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Survey Warns of Back-to-School Spending Slump

BY CSA STAFF

New York City A just-released survey from Deloitte warns the nation’s retailers that not only will back-to-school spending be down this year, but it may be down a lot.

The Deloitte Back-to-School survey, released on Monday, reported that 71% of households say they will decrease spending on back-to-school items; 48% said they plan to spend more than $100 less than last year.

Other key findings of the report include:

• Apparel retailers stand to feel the most pain, as 83% of consumers said they will spend less on clothes. Forty-eight percent will spend less on shoes; 30% will reduce spending on backpacks.

• Eighty-eight percent said they will shop discounters for their back-to-school shopping; 37% said they plan to shop at dollar stores.

• A whopping 90% of those surveyed said that economic concerns will cause them to likely change the way they shop for back-to-school items this year: 79% will buy sale items; 70% will restrict purchases to what the family needs; 68% will buy lower-priced items; 53% will use more store coupons; 46% will shop at different, less-expensive stores than usual; and 45% will put off buying certain items for as long as possible.

“These survey results indicate that consumers will likely stick to the basics this fall, and parents may be saying ‘no’ more often as they head to the register,” said Stacy Janiak, U.S. retail leader, Deloitte. “Retailers should focus on areas that will contribute to profitable growth, such as adapting their merchandising and promotional activities to increase loyalty among existing customers and attract new customers.”

For more information about Deloitte’s Retail sector, visit www.deloitte.com/us/retail

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Apple unveils first China store

BY CSA STAFF

BEIJING, China Apple unveiled its first store in China, set to open Saturday, July 19, at the Village at Sanlitun retail development.

The all-glass building has the same design as Apple’s other retail units and features Apple store staples, including a multi-lingual Genius Bar. The store will be Apple’s 219th retail store worldwide.

“This is the first of many stores we will open in China,” said Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vp of retail, in remarks to the press. He also confirmed that another store will open in Beijing’s Qianmen area, a shopping street south of Tiananmen Square that has been renovated in anticipation of the Olympics.

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Mattel reports 2Q net income drop

BY CSA STAFF

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Mattel today reported a net income of $11.8 million, or 3 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2008, compared to last year’s net income of $22.8 million, or 6 cents per share, for the like period.

“We expected the positive contribution from toys tied to the summer entertainment properties Batman: The Dark Knight™, Speed Racer™ and Kung Fu Panda™,” said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and ceo of Mattel. “And we also achieved nice growth in several of our key core brands, including Fisher-Price Core and American Girl. International markets continue to lead the way, but the U.S. business also posted solid performance in the quarter.”

Visit www.RetailingToday.com for news on Mattel’s Bratz court case.

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