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Survey: Consumers to trade sand castles for shopping over Memorial Day weekend

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLESTON, S.C. — According to findings in two America’s Research Group surveys — conducted in late March and in late April — the number of Americans delaying their shopping to Memorial Day weekend is at an all-time high.

According to the surveys, shoppers will approach Memorial Day in keeping with a growing trend towards holding off on shopping until "big" holiday weekends.
"This used to be an effect that was the private reserve of ‘Black Friday,’" ARG chairman Britt Beemer said. "Beginning with our [October 2011] survey, which showed Americans delaying in record numbers, Americans have begun using the ‘hold-it-until-the-holiday’ tactic in a much broader and more significant way."

More than 6% of shoppers in March and 21% in April reported that they are delaying their shopping plans until Memorial Day weekend. Last year, less than 3% of shoppers in March and only 11% of shoppers in April were waiting until Memorial Day.

"This is a major shift in the retail landscape," Beemer said. "Not only are Americans delaying, but they are also making a weekend that was once thought of as the ‘start of summer’ — a time to go someplace warmer or to relax or picnic, perhaps — into one that is akin to Black Friday: a time to clip coupons, look for sales." 



Beemer estimated that shopping levels will exceed 35%, compared with 2011. "Those retailers who offer early bird specials and open early on Memorial Day … will see the best sales and the highest spending levels. The closer you come to creating Black Friday, the better your sales will be," Beemer said.

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Save-A-Lot arrives in Atlantic City

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Supervalu is bringing its Save-A-Lot banner to Atlantic City, N.J.

The store, which opened Thursday, will become the first full-service grocery store within a 21-mile radius of the city, the company said. The Atlantic City location is the 11th Save-A-Lot store in New Jersey.

"Save-A-Lot is committed to offering fresh produce, dairy and USDA-inspected meat, as well as other essential grocery and household items to shoppers at an affordable price — typically up to 40% less than traditional grocery stores," Bob Sheehy, Save-A-Lot regional director said. "We look forward to welcoming shoppers to our Atlantic City store."

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Bic lights up grills with FlameDisk

BY Barbara White-Sax

SHELTON, Conn. — Bic Consumer Products USA’s new FlameDisk offers consumers a convenient, portable alternative to charcoal. FlameDisk, which uses ethanol as its main fuel ingredient, heats up quickly and is cleaner than charcoal. The portable disk, which fits most charcoal grills, is ready to use in minutes after lighting and provides a steady flame for between 35 and 45 minutes — about the same rate as charcoal. With no ashes or soot to remove, cleanup is easy. Once FlameDisk is cool, the aluminum container can be thrown away. FlameDisk retails for $4.99 for one disk.

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