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Tweens Rule

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Tweens have a big say in family purchasing decisions, according to the new Nickelodeon/Youth Intelligence June 2005 Tween Report. The 9- to 14-year-old age group wields considerable influence on household purchases, the report shows, particularly on technology-related products such as computers.

According to study, tweens average $9.15 per week in allowance or spending money. They rely on their parents to pay for clothing, food, room decor and toiletries, and save their money to buy “non-necessities” in categories of entertainment, technology and fashion.

Girls strongly influence purchasing decisions on buying clothes and CDs, and for which movies to rent and see in the theater, according to the report. Boys exert their influence on parents when it comes to which video games or systems to buy and which television shows to watch.

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Wal-Mart Asks Court to Dismiss Bias Case

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, Wal-Mart Stores urged a federal appeals court on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that female employees were discriminated against in pay, promotions and training. The retailer is appealing a federal judge’s decision to let the nation’s largest employment discrimination lawsuit go to trial. The chain says the conventional rules of class actions should not apply in this case because its 3,400 stores operate like independent businesses. The suit, which claims that as many as 1.6 million current and former female employees earned less than men and were bypassed for promotions, could cost the retailer an estimated billions of dollars.

Wal-Mart attorney Theodore Boutrous told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that female Wal-Mart employees were not discriminated against and that the charges of the six lead plaintiffs were not typical or common of the entire class. He also argued that the lower court’s decision stripped Wal-Mart of its right to defend itself by ruling that the retailer could not call individual store managers to the stand to testify, for example, that there was no bias against women.

Plaintiff attorney Brad Seligman told the judges that they should let the case proceed as class action to prevent Wal-Mart from challenging each individual class member on an individual basis.

Judge Harry Pregerson said that the circuit was not litigating the merits of the case. Pregerson said the appeals court was reviewing whether a federal judge abused his discretion in allowing the case to go to trial.

The three-judge panel’s decision on whether the case can go to trial will likely not come for months. The judges grilled both sides during the 40-minute hearing.

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Bad July for U.K. Retailers

BY CSA STAFF

London, U.K. retailers have their poorest July in 10 years as confidence was hit by a series of terrorist attacks in London and stagnating house prices that curbed consumer spending, the British Retail Consortium said. Same-store sales fell for the fourth successive month, sliding 1.9% from July last year. The drop followed a 0.5% decline in June.

On July 7, London was rocked by four explosion. A series of failed bomb attacks occurred two weeks later. Given events, experts say, the decline in sales during July could have been much worse.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee last week pared its benchmark interest rate for the first time in two years to 4.5%, saying there are “downside risks” to consumer spending. House-price growth slowed to a 10-year low in England and Wales during May, June and July.

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