FINANCE

Survey: Economic Downturn Hasn’t Dimmed Teens Holiday Spending Plans

BY CSA STAFF

Colorado Springs, Col. Teens’ consumer confidence about holiday spending may provide an unexpected gift to retailers this year, according to Junior Achievement’s 2008 Teen Holiday Spending poll. The survey found that more than three quarters of teens surveyed (76% ) plan to spend as much—or more—this year than last year on holiday gifts.

The 2008 Teen Holiday Spending Poll’s other key findings revealed that 47% of teens surveyed said they’d spend at least $100 on gifts, a 4% increase over last year.

Of those who said they’d spend at least some money on holiday gifts, 87% said they’d use their own money, 49% said they’d use money given to them by a parent, 19% said they’d use their parents’ debit or credit card, and 16%  said they’d use their own debit or credit card (multiple responses were permitted).

Among teens who said they would spend less this year or not spend any money on gifts, 71% said they were trying to save money, 48% cited concern about the state of the U.S. economy, and 41% cited a change in their family’s financial circumstances (multiple responses were permitted).

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Study: Organic market not recession-proof

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO According to Mintel, the market for organic foods and beverages should reach $7.2 billion in 2008, an increase of over 140% from the $3.0 billion recorded during 2003. But year-over-year, Mintel has seen sales growth slowing. With many Americans now struggling financially, Mintel projects that sales of organic foods and beverages will not rally anytime soon.

Rising food and gas prices, the credit crunch and economic uncertainty have deeply affected peoples shopping habits, comments Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel. Across the board, Americans are spending less and organic versus traditional is a decision many people are thinking about carefully.

People are also saving money by reaching for private label organics, which have exploded in recent years. Mintels Global New Product Database (GNPD) tracked over 540 new private label organic foods in 2007, a massive increase from the 35 new products seen in 2003. Furthermore, when Mintel asked survey respondents about the difference between name brand and private label organics, three in five (60%) said it didnt matter, that they reached for whatever is available when shopping. Private label posts an increasingly large threat to branded organic lines.

Economic struggles will undoubtedly change the way organic food and drink is sold. But we dont expect people to completely stop buying organics, states Mogelonsky. We anticipate more subtle changes, such as the formerly all-organic shopper who returns to traditional cookie brands while sticking with organic produce. These small changes will slow market growth.

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A&F names new cfo

BY CSA STAFF

NEW ALBANY, Ohio Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced that Jonathan Ramsden has been named evp and cfo, effective upon his joining Abercrombie & Fitch in early to mid-December.

For the past 10 years, Ramsden has served as the cfo and a member of the executive team of TBWA Worldwide, a large advertising agency network with more than 11,000 employees worldwide and a division of Omnicom Group.

“Jonathan came to us by way of a nationwide executive search for a new cfo. We were extremely impressed by several of the candidates, but Jonathan clearly stood out above the rest,” said Mike Jeffries, ceo and chairman of the board of Abercrombie & Fitch.

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