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Survey: Majority of families impacted by economy this holiday

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. Two-thirds of American families will be negatively impacted by the downturn this holiday season, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation.

NRF’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, also revealed that U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 on holiday-related shopping, compared to $705.01 last year.

“While last holiday season was filled with chaotic confusion, adjusting to uncertainty has now become routine for many Americans,” said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. “This holiday season will be a bit of a dance between retailers and shoppers, with each group feeling the other out to understand how things have changed and how they must adapt.”

Nearly half (43.3%) of holiday shoppers surveyed said that sales and price discounts will be the most important factor when deciding where to shop. About 13% cited everyday low prices as the overriding factor.

Factors such as selection (21.0%), quality (11.8%), convenience (4.9%) and customer service (4.4%) declined from last year, according to the findings.

The majority of holiday shoppers (70.1%) will shop discounters this year, though more than half (55.8%) will also purchase at department stores. Grocery stores (45.0%), the Internet (42.4%), apparel retailers (33.8%) and electronics stores (31.8%) will also be popular destinations, the survey found.

In addition, 11.4% will buy gifts or other holiday-related merchandise at thrift stores or resale shops. 

Retailers are compensating for soft sales this holiday season by cutting back on inventory.

“In anticipation of weak demand, many retailers scaled back on inventory levels to prevent unplanned markdowns at the end of the season,” said Mullin.  

Other survey findings included:

  • Thirty-nine percent of shoppers will begin their holiday shopping before Halloween, which is comparable to previous years; about 75% of the holiday budget will be spent on gifts, which is comparable to past years; and spending on family members will drop 2%, while gifts for friends and co-workers will see double-digit drops.

Survey bright spots included candy and food spending — which will increase by $10 this year over last — and gift cards, which remain at the top of the recipients’ wish lists.

“While the economic climate has shown some improvement from last holiday season, retailers are not out of the woods yet,” said Phil Rist, executive VP, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “With a variety of factors still up in the air, including uncertainty over job security, many Americans just aren’t buying into the talk of recovery.”

NRF continues to expect holiday sales to decline 1.0% to $437.6 billion.

 

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Walgreens, aVinci Media’s fight against breast cancer

BY CSA STAFF

DRAPER, Utah. Walgreens and aVinci Media have launched a national initiative to raise vital funds and awareness for breast cancer research and support.

On Oct. 7, Walgreens offered aVinci’s My Personal Movie slideshow DVDs, retail price $19.99, for $1. aVinci Media and Walgreens extended this offer to Oct. 8. 100% of the purchase price of this item was donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Breast Cancer Network of Strength and their missions in the fight against breast cancer. Over two days, more than $50,000 was raised for these organizations.

Chett Paulsen, CEO, aVinci Media, commented, “Each of us in someway has been personally impacted by breast cancer and our hope is that this donation-and more importantly the stories people tell-inspire, teach and provide hope for others to fight this widespread disease.”

Walgreens divisional merchandise manager Mona Kelly noted, “This initiative is one way we give back to our valued customers and provide the much needed support for this important cause.”

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Fujitsu Computer Products of America names new CEO

BY CSA STAFF

SUNNYVALE, Calif. Fujitsu Computer Products of America announced the appointment of Etsuro Sato as president and CEO, and named Victor Kan EVP and COO.

Effective immediately, Sato will lead Fujitsu Computer Products of America forward in its next phase of development.

 

“Fujitsu has always been committed to creating success for our customers and partners and that has been evident in our proud history of innovation in the industry,” said Sato. “I am excited to lead Fujitsu Computer Products of America forward at a time when there are tremendous opportunities and technology advancements in the document imaging industry.”

Sato brings more than 30 years of experience to his new leadership position at Fujitsu Computer Products of America. Sato joined Fujitsu as VP Imaging Products Group, where he directed the management of the scanner and service lines for the United States and Latin America, which includes the sales, marketing, engineering and customer support departments. Previously, Sato was director of business development marketing, system products group, Fujitsu Computer Systems, where he was responsible for business planning and operation strategies.

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