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Survey: Discounters will top back-to-school shopping destinations

BY CSA STAFF

New York City A new back-to-school shopping survey released Thursday by Accenture found that discount stores will dominate the back-to-school shopping venues this season.

According to the survey, 87% of parents will shop at discount/mass merchandise stores; 58% at office supply stores; 43% at department stores; 32% at drug stores; 24% at electronics goods stores; 24% at grocery stores; 20% at specialty stores; 18% at online-only retailers; and 15% at home stores.

“Prices and discounts will be top of mind for parents as they start their back-to-school shopping,” said Janet Hoffman, managing director, Accenture Retail Practice. “They are still cautious of overspending but they will be diverting their spending from other areas to make sure their kids have the back-to-school items that they need.”

According to the survey, conducted online from July 30 to Aug. 2 among 502 adults with children entering school this year, 64% said that they spend less on themselves at back-to-school time to ensure they can buy their children what they need.

Parents surveyed said their top three priorities when choosing a retailer for back-to-school products are pricing and discounts (89%); quality of the products (74%); and in-stock products (48%).

Customer service and in-store atmosphere ranked low on the list of priorities.

More than a third (35%) of parents plan to purchase electronic products such as computers, cell phones and other electronic items for their children. Basic school supplies such as pens and paper (86%) and clothing (81%) are at the top of the back-to-school shopping list.

The survey also found that 53% of parents will spend between $100 and $500 on their back-to-school shopping this year. Twenty-eight percent said they plan to spend more than $500 on back-to-school shopping. Half plan to spend the same amount on back-to-school shopping as last year; 30% plan to spend more money than last year and 20% plan to spend less money than last year.

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Whole Foods 3Q sales up 15%

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market reported that sales for the third quarter ended July 4 increased 15% to $2.2 billion. Comparable-store sales increased 8.8%, or 6.3% on a two-year stacked basis. Identical-store sales, excluding three relocations, increased 8.4%, or 4.6% on a two-year stacked basis.

Income available to common shareholders increased 88% to $65.7 million from $35 million last year,and diluted earnings per share increased 53% to 38 cents.

“We are pleased with our results which compare very favorably to most other food retailers and show we are continuingto gain market share. Our identical-store sales increased 8.4%, accelerating from the second quarter and our highestincrease since 2006. Despite tougher comparisons and the recent dip in reported consumer confidence, our two-yearstacked identical-store sales also sequentially increased to 4.6%,” said John Mackey, co-chief executive officer and co-founderof Whole Foods Market.

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DSW reports quarterly sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio DSW announced net sales for the second quarter ended July 31 increased 12.3% to $415.1 million compared with $369.5 million for the quarter ended Aug. 1, 2009. Same-store sales increased 12% for the comparable period versus a decrease of 2.9% last year.

The company said it now estimates an annual comparable-store sales increase of approximately 7% to 9% and annual diluted earnings per share of approximately $1.80 to $1.95 for fiscal 2010.  This is updated from the company’s previous estimate of an annual comparable store sales increase of approximately 6% to 8% and annual diluted earnings per share of approximately $1.65 to $1.75 for fiscal 2010.  Fiscal 2009 annual diluted earnings per share were $1.23.

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