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Report: More retailers using social media to attract e-commerce customers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — More retailers are using such social media venues as Facebook as an entry point into their e-commerce sites, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited JCPenney and GNC as examples.

Facebook, the report said, creates a new shopping dynamic, enabling consumers to “share” what they’ve bought with friends in real time.

For now, the revenue stream is a trickle, WSJ reported. But expectations are that this potentially could provide a strong flow of revenue in the near future.

Facebook doesn’t charge retailers a fee to add the shopping function, WSJ reported, nor does it take a cut of transactions that occur on its site. However, companies typically outsource the project to developers that charge at least $10,000 to add the feature.

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Study: College students opt to shop at Walmart, Target

BY Allison Cerra

OBERLIN, Ohio — Walmart and Target are the top go-to shopping destinations for college students, according to a new study.

The "Student Watch" study, conducted by OnCampus Research — a division of the National Association of College Stores — found that among 15,000 college students from 21 campuses nationwide, 62% reported that they shopped at Walmart in the past 90 days. Coming second was Target with 58%, followed by such dollar stores as Dollar Tree and Dollar General with 36%. The study also found that more freshmen students opted to shop at Walmart (69%), while a higher percentage of graduate students shopped at Target (59%).

The survey was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, 2010.

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Safeway increases quarterly dividend

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway’s board of directors announced a 21% increase in its quarterly dividend.

The retailer’s cash dividend rose to 14.5 cents per share and will be payable on July 14 to stockholders of record on June 23.

Safeway operates 1,692 stores in the United States and western Canada.

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