FINANCE

Survey: More consumers budgeting for back-to-school shopping

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Wilmington, Del. — A survey released Wednesday by Chase Slate with Blueprint revealed that more back-to-school shoppers are carefully managing their spending and borrowing by creating a budget and sticking to it.

Thirty-eight percent report that they have a set budget for school-related expenses; in 2011, only 26% of people had created a budget for their back-to-school shopping. In addition, 32% anticipate their spending on back-to-school shopping this year to reflect pre-recession figures.

“Consumers have learned a lot of valuable lessons about mindful spending over the last few years, and shoppers will be keeping those lessons top of mind whether they’re buying for school-age kids or stocking up for a semester at college,” said Rachana Bhatt, marketing director, Chase Slate.

When asked what would be their biggest expense this year, clothing and apparel was the top category, selected by 43% of back-to-school shoppers. Roughly a quarter each said that either books or technology (such as computers, smartphones and tablets) would be their biggest expenses (24% versus 23%, respectively).

That being said, parents are putting their collective foot down this year when it comes to popular gadgets. Half said they will not be purchasing the smartphones or tablets their kids are asking for this season. Twenty-six percent are drawing the line at designer clothes or shoes.

The Chase survey also found that shoppers will use a variety of tactics to save money this season:

  • Thirty-nine percent purchase necessities such as books first and only buy discretionary items with remaining funds;
  • Thirty-four percent make a list and stick to it;
  • Twenty-six percent shop online to save time and money;
  • Seventeen percent begin shopping after school starts to take advantage of Columbus day and other post-season sales; and
  • Seven percent leave kids at home when doing back to school shopping.
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OPERATIONS

Two R.I. Shaw’s stores achieve zero-waste landmark

BY Allison Cerra

West Bridgewater, Mass. — Supervalu banner Shaw’s announced that two of its Rhode Island locations diverted more than 90% of store waste from local landfills as part of the company’s zero-waste program.

Shaw’s said its Barrington and Cranston stores achieved total waste diversion of 90.76% and 90.81%, respectively. In addition to the two new zero-waste stores in Rhode Island, the Shaw’s Lancaster, N.H., store also is one of the newest to join the zero-waste program, bringing the company total to eight.

Accomplished through an innovative approach to recycling, organic composting and food donations, the goal of the Shaw’s zero-waste program is to eliminate landfill waste from operations, the chain said. Each store now maximizes recycling, food donations, organic composting and overall waste reduction so less trash is placed in local landfills. Additionally, every Shaw’s location is diverting all of its organic materials, soft plastics, hard plastics and all of its paper and cardboard.

"We are committed to sustainable operations at Shaw’s and continually work to use resources more efficiently, reduce waste, and devise solutions that enable our customers to feel good about shopping with us," Shaw’s president Mike Stigers said.

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FINANCE

Whole Foods profit soars 32% in Q3; on track in goal toward 1,000 stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market said it continues its forward march, posting a profit of $116.8 million for the quarter ended July 1, a rise of 32% over last year’s quarterly results. Sales for the quarter surged 14% to $2.7 billion, and same-store sales increased 8%.

"Our accelerated growth plans are on track, and we believe we will continue to gain market share through further differentiating our shopping experience, improving our relative value positioning, and reinforcing our position as America’s healthiest grocery store," said co-CEO Walter Robb.

The grocer opened a record nine new stores in the third quarter, one in the fourth and plans another six by fiscal year end – bringing this year’s total to 25 new stores. Twelve new leases have been signed and the company maintains it is on track to grow the chain to 1,000 stores from its current 369 count.

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Dec-11-2012 11:52 pm

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M.Toffel says:
Dec-11-2012 11:52 pm

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