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Deep discounter Fred’s to begin accepting American Express

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK 

American Express and Fred’s on Friday announced the launch of a special three-month American Express Cardmember offer beginning in September to celebrate the recent card acceptance agreement between the two companies.

"We strive to provide our customers with a quick and convenient shopping experience and the acceptance of the American Express Card makes shopping even easier by offering more flexibility in their payment choices," stated Tracy Herr, VP advertising at Fred’s.

From Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, American Express Cardmembers can earn a one-time $10 statement credit by using their synched American Express Card to make a single purchase of at least $30 in store at any Fred’s.

 

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Survey: BTS shopping shows surge in coupon use

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

AUSTIN, Texas — A survey released by coupon site RetailMeNot found that coupon use for back-to-school shopping surged this year, particularly for retailers selling books, school supplies and apparel.

According to RetailMeNot, which measured coupon usage during the July 1 to Aug. 20 selling period, as compared with the prior three months, the average daily coupon clicks increased more than 130% for book retailers, more than 40% for merchants selling back-to-school supplies and more than 30% for stores selling apparel and shoes.

RetailMeNot also announced the findings of a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, which revealed new shopping patterns among consumers with children headed back or already back in the classroom. Results included:

  • More than half (59%) of parents said they usually finish their back-to-school shopping by the end of summer;

  • Forty-seven percent said they will finish the bulk of their back-to-school shopping in August; 8% said they are usually done in July; 3% in June; and 2% before the previous school year even ends;

  • Nearly 3-in-10 parents (28%) report that they usually finish the bulk of their back-to-school shopping at some point in September; and

  • By region, parents in the Northeast are more likely to finish the bulk of their shopping sometime in September (45%) as compared with those from the West (28%), Midwest (26%), or South (22%).

Although the majority of parents said that they began their back-to-school shopping over the summer, when asked how far along they are once school actually starts, fewer than 4-in-10 (37%) said that they are done with their shopping by the start of school. About 3-in-10 (28%) parents said that they usually have a few things still left to buy for their children but that they are mostly done; 9% said they still have several key items they need to purchase; and 4% said they are nowhere near done.

Additionally, about 1-in-10 (11%) said that they like to shop after the start of the school year to see what their children’s actual needs are.

The survey found that in-store shopping is far preferable to online, with 83% of parents opting to do back-to-school shopping in stores, and 8% preferring to do so online.

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FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee to meet on Oxytrol Rx-to-OTC switch

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — According to a Food and Drug Administration post Friday, the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will be meeting Nov. 9 regarding the partial switch application from prescription to over the counter of Oxytrol (oxybutynin transdermal system) submitted by MSD Consumer. The proposed OTC product would be called Oxytrol for Women and would be indicated for the treatment of overactive bladder in women.

The prescription form of Oxytrol is licensed by Watson Pharma.

The data to be discussed will include a summary of the postmarketing experience with the oxybutynin transdermal system, and the results of consumer studies, including label comprehension studies, self-selection studies and an actual use study. The committee will be asked to consider whether the data support the appropriate and safe use of oxybutynin transdermal system by OTC consumers.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, oxybutynin transdermal patches are used to treat an overactive bladder (a condition in which the bladder muscles contract uncontrollably and cause frequent urination, urgent need to urinate and inability to control urination). Oxybutynin is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It works by relaxing the bladder muscles to prevent urgent, frequent or uncontrolled urination.

About 17% of women over the age of 18 experience overactive bladder, according to the National Association for Continence. In women between the ages of 20 and 45, the prevalence of overactive bladder was found to be 36.8%.

Overactive bladder occurs about twice as frequently in women as in men and become more prevalent with advanced aging.

"Women with [overactive bladder] are significantly more likely to suffer from other health disorders, such as hypertension, obesity and arthritis, than women without OAB," the NAC added. "Also, [overactive bladder] sufferers are two to three times more likely to regularly experience disturbed sleep, overeating and poor self-esteem, compared with non-OAB sufferers."


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