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Deloitte survey: Consumers still spending on holidays despite economic concern

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

NEW YORK — Despite concerns about the economy and rising household expenses, nearly 3-out-of-5 consumers (59%) will put aside economic worries and spend the same or more this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 26th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends. While this is a slight decline from 2010, it represents an eight percentage point increase from 2009.

“Lackluster employment growth, debt crises and stock market fluctuations have battered consumer confidence while inflation left many with lighter wallets this fall,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader at Deloitte LLP. “Consumers will be conservative this holiday season, but remain resilient and maintain a more positive interest in holiday shopping than we witnessed during the recession.”

Among holiday shopping destinations, the Internet and discount stores are at the top of the list, with 48% of consumers planning to shop these two destinations for holiday gifts. While online interest climbed, discounters slid 10 percentage points from the 2010.

More than one-quarter (27%) of smartphone owners said they plan to use their devices for holiday shopping to search for store locations (67%), compare prices (59%) and check product availability (46%). Additionally, 44% said they plan to use social media to seek discounts, read reviews and check family and friends’ gift lists.

“Consumers are using online and mobile platforms to make the most of their holiday budgets, and the survey indicates that they will do more than just compare prices,” Paul said. “Retailers that use mobile and online channels to show product availability, locations and pricing but add customized promotions and gift ideas may encourage shoppers to come in the door for a specific gift and take additional items to the register.”

In other survey findings:

  • Of the 68% of consumers who plan to change the way they shop to save money, 51% said they plan to head online to find better prices — up 10% from last year — while 46% said they plan to buy more items that qualify for free shipping;

  • More than half of consumers (53%) reported plans to begin shopping before Thanksgiving, but 73% said they intend to hold out until after this holiday to make the majority of their purchases;

  • Apparel ranked as the most popular holiday gift (48%), followed by gift cards (45%, down 11% from last year); and

  • Higher-income households’ gift spending will hold up, while middle- and lower-income groups are paring back. Households earning $100,000 or more annually expect to trim gift spending by 2% to shell out an average of $812 on gifts, compared with a 26% drop to $291 on gifts among those earning less than $100,000.

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Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy appoints Jeanne Ann Stasny to executive team

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has appointed Jeanne Ann Stasny as VP pharmacy services, the company said Wednesday.

Calling Stasny a "highly respected industry executive," Diplomat said Stasny would be responsible for promoting, developing and expanding Diplomat’s service offerings. "Jeanne Ann’s exceptional history as an industry leader, combined with her creative and entrepreneurial vision, make her a perfect fit for our company," Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman said. "She truly is a pioneer in the pharmacy industry. The patient-centered programs Jeanne Ann first developed almost 15 years ago are still shaping and influencing healthcare organizations today."

Before working for Diplomat, Stasny was market director and general manager for Walmart’s national mail specialty pharmacy business. She also has worked with pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions and other healthcare companies and organizations.

 


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P&G celebrates return of ‘Have You Tried This Yet?’ with NYC media event

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — To celebrate and promote the return of its “Have You Tried This Yet?” campaign, Procter & Gamble held an exclusive media event in New York on Tuesday evening spotlighting some of its most innovative products and offering complimentary beauty services and product demos.

The event, held at The Theater at Cedar Lake in New York City, also featured appearances by Kari Byron, host of the television shows “Mythbusters” and “Head Rush,” and celebrity stylist Irma Martinez. Both Byron and Martinez are working with P&G as campaign spokeswomen and will be featured in “Have You Tried This Yet?” brand demonstration videos for such brands as Bounty ExtraSoft and Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Color Blend Foam.

During Tuesday evening’s event — attended by consumer and trade press and bloggers — attendees could, for example, learn about Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Color Blend Foam and secure a color consultation to see how a foam hair color works with hair; receive a makeover experience from CoverGirl with the Natureluxe Silk foundation and Gloss Balm makeup; and get a consultation on Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips. The event also featured demos of such household brands as Bounty ExtraSoft and Always Infinity.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, P&G will reach consumers nationwide through a variety of touch-points, including print advertising, direct response TV and iMedia. Also, P&G BrandSaver, a complimentary coupon booklet, will feature more than $102 in savings, including values on the campaign’s feature products. The BrandSaver can be found in local newspapers throughout the country on Oct. 30.

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