OPERATIONS

Walmart awards $125,000 on second day of Facebook campaign

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. — On Tuesday, the second day of its "12 Days of Giving" Facebook campaign, Walmart is awarding $125,000 to 17 nonprofits that are dedicated to building a brighter future for children across the country.

Over 12 consecutive days, the company will award a total of $1.5 million to 145 organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

"Our Facebook campaign led us to so many organizations that are empowering our next generation this holiday season and year-round," said Julie Gehrki, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. "We believe that children are our brightest hope for the future, and the organizations that we are honoring today share that belief."

Walmart’s call for nominations for its "12 Days of Giving" Facebook campaign resulted in more than 5,400 nominations from Facebook users who shared photos and short descriptions of a nonprofit’s impact in its local community. A panel from the Walmart Foundation reviewed submissions and selected nonprofits with a focus on organizations that are providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and baby supplies.

The organizations that are spotlighted on Tuesday range from the New Haven Diaper Bank to the Youth Emergency Service (YES) of YSI in Philadelphia.

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FINANCE

Retail sales edge up 0.2% in November, below forecasts

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Retail sales rose 0.2% in November, following a 0.6% advance in October that was more than initially reported, according to figures released Tuesday by the Commerce Department in Washington. The November increase was the slightest gain in five months. Economists projected a 0.6% November increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Purchases excluding automobiles also rose 0.2%.

"Sales are growing, but they just aren’t accelerating," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York, in a Bloomberg report."There have been some real slight hints of improvement in the labor market, but until we get sustained growth in income, spending is going to be moderate."

Seven of 13 major categories showed gains last month, led by a 2.1% jump at electronics and appliance stores. Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores increased 0.5%. On the down side, sales at food and beverage stores fell 0.2% in November.

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News

NPD: Toys top holiday wish lists

BY CSA STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Still looking for the perfect present for the kids in your life? According to The NPD Group, you can’t go wrong with toys. The research firm found that among children ages 0 to 14, "toys" was the response given by 44% of caregivers when asked the question,"What is on your child’s wish list for the upcoming holiday season?"

Other items on children’s wish lists include consumer electronics (11%), video games (10%), apparel and accessories (9%), video game system hardware (5%) and sporting gear (4%).

When it comes to toys, most children are looking to open presents containing Lego, Barbie, Transformers, American Girl, and Thomas & Friends products. In the CE category, laptops, cell phones, iPad and iPod were most desired.

NPD expects Fijit Friends, Kindle Fire, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" and InnoTab to be among the most popular new brands or items this year.

For video games, top hardware systems on kids’ wish lists include Nintendo 3DS, Wii and PS3, NPD reported. Besides the specific hardware systems mentioned, other video game items mentioned most often by name include the Kinect for the Xbox 360, and the games "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," "Spyro Skylanders" and "Madden NFL 12."

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