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Survey Points to Youth Gifts With Buzz

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, It’s not too early to predict the hot gifts for the holidays. Here are the candidates for that distinction from the Zandl Group’s research, based on a Zandl Group survey of 500 teens, tweens and young adults conducted in November 2004.

• Tech: The hottest gifts overall include gaming systems and games, cell phones and computers/laptops. Gaming systems skew male, while females hope to get digital cameras, DVD players and computers. Apple’s iPod is super hot and could well be the gift of the season. Other brands mentioned frequently include Sony digital cameras, Dell, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo (e.g. DS) and Nextel.

• Fashion: Clothes are at the top of the young adults’ wish list. Interestingly, more guys than girls chose clothing as the gift they absolutely hope to get (60% of guys vs. 42% of the girls). Metrosexual anyone? Brands/items mentioned by young adults include Le Tigre, Burton, Gap, G-Unit, Nike, American Eagle, knee-high boots and designer purses.

• Wheels: Over one-third of teens and young adults hope to get a new car—or add some bling to their current car with new rims or sound systems. Tweens also are hoping for wheels. One in five want Pocket Rockets, dirt bikes, 4 wheelers or bikes.

• Toys: Tweens are outgrowing toys at a younger age. However, some of the girls do have Bratz dolls, American Girl and Care Bears on their wish lists. Tween boys want tech gifts, especially gaming systems and their game components.

• Cash: Money is king, and a top gift for teens and young adults. Parents who are stumped on what to give their kids can rest assured that they will be thrilled with cash and gift certificates.

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Bermuda Shorts

BY CSA STAFF

Capris are so last season—Bermuda shorts are the new must-have summer item. Women are trading in their capris and gauchos of seasons past for this season’s latest knee-length short. Retailers from the mass to mid-tier market are stocking them on shelves.

Wal-Mart sells the shorts in its No Boundaries, George ME, Faded Glory and marykateandashley brands in styles ranging from jean shorts to cotton twill. Price points range from $12.50 for a twill pair to nearly $17 for a marykateandashley pair with lace embellishment on the sides. Target has more than 138 styles and colors of Bermuda shorts, across its kids’, juniors’ and women’s departments.

JCPenney sells pintuck plaid Bermuda shorts in its St. John’s Bay brand for $26, and roll-cuff denim Bermuda shorts in its modern a.n.a. brand for $19.99. Kohl’s sells herringbone Bermudas in its Sonoma brand (pictured), as well as cut-off Bermudas in sweat pant material from Derek Heart in its juniors’ department.

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Germ Fighting

BY CSA STAFF

Getting a home spotless isn’t enough anymore. For many consumers, homes have to be microscopically clean. Yet, such cleanliness has typically come at a price, and that price has been chemical disinfectants. Those are fine with some consumers, but to others, chemicals are as bad or worse than germs.

Some companies have seen the light, and that light is ultraviolet. Zadro is coming out with a line of ultraviolet devices designed so that consumers can go over a space and blast bacteria. It even comes in a portable model that can disinfect hotel phones and gym lockers. Others are building ultraviolet technology into their products. Halo Technologies has introduced the Halo UVX Ultraviolet Vacuum (pictured), the only vacuum on the market that uses ultraviolet light to safely and instantly kill dust mites, molds, bacteria, viruses, lice, fleas and other germs lurking in a home’s carpets. And, it does all of this without using chemicals that can harm children and pets. The retail price is $399.

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