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Wegmans surveys consumers on greeting card preferences

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Grocery chain Wegmans Food Markets wants to know what consumers look for when buying greeting cards, according to published reports.

The chain is soliciting responses to an online survey through its email newsletter, asking shoppers what kind of experience they want when they buy greeting cards. It is also asking them whether they have bought greeting cards, magazines, books or stationery since the beginning of the year.

Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Wegmans is a family-owned company operating 70 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

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Cellyspace.com enables consumers to recieve product-specific text messages from retailers

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON Shoppers at retail stores may soon start receiving messages from stores where they shop, thanks to a new application from Skycore, a company that develops multimedia messaging services.

Retailers and brands will be able to market to customers by sending multimedia coupons, product reviews and other content to their cell phones while they’re in the stores through Skycore’s point-of-purchase application on Cellyspace.com.

In a typical implementation, customers would type in a keyword for a product and receive an automated message about it in their text-message inboxes. Markets would create the messages using Cellyspace’s online composition tool, with up to eight slides of images, audio or video and 4,000 characters of text.

Cellyspace is an online service and does not require a contract or special infrastructure to use. Instead, marketers pay 20 cents per message.

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Father’s Day sales look to be slower this season

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK It looks as though dad might have to do without this year.

Sales of some expensive items for Father’s Day are down this year because of the lackluster economy, according to consumer research firm BrandKeys Inc.

In a survey, BrandKeys found that 90 percent of consumers—a 7 percent increase over last year—planned to buy their fathers greeting cards. At the same time, however, the number of planned purchases of computers was too insignificant to even make the list.

Overall, the numbers of consumers planning to buy gifts are down by 7 percent, from last year’s 77 percent.

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