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Survey: Bargain shoppers reshape grocery experience

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

SAN FRANCISCO — A new study released Thursday by MarketTools found that 63% of shoppers said they have changed their shopping habits in the past six months, with the majority reporting changes to seek more value.

According to the study, respondents reported that they buy items with coupons (80%); buy store brands instead of name brands (62%); use store loyalty cards that offer discounts (62%); buy items only when they are on sale (58%); and buy more large-sized products (43%) to save money on grocery bills.

In the search for bargains, shoppers reported that the reason they purchased store brands is to get better value (59% of respondents) and a more attractive price (56%). Additionally, more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents said they use coupons for at least half of their shopping trips, and nearly half (49%) said they use coupons on every, or nearly every, shopping trip. However, many shoppers don’t see coupons as an incentive to try something new: 49% said that a coupon would not prompt them to buy an item they don’t normally buy.

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Study: Phthalates exposure may boost diabetes risk

BY Allison Cerra

STOCKHOLM — A group of industrial chemicals commonly found in cosmetics and plastics may disrupt insulin production, particularly among seniors, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden found that when examining 1,000 70-year-old women and men in Uppsala, as part of the PIVUS study, those that were exposed to phthalates — chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, self-care products, solid air fresheners and scented candles — had roughly twice the risk of developing diabetes — even after adjusting for obesity, blood lipids, smoking and exercise habits — compared with those with lower levels. Additionally, certain phthalates were associated with disrupted insulin production in the pancreas, the researchers found.

"Although our results need to be confirmed in more studies, they do support the hypothesis that certain environmental chemicals can contribute to the development of diabetes," said Monica Lind, associate professor of environmental medicine at the section for occupational and environmental medicine at Uppsala University. "However, to find out whether phthalates truly are risk factors for diabetes, further studies are needed that show similar associations. Today, besides the present study, there is only one small study of Mexican women. But experimental studies on animals and cells are also needed regarding what biological mechanisms might underlie these connections."


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Sam’s Club opens its doors in Lubbock, Texas

BY Allison Cerra

LUBBOCK, Texas — Sam’s Club is expanding its presence in western Texas with the opening of a newly relocated store.

The new club, located in Lubbock, Texas, measures approximately 136,000 sq. ft. — about one-third larger than the previous Sam’s Club location — and has a more convenient location for the public due to easier vehicular access in and out of the club and ample parking. The new club will open April 19.

"Historically the local Sam’s Club location draws members from a 100-mile radius surrounding Lubbock," club manager Kevin Judge said. "When members drive from New Mexico for day trips or to visit the many colleges and medical centers in the city, Sam’s Club wants to be a convenient retail destination for savings made simple. This new location gives us that added benefit."

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