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Survey: Back-to-school sales may soar 16%

BY CSA STAFF

Washington ( July 15, 2010 ) According to the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Consumer Intentions and Actions Back to School survey, released on Thursday, the average American family will spend $606.40 on clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics, compared with $548.72 last year, and close to the $594.24 in 2008.

Total back-to-school spending on children in grades K-12 is expected to reach $21.35 billion. Adding in college back-to-school spending pushes the number up to $55.12 billion, making it the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays, according to NRF.

"We are encouraged by the fact that parents are eager to start their back to school shopping this year, but the industry still remains cautiously optimistic about recovery," said NRF president and CEO Matt Shay. "As the second half of the year gets under way, retailers will gauge their customers’ spending appetites, which often serve as a bellwether for the all-important holiday season."

The 2010 survey found that 44.3% of Americans will buy more store brand or generic products, compared with 41.7% last year. More parents will comparative shop online (30.3% vs. 26.4% in 2009).

Apparel spending will dominate family budgets. The survey found that the average family of school-aged kids is expected to spend $225.47 on jeans, shirts and other types of clothing. Electronics spending is expected to average $181.60, and families are expected to spend an average of $102.93 on shoes and $96.39 on school supplies.

Seven-in-10 (71.2%) will head to a discount store and more than half (53.9%) will visit their favorite department store to do their back-to-school shopping. Clothing stores will be the destination of choice for 49% of shoppers, electronics stores will pull 23% of shoppers, office supply stores 41.2%, drug stores 19.5% and thrift stores 17%.

More people will shop online this year (30.8% vs. 22.2% last year).

"Many of today’s shoppers are smarter than any other generation before them, especially when it comes to finding the best price," said Phil Rist, EVP strategic initiatives, BIGresearch, which conducted the survey. "The affordability of online shopping gives parents an extra edge over the sometimes expensive back-to-school shopping season with price comparison options, free shipping offers and even coupons."

Teenagers are expected to spend an average of $31.74 for school items, up slightly from $30.88 last year. Pre-teens will spend an average of $18.27, up from $11.94 in 2009. When it comes to how much say children have in parents’ buying decisions, 6-in-10 adults (61.1%) say their children influence 50% or more of their back-to-school purchases.

Nearly half (47.6%) will begin their shopping three weeks to one month before school starts and one-quarter (24.8%) will start one to two weeks before school begins. Some will get a jump start and begin shopping two months before the new school year (21.6%). Three percent will wait until the week school starts or even after school begins.

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Food Lion honored by Department of Defense

BY CSA STAFF

SALISBURY, N.C. The Department of Defense has awarded Food Lion with its 2010 Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for outstanding support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve, the retailer reported.

Food Lion reported that it was the only grocery store chain nationwide to receive this honor out of the 15 employers selected.Steve Boos, a store manager from New Bern, N.C., nominated Food Lion.

 

“Food Lion is proud to support its military associates who serve as members of the Guard and Reserve to protect the freedom we enjoy everyday,” said Eric Watson, Delhaize America’s VP diversity and inclusion. “We recognize our employees for going beyond the call of duty serving both our country and company.”

The Freedom Award will be presented to Food Lion during a formal ceremony Thursday, Sept. 23 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.   Food Lion president Cathy Green will accept the award on behalf of the company.

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Delhaize announces new sustainable seafood program

BY CSA STAFF

SCARBOROUGH, Maine, SALISBURY, N.C., and TAMPA, Fla. Delhaize America announced its banners – Hannaford, Sweetbay, Bottom Dollar Food, and Food Lion family of banners, including Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys and Reid’s – will operate under a new sustainable seafood sourcing program.

The supermarkets’ new seafood policy requires suppliers to verify that seafood is coming from sources managed for sustainability and encourages sourcing locally. The requirement applies to all seafood in the stores, including fresh, frozen and packaged fish and shellfish.  All suppliers are required to be compliant with the program by March 31, 2011.

 

“We want our shoppers to have confidence that seafood they buy from us is from fisheries that are viable and maintained for the future,” said George Parmenter, a corporate responsibility manager for Delhaize America.  “The health of fisheries is important to us as a retailer, both for the long-term product supply and for reducing the environmental impacts of products we sell.  Our company is committed to operating responsibly, and our new program reinforces this commitment.”

The seafood sustainability policy will be available on the Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Food Lion, Hannaford and Sweetbay websites.

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