Better BTS promotions offered by retailers this year, PriceGrabber survey finds
LOS ANGELES — Nearly half of consumers polled in the latest PriceGrabber survey said that retailers are serving up better back-to-school promotions this year, compared with 2011.
Polling responses from 2,745 U.S. online shopping consumers — with 1,000 of the respondents planning to shop this back-to-school season — PriceGrabber said that while 48% agreed that this year’s promotions are better than last year’s, 88% of consumers chose "sales" as the top retailer promotion that will entice them to make a back-to-school purchase this year; 39% of shoppers cited coupons; 44% noted that "free items with purchase" would persuade them to buy; and 34% selected sales available online only. The best deals are being offered on school supplies (67%), clothing (58%), electronics (i.e., computers, tablets and smartphones) ranked third at 32%, tote bags (30%) and books (15%).
Where are consumers scoring the best deals? PriceGrabber found at one-third (34%) said the best back-to-school deals are online, 22% cited brick-and-mortar stores and 44% said they found the deals to be the same. When asked how they plan to purchase back-to-school items this year, 60% of consumers said in stores and 40% selected online.
"The start of the back-to-school shopping season has been very competitive with retailers offering aggressive promotions to win the consumer dollar," PriceGrabber general manager Graham Jones said. "We anticipate retailers will continue to offer very strong promotions and incentives through the remainder of August and even into September as kids start the school year."
Additional findings included:
67% selected large, multichannel department stores as the type of stores they plan to shop at for back-to-school items, followed by online retailers;
54% of respondents said they plan to shop at discount retail outlet stores; and
One-quarter of survey respondents said they have been lured into brick-and-mortar stores due to back-to-school sales and promotions for items under $1. Of those respondents, 48% said that once they got into the store they also purchased additional back-to-school items that were not on sale.
"Shoppers continue to look for the best deals and ways to get the most value from every dollar they spend on back-to-school items," Jones said. "Retailers with aggressive online and in store promotions in August will be better positioned to capture sales during this shopping season."
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FDA approves Wockhardt enlarged prostate drug
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for enlarged prostate made by generic drug maker Wockhardt, the company said.
Wockhardt, based in Mumbai, India, announced the approval of alfuzosin hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the 10-mg strength, which is designed to treat enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The drug is a generic version of Sanofi’s Uroxatral. Various versions of the drug have sales of about $81.5 million, according to IMS Health.
Physicians Formula to be acquired by private equity firm
AZUSA, Calif., and SAN FRANCISCO — Beauty company Physicians Formula is being acquired by private equity firm Swander Pace Capital for $4.25 per share in cash, or approximately $65 million.
The per share price represents a premium of approximately 15% over Physicians Formula’s closing stock price on Aug. 14 and a 21% premium to the company’s one-month, volume-weighted average price of $3.50 per share. The Physicians Formula’s board of directors, acting upon the unanimous recommendation of its special committee composed solely of independent directors, unanimously approved the merger agreement and resolved to recommend that the company’s stockholders vote to adopt the merger agreement.
Upon close of the merger, Physicians Formula will be privately owned and will continue to be operated by the company’s current management team and employees. Physicians Formula, founded in 1937 by Dr. Frank Crandall, will remain based in Azusa, Calif.
"Our board of directors, following a thorough analysis by its special committee, has determined that this transaction offers the best value for our stockholders," said Ingrid Jackel, Physicians Formula chairwoman and CEO. "We are pleased that Swander Pace has agreed to purchase our company. The firm has a record of success in acquiring and operating companies in the consumer space, and we believe they will add value to our business as we continue to successfully execute our growth initiatives."
The transaction, subject to various closing conditions including receipt of Physicians Formula stockholder approval, is expected to close later this year. This approval will be sought at a special meeting of stockholders.
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