FINANCE

Survey: Web Ranks as Preferred Holiday Shopping Channel

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago/Cambridge, Mass. Results from the third-annual survey of multichannel shopping preferences indicate that, for the first time, more people plan to do their shopping online this holiday season than in stores.

Forty-nine percent of consumers surveyed preferred the Web and 44% indicated they plan to shop at bricks-and-mortar locations.

Reasons cited by respondents for preferring the online channel included saving time (88%), locating hard-to-find products (84%), greater selection (83%), avoiding mall crowds (83%) and saving money (80%).

The survey, conducted by Chicago-based e-tailing group and sponsored by the Art Technology Group of Cambridge, Mass., included more than 1,000 adults who shopped online four or more times in the last year and who spend more than $500 annually on gifts.

Additional findings concluded that 52% of consumers are planning to buy fewer gifts this holiday season and they plan to spend less on the gifts they do purchase. However, 91% of the respondents said their online holiday-shopping habits will be either the same volume as last year or they will potentially buy more gifts online this year. Seventy-two percent, compared to 65% last year, said they will research products online prior to making purchases.

The top influences for online purchases included promotions, specifically free shipping and sales, search efficiencies and customer service. Seventy-eight percent said the No. 1 reason for not making an online purchase was the high cost of shipping.

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Produce companies endorse supply chain initiative

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Thirty-four companies from throughout the produce supply chain, including Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway, have endorsed a new plan developed by the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) to move the supply chain to a common standard for electronic produce traceability by the end of 2012.

The plan involves adopting a standardized system of case bar-coding for all produce sold in the United States, to allow product to be tracked throughout the distribution chain. Through the plan, participating companies said they hope to maximize the effectiveness of the industry’s current traceability procedures, improve internal efficiencies and assist public officials when they need to quickly trace back a product.

The PTI is administered by Produce Marketing Association (PMA), United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA). The 34 companies endorsing the plan are members of the PTI’s supply chain-wide Steering Committee. Established in late 2007 to establish industry traceability best practices and set goals for their adoption and accountability, the PTI Steering Committee has been working since then to develop a plan for moving industry to chain-wide, electronic traceability.

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Family Dollar announces new promotions

BY CSA STAFF

MATTHEWS, N.C. Family Dollar Stores announced that Marilyn Morse has been promoted to the position of vp of facilities management and Mtu Pugh to the position of vp of business development. Morse will report to Keith Gehl, senior vp of real estate and facilities. Pugh will report to Dorlisa Flur, evp of strategy and marketing.

Morse joined Family Dollar in 2006 as divisional vp of store maintenance with responsibility for the companys store maintenance and energy management programs. Prior to joining Family Dollar, Morse served as a vp with Lowe’s.

Pugh joined Family Dollar in 2006 as divisional vp of strategy and business development with primary responsibility for the development and execution of the companys concept renewal initiative. Prior to joining Family Dollar, Pugh served as an Associate with McKinsey & Company.

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