SpendingPulse: Solid retail growth in March
PURCHASE, N.Y. — Most retail segments showed solid year-over-year retail growth in March, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales.
“Most retail sectors continued to record solid growth year over year, similar to February, although we’re not seeing an acceleration of momentum from February to March,” said Michael McNamara, VP research and analysis, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. "The lack of increased momentum in some sectors could be due to calendar shifts, given that Easter falls very late this year.”
Gasoline prices remain a concern as the average price continues to be more than $3.50 a gallon, McNamara said.
“Compared to March 2010, we’re seeing drivers pump less gasoline,” he said. “Based on what we’ve observed in the last three to four years, high gasoline prices typically result in consumers consolidating shopping trips, shopping closer to home, and making fewer trips to the brick-and-mortar locations as we get to Saturday. On the other hand, we’ve seen the e-commerce channel benefitting somewhat from this trend.”
Walmart reports increase in global giving
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart announced that, through the Walmart Foundation, it has donated $319 million in cash and $480 million in in-kind contributions around the globe during the fiscal year ended Jan. 31.
According to Walmart, the company’s U.S. giving grew by 64%, largely due to donations of produce, meats, poultry and other nutritious food to local food banks from Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and distribution centers.
"For many years we have used our size and scale to develop programs that have a positive impact on the serious social issues in the U.S. and around the globe," said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. "Our funding is helping families put nutritious meals on kitchen tables, break barriers to finding jobs and gain access to a quality education. Through the programs that we support, millions of people are overcoming challenges and living better lives."
Walmart’s charitable donations in the fiscal year 2011 include:
$732 million in cash and in-kind gifts in the United States, up from $467 million in fiscal year ending 2010;
$66.8 million in cash and in-kind gifts in international markets, up from $45 million in fiscal year ending 2010;
$114 million from Walmart’s customers and associates through in-store giving programs that benefit local charities; and
$913 million in total charitable contributions from Walmart, its foundations, its customers and its associates around the globe in fiscal year ending 2011.
Celebrating special moments with Blu-ray, DVD release of family films
LOS ANGELES — April marks Family Moments Month, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is celebrating with the Blu-ray and DVD release of several films for the whole family to enjoy.
Part of Fox’s yearlong Million Moments campaign, the studio releases films group thematically by month.
This Easter, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and MGM will release such favorites as "Ice Age," "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown" and "Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "Horton Hears a Who," "Pink Panther 2," and "Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" on Blu-ray and DVD. Such classic films as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "The Sound of Music" also will be part of the April releases.
For more information, visit Yearofamillionmoments.com.