestyle that’s filled with all sorts of acrobatics and appeal to the tastes of the youthful crowd.

The hoodie caters to both needs with perfection. A stable item for boys and girls, the new styles of hoodies go beyond the typical sweatshirt. Brands like Levi’s (pictured) and Dickies have rolled out new collections that add flair with embroidery, applique, thermal lining and details in pockets and collars. Designers found no limit in rolling out hundreds of styles that will appeal to the pickiest kid on the block.

Thanks to its year-round appeal, the hoodie can carry over from season to season, growing especially popular for the back-to-school season.

Boys’ styles feature the use of plaid in the details, like in the lining of the hood or as a base for cut-out logos. Girls prefer more delicate embroidery and silver-foiled prints on the fabric.

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