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U.S. shoppers pulling way back on spending

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK The financial crisis is not just hitting Wall Street hard, it is greatly impacting the way Americans spend their money on everyday shopping trips, The New York Times today reported.

According to figures released from corporations, as well as interviews, Americans are spending less on dining out, automobile sales, airfare and other non-essentials. Reports have said that for the first time in about 20 years total sales for the third quarter 2008 will not show growth, but instead a drop by about 3 percent, and a “consumer-driven recession” could be just around the quarter.

Reports have said that consumer spending, which comprises about two-thirds of the U.S. economy, grew overall for the year, but dropped in July and August. The Times reported that as Americans see savings for things like retirement and vacations dwindling, they have lost their buying confidence and spending has become more conservative nationwide.

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Ferrero to sponsor ‘Desperate Housewives’ on British TV

BY Jenna Duncan

LONDON Candy maker Ferrero is slated to become a sponsor in the United Kingdom of the popular U.S. TV drama, “Desperate Housewives,” the company said this week.

Ferrero will use its sponsorship to promote its Euro-style snack bar, Kinder Bueno, and its boxed chocolate line. Episodes airing before the Christmas holiday will feature drops about Ferrero producst, such as the Ferrero Collection, Ferrero Raffaello, Ferrero Rondnoir, and the company’s signature Ferrero Rocher chocolate bites, the company has said.

During the 2009 TV season, “Desperate Housewives” will also carry idents for Kinder Bueno, the company said. Ferrero also has released a new white chocolate Kinder Bueno bar, available only in the UK.

Ferrero chocolate candies are available at hundreds of grocery, drug, mass and other retail stores across the United States.

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Bud Light boasts superior ‘drinkability;’ takes on Miller Lite

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO Anheuser-Busch has launched a new tagline for its classic light beer, Bud Light: “The difference is drinkability,” the company has said.

A-B is putting $50 million behind its new campaign and touting Bud Light just in time for football season. The campaign is aimed at Bud Light fans and will run through fall and winter until the first quarter of 2009. New impressions will be released around Super Bowl, the company has said.

The “drinkability” tag challenges Miller Lite’s catchphrase, “The world’s most refreshing beer.”

So far, A-B’s numbers have been good following its merger with European beverage giant InBev. Bud Light’s sales increased 2 percent across drug and mass outlets, excluding Wal-Mart, according to data released by Chicago-based market research company, Information Resources Inc.

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