Deloitte Consumer Spending Index dips in December
NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index slightly dropped in December despite small improvements in 3-out-of-4 components.
The index — which is comprised of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — fell to 1.86 from a reading of 1.93 the previous month. Because of this drop, the ability for consumers to continue to spend at the rates seen in 2011 may be in question, Deloitte said.
“The new year brings new demands on retailers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader at Deloitte LLP. “In addition to a challenging economic climate, shifts in consumer behavior — from price consciousness to technology adoption — will force retailers to find new ways to remain relevant to their customers in 2012. Retailers should align talent, physical space, processes and technology in a way that moves the in-store environment from transactional to a complete and engaging brand experience.”
Ralphs, Food 4 Less announce children’s hospital fundraising campaign
LOS ANGELES — Kroger banners Ralphs and Food 4 Less are raising funds to support children’s hospitals.
The chains’ children’s hospital fundraising campaign will run from Jan. 29 to May 19. Ralphs will support children’s hospitals in Southern California, while Food 4 Less will raise funds for children’s hospitals in Southern California, southern Nevada and the greater Chicago area. The supermarket chain’s Foods Co Division also is collecting donations for children’s hospitals in central and northern California.
"Ralphs believes strongly in giving back to the communities our stores serve," Ralphs president Donna Giordano said. "We’re pleased to extend our commitment to community service to our local children’s hospitals. We cannot think of a better way to invest in our communities than by giving families and children hope through our support of the outstanding work these hospitals are doing to provide world-class medical care for children."
NRF takes ‘Retail Means Jobs’ campaign to Orlando, Fla.
WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation is moving forward with a campaign that seeks to show the role the retail industry plays in powering economic growth and job creation, and engages business, political, industry and civic leaders in a conversation about the retail industry’s public policy priorities.
NRF said its Retail Means Jobs campaign, which launched last fall, made a stop in Orlando, Fla., this week, where president and CEO Matthew Shay addressed hundreds of business and industry leaders gathered at the Association of Golf Merchandisers’ Orlando Retail Conference and the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show, where he detailed the retail industry’s top public policy priorities, and NRF’s jobs, innovation and consumer value agenda.
“In the retail industry, we have a vision for a more hopeful future,” Shay said in prepared remarks. “It’s a vision for creating millions of new jobs, so we can put Americans back to work. It’s a vision for spurring innovation, so we can speed the flow of business and improve service. And it’s a vision for delivering value for consumers, so we can put the American dream within reach of every American family.”
“Our campaign is called ‘Retail Means Jobs’ — and for good reason.” Shay said. “Retail supports one in four American jobs — 2.6 million jobs here in Florida alone. Retail generates almost one-fifth of our nation’s GDP. And retail contributes billions to other industries — from manufacturing to real estate to finance.”