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Deloitte: Consumer spending flat, but shoppers positive about economy for BTS shopping

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index remained flat in July, but a recent survey showed shoppers have a positive, although still tentative, outlook on the economy for the back-to-school shopping season.

“Our recent back-to-school shopping survey showed that consumers are more positive about the U.S. economy than in past years,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader. “However, nearly 60% of shoppers said they would buy only what the family needs. About one-third said they would spend more, but mainly due to the perception of higher prices and children needing more expensive items for school. Despite their improved optimism, consumers may be holding out for more proof that economic stability is lasting before any splurging, meaning retailers have to make their merchandise and offers extremely attractive to finish the back-to-school shopping season strong.”

The Index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — remained at 4.4 this month. Improvements in real housing prices and labor markets offset weaknesses in other segments, Deloitte found.

“Real home prices continue to move higher from a year ago, while initial unemployment claims continue to trend downward,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist. “Real wages are still improving, albeit at a slower pace. While the Index has remained at the same level in the past three months, continued gains in housing and unemployment may help lift consumer confidence and spur future spending.”

Highlights of the Index include:

  • Tax Burden: The tax rate is up 5.8% from last year, and is now at 11.9%.
  • Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims moved down 5.8% from June 2012 to nearly 346,000 in June this year.
  • Real Wages: Hourly real wages ticked up 0.6% in a year to $8.78.
  • Real New Home Prices: Real new home prices climbed 10.6% from this time last year to reach approximately $107,000.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, the company noted.

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Soft & Dri partners with Play for P.I.N.K. to help fight breast cancer

BY Antoinette Alexander

STAMFORD, CT – Newhall Laboratories has announced that its Soft & Dri brand is partnering with Play for P.I.N.K., a nonprofit organization that raises funds for breast cancer research. 

As of July 1, sales of specially-marked Soft & Dri stick and aerosol products sold in North America support a $10,000 donation to the organization.
 
In addition to being featured on-pack, the Play for P.I.N.K. logo was prominent in a Soft & Dri ad distributed in Sunday newspapers nationwide in July. The partnership is also prominently called out on Soft & Dri’s and Play for P.I.N.K.’s websites.
 
“We are honored to support the vital efforts of Play for P.I.N.K., whose steadfast dedication to funding breast cancer research we have long admired,” stated Jon Achenbaum, Newhall Laboratories’ CEO.  “Soft & Dri stands for confidence, a value that naturally aligns with Play for P.I.N.K.’s resolve to make ‘breast cancer’ a term referred to solely in past tense.”
  
Soft & Dri products with the Play for P.I.N.K. logo became available starting in August.
 


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‘Eat Smart, Play Safe’ campaign pushes nutrition for sports, school

BY Alaric DeArment

COLUMBIA, Md. — Pop Warner Little Scholars and DSM Nutritional Products are promoting healthy eating for young athletes in a new campaign, the two said Wednesday.

The "Eat Smart, Play Safe" campaign is designed to educate children in sports programs and their parents about nutrition and sports safety to help them succeed on and off the field. Sarah Hasselbeck, the wife of NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, has been hired as a spokeswoman for the campaign, which will educate families about the foods, beverages and nutrients they need to have energy for sports and school, as well as delivering nutrition and sports safety tips.

"Nutrition, sports safety and bar health are all team players when it comes to succeeding in sports, as well as in life," Hasselbeck said. "As a mother of three energetic kids who play football, basketball, lacrosse and hockey, I am the family nutrition gatekeeper. I stock our fridge with fresh fruits and veggies and give my kids a multivitamin and mineral supplement to ensure their diet includes important nutrients, like the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, vitamin D and calcium to help them develop physically and mentally."


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