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Whole Foods Market teams with Etsy

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas — Starting in November, Whole Foods Market stores nationwide will host DIY craft tutorials, with local artists from Etsy’s seller community. Shoppers can also find exclusive step-by-step DIY projects from Etsy’s creative community in Whole Foods Market’s 2013 Holiday Guide, available in stores and online.

“With packed holiday schedules, homemade holiday entertaining can seem out of reach for some shoppers,” said Barry Hirsch, global partnerships director for Whole Foods Market. “Thanks to Etsy, we’ve developed the perfect recipe of creative ingredients, both DIY and food, to help shoppers see how easy, fun and affordable it can be to add a personal touch to their holiday celebrations.”

As part of the partnership, Etsy’s holiday page will feature artist profiles, products and shops curated specially for Whole Foods Market shoppers. Similarly, Whole Foods Market’s holiday site will feature exclusive Etsy content.

“Etsy looks for partnerships that bring our seller community to the forefront and celebrate their skills and creativity,” said Dana Mauriello, director of new business opportunities at Etsy. “Together, Whole Foods Market and the Etsy community can share ideas to create the best handmade holiday.”


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Vitamin Shoppe reports flat Q3 net income; 60 stores on tap for 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

North Bergen, N.J. – Vitamin Shoppe reported net income of $16.3 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2013, flat with the same quarter in the prior year. The retailer also reported a 14% increase in total net sales, to $272.5 million from $239 million, as well as a 2.6% jump in same-store sales.

Integration costs from the company’s acquisition of the Super Supplements chain earlier this year and a 15% increase in cost of goods sold negatively impacted net income totals, while sales increases were driven by higher same-store sales, the addition of $17 million in Super Supplements sales, higher sales in stores open less than a year, and a roughly 18% increase in e-commerce sales.

The company opened 10 stores in the quarter and 33 year-to-date. The majority of the third quarter store openings occurred late in the quarter. Total store count was 640 as of September 28, 2013, compared with 564 on September 29, 2012. For fiscal 2014, Vitamin Shoppe predicts it will open about 60 new stores and have mid-single-digit same-store sales growth.

“We delivered our 32nd consecutive quarter of positive comparable retail store sales growth and experienced improving traffic trends throughout the quarter,” said Tony Truesdale, CEO of Vitamin Shoppe. “We opened a new 311,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Ashland, Va., and continued to successfully integrate Super Supplements, the largest acquisition in the company’s history."

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Survey: Shoppers not saving, spending for holidays

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – A large number of shoppers do not appear to be setting aside any money for holiday spending this year, and four in 10 do not even intend to do any shopping for the upcoming holiday season.

According to recent GoBankingRates.com polls, more than 63% of respondents didn’t allocate any savings toward holiday gift buying. In addition, more than 40% of respondents said they would not be buying holiday gifts this year at all.

Other findings include:

  • Respondents in the West reported saving the most money for holiday shopping, whereas respondents in the South reported the least savings.
  • At least 50% of respondents from each income level (ranging from $0 – $24,999 to $150,000 +) reported no holiday savings.
  • Fifty-two percent of respondents will spend $1,000 or less on holiday shopping this year.
  • Males were more likely than females to report no plans to buy holiday gifts. However, male respondents more often stated that they would spend "Over $1,000" than females.
  • Respondents living in heavily populated regions most often reported no plans to buy holiday gifts at 43.8%.

"While it’s unfortunate so many shoppers are putting themselves at risk of starting off the new year in debt, what’s really surprising is how many people said they’re not buying gifts at all,” said Casey Bond, GoBankingRates.com managing editor. “It’s not just the young and broke, it’s people with children and grandkids, too.”


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