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Conference Board survey finds holiday shoppers in frugal mood

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK — U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $497 on gifts this holiday season, the Conference Board reported. Only 7% of consumers said they plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, while approximately 49% plan on spending less than last year.

The survey of holiday gift spending intentions, based on a probability-design random sample, was conducted on behalf of the Conference Board in October by Nielsen.

"As the holiday season approaches, we once again find consumers in a frugal mood," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "With the overwhelming majority of consumers expecting to spend the same or less than they did last year, it’s not surprising that they expect a large share of their purchases to be on sale or discounted."

Four-out-of-10 holiday shoppers said they expect more than half of their purchases to be on sale or discounted. An additional 3-out-of-10 said they expect one-quarter to half of their purchases to be discounted.

Close to two-thirds of consumers expect to purchase a portion of their holiday gifts online, with about 15% saying more than half of their gifts will be purchased online.

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Eastman Kodak, Discount Drug Mart expand in-store photo capabilities

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eastman Kodak on Friday announced the renewal of its agreement with Ohio-based Discount Drug Mart to be the drug chain’s exclusive supplier of photo finishing technology, products and services.

Kodak will continue to support Discount Drug Mart’s fleet of Kodak Picture Kiosks and Kodak Adaptive Picture Exchange thermal dry labs.

Discount Drug Mart is in the process of upgrading its fleet with the latest Kodak innovations, such as Facebook site connectivity on the Kodak Picture Kiosk, duplex print capability and Web-to-store order and fulfillment. Kodak currently is installing the upgrades in Discount Drug Mart photo centers across Ohio and expects to complete the upgrade in time for the holiday season.

The enhanced Facebook Connect feature allows customers to use images from their own, as well as from their friends’ shared Facebook photo albums, to create personalized photo products at the Kodak Picture Kiosk. Discount Drug Mart also is taking advantage of the Kodak Net-to-Retail connectivity platform to offer its customers the convenience of ordering photo products online and picking orders up at their favorite Discount Drug Mart location, Kodak stated.

In addition to software upgrades, Discount Drug Mart is adding Kodak DL2100 duplex printers to its fleet. The new duplex printers expand the portfolio of photo print products Discount Drug Mart can offer its customers to include double-sided Kodak photo books and calendars, and the new Kodak personal greeting cards, which provide consumers a creative and personal card creating experience with new designer styles and unique writeable designs.

“We’re investing in the newest digital photo center technologies while continuing to leverage our traditional services to ensure that our customers enjoy the most exceptional photo creation experience,” said John Graycar, director of photo operations at Discount Drug Mart.

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Downy introduces in-wash scent booster

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Downy has expanded its portfolio to include a new in-wash scent booster that allows users to control the amount of scent that gets added to each laundry load.

Downy Unstopables dissolves during the wash cycle and is safe to use in any washing machine, including high efficiency washing machines, at any temperature, according to Downy’s parent company Procter & Gamble. The booster is available in two varieties: Unstopables fresh, which offers a clean, crisp and refreshing scent that can be used in tandem with Downy Clean Breeze; while Unstopables lush enhances the benefits on Downy Simple Pleasures Lavender Serenity laundry product.

Unstopables is available for the suggested retail price of $6.99 per bottle.

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