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PriceGrabber.com survey reveals consumers’ back-to-school shopping habits

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Consumers may be tightening their wallets this year, but saving on back-to-school purchases is not necessarily a priority.

In a survey conducted by PriceGrabber.com between May 12 and June 1, respondents said they do not plan to save for back-to-school shopping this year but are starting their shopping early and spending the same amount as they did last year. When back-to-school shoppers were asked when they planned to begin saving for purchases this year, 64% of 1,718 online consumers polled said that they are not planning to save, while 19% of consumers started saving before April and 17% started saving between April and July.

“We are not surprised to see this new, optimistic trend of consumer frugality extend to back-to-school shopping,” stated Laura Conrad, president of PriceGrabber.com. “Further analysis of the data supports the idea that consumers are trying to absorb back-to-school spending in their monthly budgets by starting their shopping early to distribute their purchases.”

When asked what period of time they shop before the new school year begins, 26% of back-to-school shoppers planned to make purchases before July, while 31% planned to begin their shopping in July and 38% planned to start in August.

“The data is clear that consumers are still focused on spending the same amount or less on back-to-school purchases this year, even with the expected lift in the recession,” said Barbary Brunner, chief marketing officer at PriceGrabber.com. “However, instead of saving a little bit each month for back-to-school shopping and then making their purchases at once, we are seeing consumers engage in layaway-like behavior by purchasing a few items each month.”

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New line of cards from American Greetings now feature iTunes download

BY Allison Cerra

CLEVELAND There’s something new and musical in the greeting card aisle.

American Greetings has introduced greeting cards that feature a song download from iTunes, the company announced Tuesday. The complete line includes 36 cards, each with a code redeemable for a song download from iTunes. There also are eight gift card holders that can be used to send any iTunes gift card.

“From our research, we already knew that consumers loved the pairing of music and greeting cards, and we wanted to elevate the overall experience,” said Carol Miller, executive director of new product concepts at American Greetings. “By giving someone a card with a gift that empowers them to choose their own song, you make the connection even more personal and enjoyable, which is what sending a card is all about.”

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Targus develops screen protector for Apple iPad

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A maker of computer cases and accessories unveiled its latest innovation — a screen protector for the Apple iPad.

Targus’ new screen protector is designed to reduce fingerprints and smudges. With the added features of anti-glare treatment and specially formulated adhesive that prevents bubbles and peeling, it is the most comprehensive screen protector for your iPad available on the market, Targus said.

“Using microstructures in a film to resist fingerprints can trap oils and paper fibers over time causing the screen to appear cloudy,” stated Carolyn Perrier, VP accessories product management and marketing at Targus. “The improved Targus screen potector is engineered to not only resist fingerprints and scratches, but also the oils and fibers that can compromise clarity. This feature along with the anti-glare treatment and bubble free, easy to apply adhesive offers the most comprehensive screen protection available for the iPad on the market today.”

Targus screen protector for the Apple iPad is priced at an MSRP of $29.99.

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