A survey released by the National Retail Federation and conducted by BIGInsight found that the average parent will spend $688.62 on back-to-school items this year, compared with $603.63 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $30.3 billion.
That trip to the local restaurant is off the menu for consumers today, as are furnishings and electronics, Empathica reported on Thursday, citing its latest Consumer Insights Panel survey of more than 6,500 U.S. consumers.
Technology is changing the general merchandise aisles. Online greeting cards have grabbed share from traditional cards, and photofinishing is taking a hit as consumers move to digital photo publishing.
Self-service is becoming more prevalent as consumers grow accustomed to using kiosks for everything from self-checkout in the supermarket to checking in for their flights. Experts estimated that by 2016, 3 million kiosks will be in use globally.
Consumer electronic accessories are a big business, and drug stores increasingly are grabbing more share. In 2011, mobile phone accessories sales totaled $1.24 billion, up 10% from 2010, according to NPD Group.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Friday morning honored longtime industry veteran Pat Lonergan, co-founder of Numark Labs, with its Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in the advancement of the business of over-the-counter medicines.
Drug stores are cautiously expanding their consumer electronics selections. MP3 players, digital cameras and pre-paid mobile phones are finding a place beside the more traditional mix of handheld tape players and clock radios in the channel.
Panasonic Healthcare Group on Tuesday announced the introduction of the R1-W digital hearing instrument, a line of hearing products that appeals to a broader user base of people with mild to severe hearing loss.
Target may have a chance to bounce back from its anemic 1.8% November comps increase during a period that included strong Black Friday performances for most retailers with its "Almost Last Minute Sale," a new savings event that will offer discounts on items from the most popular gift categories.
Alkaline batteries are showing tepid growth, and experts expect sales to plunge as much as 3% as fierce competition among manufacturers continues to pressure pricing. More devices are using built-in rechargeable battery systems — another trend hurting primary battery sales.