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Retailers should get early start on holiday promotions this year, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Sales of general merchandise are expected to increase by 2.4% during the holiday season of November and December, but shoppers will visit fewer stores, according to a new forecast.

ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based analytics firm, said that retailers would have to work to earn their share of sales despite a predicted rise. The increase in sales forecasted for this year builds on the 3% increase seen in 2012 over 2011, according to the firm’s research, while the 1.4% decrease in shopper traffic is down from last year, while last year’s figures had increased by 2.5% over 2011. ShopperTrak measures retail store traffic in more than 60,000 locations around the world.

"Although the economy continues to recover slowly, consumers remain cautious about spending and are not ready to splurge," ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said. "Even though online buying increases each year, brick-and-mortar sales remain retail’s largest profit opportunity. Retailers who deliver a seamless experience both in-store and at every customer touchpoint have the chance to capitalize and grab their share of wallet when shoppers visit the stores."

Retailers must also contend with a shorter shopping season as there will be 25 days between Black Friday, on Nov. 29, and Christmas, compared with 31 days last year. Hanukkah will start 11 days earlier this year than last year, taking place the day before Thanksgiving. According to ShopperTrak, while an early Hanukkah will not affect overall retail sales, it will shift the time some retailers anticipate traffic increases, and the firm expects promotions to start as early as the day after Halloween.

"Nobody can afford to procrastinate," Martin said. "Retailers must have their holiday marketing and operations ready to go when November begins, as consumers will be ready to take advantage of those deals."


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Hefty introduces new odor-control bags with Arm & Hammer

BY Jason Owen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Hefty announced on Tuesday a new trash bag with advanced odor-control, the company stated.

Hefty Ultimate with Arm & Hammer provides a trio of advanced technology to give the consumer everything needed in one bag. The Arm & Hammer patented odor-neutralizing technology helps eliminate kitchen odors. Hefty Ultimate bags come in scent-free, lavender and clean burst scents.

Hefty Ultimate bags are designed to reduce messes with a unique formulation of textured plastic providing more tear- and puncture-resistance than any other Hefty tall kitchen bag, as well as a silver patented elastic gripping drawstring that expands and retracts around the lid of the trash can preventing the bag from slipping down into the canister.

Hefty Ultimate Arm & Hammer tall kitchen bags are available now to ship to major retailers and will be on store shelves this Fall.


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Teva donates $100,000 to National MS Society in honor of Jack Osbourne

BY Alaric DeArment

FRAZER, Pa. — The participation of reality TV star Jack Osbourne in "Dancing with the Stars" has garnered recognition and a donation from a drug maker.

Teva Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it would donate $100,000 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to recognize Osbourne’s decision to compete in the show. Osbourne, the son of rock musician Ozzy Osbourne and a television host and producer, was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS last year. Teva is the maker of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), an injectable drug for the disease.

"Our goals align — the ongoing support of and commitment to the MS community — and for Teva, that commitment dates back more than 20 years," Teva VP and general manager for CNS Mike Derkacz said. "We are proud to make this donation to the National MS Society and recognize the great work they do for people who live with MS and RRMS, like Jack Osbourne."

 

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