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Survey sees increase in back-to-school spending

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — School is just ending in some areas of the Northeast, and already the first back-to-school shopping survey has been released. The survey, by online shopping site PriceGrabber, reveals that nearly half (46%) of consumers are planning to spend more this back-to-school shopping season than in 2011. In comparison, only 13% of shoppers planned to spend more last year, and this data was reflected in an overall disappointing back-to-school season for retailers in 2011.

In the Back-to-School Shopping Forecast, conducted from May 22 to June 5, 2012, 17% of shoppers plan to start their back-to-school shopping in June, 35% plan to start shopping in July, 44% noted August, and only 3% cited September. In 2011, respondents planned to shop a little later in the summer

“From last year’s holiday shopping season through the middle of 2012, we have seen consumers starting to shop earlier surrounding major shopping seasons and holidays, and we expect this trend to continue this back-to-school shopping season,” stated Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. “While PriceGrabber survey data reveals that many consumers are planning to spend more money this back-to-school shopping season, a few are still hesitant about spending, leading shoppers to search for deals even earlier to take advantage of retailer incentives and discounts such as free shipping, coupons and sales.”

Similar to last year, shoppers still plan to spread out their back-to-school purchases in order to distribute the cost over a longer time period. According to PriceGrabber survey data, 55% of consumers plan to spread out their back-to-school purchases this year.

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FTC gives green light to Giant Food for Genuardi’s acquisition

BY CSA STAFF

CARLISLE, Pa. — The Federal Trade Commission has approved Giant Food Stores’ proposal to acquire 15 Genuardi’s stores from Safeway.

The news follows Giant’s Jan. 5 announcement that it would acquire the Genuardi’s stores, all of which are located in the greater Philadelphia market. Giant also noted that under the terms of a consent order approved by the FTC, the Genuardi’s located in Newtown, Pa., will be purchased by Newtown Market and will be operated as a McCaffrey’s supermarket.

Giant is working with Safeway to begin the store transition process. The dates for each store conversion will be announced in the near future.

"We are excited to welcome the former Genuardi’s associates to the Giant family. We can’t wait to introduce our unique combination of quality, selection and savings to more neighborhoods in greater Philadelphia," Giant Food Stores president Rick Herring said. "Customers can expect to find the same friendly faces when they shop at Giant."

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Sustainability, literacy continued goals for Target

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has released its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, and while the company was happy to offer insight into its past performance, its focus is on the future. In that vein, the company has introduced new corporate responsibility goals:

  • To increase its sustainable seafood selection by ennsuring its fresh and frozen seafood offerings are 100% sustainable and traceable by the end of fiscal year 2015.

  • Enhance at least 50 owned-brand packaging designs to be more sustainable.

  • Increase the percentage of team members and their families enrolled in a Target health plan completing diabetes HbA1c testing to 87 percent by the end of fiscal year 2015.

  • Improve reading proficiency in the United States by completing school librarymakeovers, providing grants to past makeover recipients and implementing innovative literacy pilots in two additional school districts.

“When Target launched its corporate responsibility goals in 2011, we reinforced our longstanding commitment to creating a brighter future for our team members, our communities, and the world we live in,” said Tim Baer, EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary for Target. “Target’s corporate responsibility goals foster greater transparency and accountability on initiatives that help put more U.S. children on the path to graduation, reduce our impact on the environment, and help Target team members and their families live healthy, balanced lives.”

Click here to read the full report.

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