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Survey: St. Patrick’s Day spending should give retailers a boost

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — Total spending on St. Patrick’s Day festivities is expected to hit $4.14 billion this, according to NRF’s 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch. The survey found that 52.4% of Americans will celebrate the Irish holiday, up from 45.2% last year and the most in the survey’s eight year history.

“March is typically one of the slower months of the year in terms of consumer spending, but we expect this year’s celebration to provide a nice boost for companies who are in the business of promoting the holiday,” said Phil Rist, executive VP strategic initiatives, BIGresearch. “

In recent years, restaurants and bars have a upped the holiday spirit as well, hosting parties and serving green beverages. Thirty-eight million Americans (31.2%) will attend a party at a bar or restaurant — also the highest in the survey’s history. Additionally, 41 million (33.9%) will make a special dinner, 31 million people (25.1%) will decorate their home or office and 23 million (19.1%) will attend a private party.

Young adults 18-24 will be the biggest group attending private parties (33.9%) and adults 25-34 years old will spend the most ($41.30).

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Report: Best Buy considering tablets for sales assistants

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Best Buy is studying a variety of devices for its in-store employees to use, including the Galaxy Tab from Samsung, the original iPad and Motorola Mobility’s Xoom, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“While we plan in the future to supply each store a limited number of handheld devices to use as sales tools when assisting the consumer, we have not many any final decision at this time,” a Best Buy representative said, according to the report.

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Smucker makes changes to executive team

BY CSA STAFF

ORRVILLE, Ohio — The J. M. Smucker Company announced several executive appointments.Effective Aug. 16, Richard K. Smucker will become the sole CEO of the company. Timothy P. Smucker will continue to serve the company as chairman of the board.

The board of directors also approved the following additional executive appointments and realignment of responsibilities effective May 1:

Vincent Byrd will assume the role of president and COO with responsibility for the company’s U.S. retail businesses. Byrd has 34 years experience with the company serving in a number of key positions throughout the organization. He currently serves as president U.S. retail coffee.

Mark T. Smucker will assume the role of president, U.S. retail coffee. Mr. Smucker most recently held the position of president special markets and has served in leadership roles within the company for 14 years.

Paul Smucker Wagstaff will assume the role of president U.S. retail consumer foods in a newly consolidated business area combining the current consumer Smucker’s, Jif and Hungry Jack business with the oils and baking business. Wagstaff has 15 years of leadership experience within the company.

Smucker and Wagstaff will report to Byrd.

Steven Oakland currently president Smucker’s, Jif and Hungry Jack will assume the role of president international, foodservice and natural foods. Oakland has been with Smucker for 28 years and has experience in the U.S. retail, international and foodservice business areas.

Barry C. Dunaway, SVP corporate and organization development, with 24 years experience with the company, will assume the role of SVP and chief administrative officer (CAO). In this new role, Dunaway will oversee the company’s human resources, legal, corporate development and information services departments.

Mark R. Belgya will continue serving the company as SVP and CFO with responsibility for accounting, investor relations, financial planning, tax and treasury and will assume additional responsibility for internal audit. Belgya has been with Smucker for 26 years.

"Continuity of leadership has been a primary factor behind our company’s success and remains a key element of the succession planning that ensures the development of future Company leaders," said Tim Smucker, chairman of the board and co-CEO. "The changes announced today reinforce our commitment to maintain our Company’s heritage and unique culture, while continuing to support the long-term interests of our constituents – consumers, customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders."

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