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Costco’s board OKs increase in quarterly dividend

BY Allison Cerra

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on Costco common stock and approved an increase from 24 cents to 27.5 cents per share, or from 96 cents per share to $1.10 per share on an annualized basis.

The quarterly dividend is payable June 8 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 25.

Costco plans to release its operating results for the third quarter, ended May 6, on May 24.

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Don’t be left in the dark as all signs point to growth for digitization

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — If you are a retailer that has yet to develop a smartphone application, then you need to read this.

(THE NEWS: Survey: 45% of smartphone users with a retailer-branded app visit the retailer’s store more often. For the full story, click here)

Anyone who has been even remotely following technology trends has likely noticed that mobile technologies and social networking platforms — on behalf of both retailers and manufacturers — are becoming increasingly pervasive in the industry as a way to customize offers for today’s shopper. And the momentum shows no signs of slowing. In fact, based on a slew of recent survey results, the pace is quickening.

As the article stated, one of the more recent surveys to be released found that respondents who said they had downloaded a retailer-branded app said the app caused them to visit the store more often (45.8%), buy more of the store/brand’s products and services (40.4%), tell a friend about their store shopping experience (35.8%) and encourage friends to visit the store (30.8%).

Those are impressive numbers, and that’s why it is important for retailers — especially those that do not yet have an app — to sit up and take notice.

Clearly, consumers are using retailer-branded apps as an engagement tool, and the opportunity for retailers to leverage such technology and further engage consumers is significant.

Further evidence that digitization is increasingly getting greater play within retail is a new survey by agency network Leo Burnett Worldwide and its marketing services arm, Arc Worldwide, which found that people of all ages are using such social networking sites as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Groupon as shopping tools.

The "SocialShop" study found that 95 million Americans, or 42% of Americans, are shopping through social media, while almost 73% of people were using social media more than a year ago.

Meanwhile, it also was reported last week that, according to a ComScore study, online retail spending reached $44.3 billion for first quarter 2012, up 17% from the year-ago period. And when it came to mobile shoppers, ComScore found that 38% of tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices within the past month.

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Coors Light celebrates summer with limited-edition packaging

BY DSN STAFF

CHICAGO — Coors Light is marking the beginning of summer with the release of sleek, new special-edition Silver Bullet Summer packaging.

Not hitting store shelves, certain packs of Coors Light 12-oz. bottles and cans feature a distinctive, all-silver design, as well as the brand’s Cold Activated blue mountains. The Silver Bullet Summer packaging will be available for about 10 weeks in all varieties of 12-oz. cans, as well as 24-loose and 6-pack 12-oz. bottles.

"This will be our boldest, coldest summer yet," said Kedric George, Coors Light director of innovation and activation. "Everything we’re doing this summer is about reinforcing the message that when you want cold refreshment, you just have to find the blue mountains. Consumers and retailers expect great packaging innovation from Coors Light and, with the special-edition Silver Bullet Summer packaging and Silver Bullet Pint, we’re delivering again."

For more information on the Coors Light Silver Bullet Summer, please visit CoorsLight.com or Facebook.com/CoorsLight.

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