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NRF: Promotions drive consumers to shop early for BTS items

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Many consumers this year got a head start on their back-to-school shopping because of money-saving promotions offered by stores, the National Retail Federation found in its latest survey.

The Back-to-School/College Consumer Intentions and Actions survey — which polled 8,201 consumers from Aug. 3 to 10 — was conducted on behalf of NRF by BIGresearch, and found that the average family has completed 43.2% of its school shopping, compared with 41.6% at this time last year.

A true sign of the times, NRF found more families this year said their school purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and/or promotions. Of those surveyed, 17% of families with children in grades K-12 said all of their purchases were influenced by bargains and coupons, up from 14.7% last year. Additionally, advertising inserts (41.5%), in-store promotions (39.6%), word-of-mouth (27.4%), newspapers (25.5%) and direct mail (21.7%) were among the top media influencers when deciding why to shop at a particular store.

“It’s good to see consumers responding to back-to-school sales and promotions,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Back-to-school will be the first real test for retailers and the economy as we plan for the holiday season.”

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A&P names new EVP operations

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. Grocer A&P has appointed former OfficeMax executive Paul Hertz as EVP operations, succeeding Mark Kramer, who has left the company to pursue other interests, the company announced on Wednesday.

In this role, Hertz will be leading the field operations team.

He has an extensive background in operations with more than 20 years in various management positions within retail sales management and operations. Prior to joining A&P, Hertz was EVP retail stores for OfficeMax, where he was responsible for all retail operations throughout the United States. Before that, he served as SVP store operations. Hertz also served as VP Wild Oats Stores, VP store operations for ShopKo and has held several field and VP-level positions at Fred Meyer, a division of Kroger.

A&P’s new president and CEO Sam Martin also came from OfficeMax, as well as Wild Oats, ShopKo and Fred Meyer. In late July, the company announced the appointment of Martin as its new CEO. He succeeded Ron Marshall, who left the company after serving less than six months at the helm.

Martin, who has more than three decades of management experience in the food retail industry, joined A&P from OfficeMax, where he served as COO since 2007. Prior to OfficeMax, Martin was COO for Wild Oats Markets through the company’s acquisition by Whole Foods. His experience also includes senior management roles at ShopKo Stores and Fred Meyer.

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Kmart, Jaclyn Smith raise breast cancer awareness

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Proceeds from Jaclyn Smith clothing sold at Kmart will go toward breast cancer research as part of the mass merchandise chain’s celebration of its 25-year relationship with the actress and designer, Kmart said.

In September and October, Kmart will donate $1 from every purchase of items from the special Jaclyn Smith 25th Anniversary and limited edition collections to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Smith has designed apparel for Kmart for 25 years, and the chain launched the Jaclyn Smith Home Collection in August 2008.

“As a breast cancer survivor myself, this cause is near and dear to my heart, to my loved ones and to my extended family at Kmart,” Smith said. “I’m grateful that my relationship with Kmart has not only allowed me to provide great design at a truly affordable price, but also to work with incredible organizations like BCRF to give back to a cause that is working diligently in the fight against breast cancer.”

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