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Survey: Halloween spending expected to be up

BY Staff Writer

Bellevue, NY — In a survey released Wednesday by thrift retailer Savers Inc., the average family is expected to spend $300 on Halloween costumes, décor and celebrations this year.

According to the Halloween Shopping Survey, 90% of adults are planning to create a brand new look this season rather than repurpose old costumes, and another 81% will purchase new decorations for their home.

However, more than half (54%) of people planning to dress up this year will either combine new and secondhand items or make their costume by hand in order to find value.

Among the Halloween trends revealed in the survey, which polled 1,000 adults, Savers found that, on average, people dressing up for Halloween spend 61 days planning and preparing their costumes. In fact, 13% will plan for Halloween a year or more ahead. Conversely, 20% wait until the very last minute to plan their costume.

Pet owners will spend $59 on average outfitting their pets this year. And parents on average will spend $32 on a child’s costume.

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Ascena Retail Q4 profit drops on charge, to open 125 to 135 stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group, owner of the Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice chains, reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended July 30 fell to $28.2 million, from $42 million in the year-ago period on one-time charges and a shorter quarter for the performance slide.

On an adjusted basis, net income was up over last year, but still missed Wall Street expectations. Revenue rose 2% to $725.8 million, and same-store sales increased 7% overall. For the full fiscal year, Ascena earned $170.5 million. Its total revenue rose to $2.91 billion from $2.37 billion.

Our results were achieved in a very tough environment and we remained positioned for growth," David R. Jaffe, president CEO of Ascena, said in a statement. "We are certainly mindful of the pressures of today’s macro-economic environment and we are planning our business accordingly."

The company confirmed that it plans to open 125 to 135 stores, and close up to 35 in its new fiscal year.

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RadioShack welcomes Verizon with special offers

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas — RadioShack has announced that it is celebrating the arrival of Verizon Wireless products and services in more than 4,400 U.S. stores with a series of special offers.

RadioShack said it will offer $100 off most Verizon Wireless smartphones, including 4G LTE devices such as the Droid Bionic by Motorola, the Droid Charge by Samsung, the Revolution by LG and the ThunderBolt by HTC. RadioShack also will offer $100 off other 3G smartphones from Verizon Wireless, including the Droid X2 by Motorola and the Droid Incredible 2 by HTC, among other top-selling handsets. Offers are available only for a limited time for new or upgrade customers with qualifying two-year service agreement and data feature.

"The arrival of Verizon Wireless is a definitive enhancement of our multi-carrier retailing proposition. Consumers increasingly expect the freedom to compare and contrast their mobile phone choices in one convenient location," said Jim Gooch, president and chief executive officer for RadioShack Corp. "Giving consumers access to knowledgeable associates plus a wide range of carriers, rate plans, devices, services and accessories helps us build lasting relationships. RadioShack is now well positioned to continue our momentum with consumers in the mobility category."

RadioShack will also offer the $50 Unlimited prepaid plan from Verizon Wireless — featuring monthly unlimited talk, text and Web service on no-contract phones such as the Samsung Intensity II Prepaid, Pantech Caper, LG Revere or Verizon Salute. Customers who purchase a no-contract Verizon Wireless phone in-store at RadioShack will receive a $20 RadioShack gift card. Other offers to celebrate the Verizon Wireless launch include 25% off all cases and screen protectors matching Verizon Wireless devices.

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