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Deloitte Consumer Spending Index plunges

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Deloitte on Monday released some disappointing news for retailers who were hoping that consumer spending might get a boost in the months leading up to the holiday season.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index plunged in September to its lowest level since May 2009, primarily due to a significant fall in home prices and deterioration in real wages.

The index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — fell to 2.39 from 2.51 the previous month.

“Consumers may start to re-evaluate what’s in their shopping baskets and put non-essentials back on the shelf until they feel more confident about the economy’s prospects,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader for Deloitte LLP. “It’s critical retailers understand consumers’ purchasing behaviors and attitudes and are prepared to make quick decisions about which items to mark down and where to hold the line this holiday season. Also, by capturing non-transactional data such as interactions with customers, call center logs, click streams and social media connections, retailers can better understand what drives customer engagement and buying decisions.”

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Kerr Drug offers flu shots at N.C. State Fair

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. — County and state fairs across the country draw millions of visitors every year, but many fairgoers forget to bring along things like sunscreen, headache relievers and antacids.

In response, Kerr Drug is sponsoring a "general store" at the North Carolina State Fair, the regional retail pharmacy chain said. In addition to the aforementioned items, it also will act as the exclusive provider of flu shots at the fair, and Kerr Drug pharmacists will be on hand to provide flu shots to individuals ages 14 and older.

"The NC State Fair shows off the best traditions of North Carolina and Kerr Drug, with our headquarters in Raleigh and our pharmacies across the state, and is proud to be the operator of the fair’s general store [and] the exclusive provider of flu shots of the N.C. State Fair," Kerr Drug CEO Tony Civello said.

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In latest report, CDC says flu incidence is low

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Flu activity in the United States for the 2011-2012 season currently is low, making it an ideal time for Americans to get vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In its newly released “FluView” report, the CDC said national flu incidence was 1.2% during the week that spanned from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8. Additionally, the CDC said that the current vaccine supply is projected to set a U.S. record, as more than 110 million doses of vaccine were delivered in the United States (as of the end of September), with manufacturers projecting total production of between 166 and 173 million doses. This is the most flu vaccine ever produced for the U.S. market, the agency said.

“It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body′s immune response to fully kick in,” CDC′s Influenza Epidemiology and Prevention chief Joe Bresee said. “It′s best to get vaccinated before activity begins so that you′ll be protected once flu season starts in your community. From our perspective, the time to get vaccinated is now.”

The CDC FluView report is published each Friday from October through mid–May.


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