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Shopping is such an open and shut case


By Larissa Faw

NEARLY HALF of Americans – 47 per cent – expect all stores to be open on Christmas Eve, while 35 per cent want them closed, says advertising and marketing agency Horizon Media.

Last Minute …

One in 10 has shopped on Christmas Day, although the vast majority, 82 per cent, believe stores have a moral obligation to be closed on December 25 and few – 9 per cent – expect stores to be open that day.
Americans are twice more likely to expect stores to be open – 55 per cent – than closed – 26 per cent – on New Year’s Eve, but that’s not the case for New Year’s Day.
On that day, 33 per cent expect them to be open while 49 per cent believe they should be closed.
Money woes
Oops. Letting their partner control their finances is cited by Americans as their biggest money mistake, says online personal-finance adviser Finder.
Interestingly, people who earn $100,000-$149,000 were the most likely group to say having children is a money mistake.
And men are more likely to cite paying too much for a wedding as one of their financial error – 55 per cent of respondents who said they had made this mistake were men.
Cable cords
The average Comcast cable-television customer spends $143 per month.
Pop life
Taylor Swift ranks as the top-selling artist for event ticket seller StubHub in 2015. Her average ticket price was $237, nearly double the second most popular performer, Garth Brooks, at $128.
Billy Joel ranks third at $181, U2 fourth at $187 and Ed Sheeran fifth at $122.
Dream jobs
Work-life balance at 84 per cent and family at 67 per cent are the top reasons millennials seek flexible work, says online job-search agency FlexJobs.
The order of preferred flexibility is that 85 per cent want to telecommute full-time, 54 per cent want to work a flexible or alternative schedule, 47 per cent hope to work a part-time schedule and 39 per cent want to be freelancers or contractors.
Cheap expansion
Low-cost retail chain Dollar General is opening a new distribution center in San Antonio that will begin product stocking this month and start shipping goods nationwide in February.
The discount chain opened or remodeled 875 stores in 2015.
Dr Dough
Fifty-two per cent of American workers can’t afford $1,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses, says insurance group Aflac.
Pie problems
There is a shortage of sweet potato pie, says meat processor Tyson Foods.
This year’s flooding in South Carolina disrupted its sweet potatoes supply chain, impacting the volume the company could produce for stores.
But it is confident that the problem is slowly returning to normal.
No blind following
People are eating fewer carrots, says soup manufacturer Campbell’s. The main culprit behind the sales decline is the ingredients business – people are using fewer carrots in their dishes.
The veggie also has taken a sharp hit because of weak demand in Japan.
That said, Campbell’s expects the rate of decline in ingredients to moderate, especially in the back half of its financial year.
Magic shoppers
Retail giant Walmart has reintroduced its digital wish list, which shoppers can build at home or simply by scanning items in a store.
The company expects more than 210 million visits to its app this holiday season, up from 18 million in 2012.
Hipper tunes
Dining chain Cracker Barrel is aging down its music partnerships to attract younger guests.
Earlier this year the group offered an exclusive CD from country-music band Alabama but, in the fall, it shifted to a promotional initiative with top a cappella group Pentatonix.
Despite the hype about stores going online-only, American Eagle says 90 per cent of customers for its Aerie lingerie are acquired through brick-and-mortar stores.
There are only 11 states with Aerie stores but American Eagle plans to open 10 stand-alone shops to the chain next year.
Inside the lines
One of the hottest gift trends this season is coloring
books for adults, says craft chain Michael’s.
The company says it “recognized this trend very quickly and responded very aggressively” by offering more than 175 titles, the largest selection sold by any brick-and -mortar retailer.

Ups and downs of legal diversity
THERE ARE only 31 non-white men and 20 non-white women serving as chief legal officers in Fortune 500 companies this year. That’s a net loss of two men and one woman from the figures a year ago.
However, there are 216 women who are considered “top lawyers” at the nation’s 1,000 highest-revenue companies, an increase of eight from last year’s survey.
It’s the second straight year that the figure has topped 200, says legal-diversity nonprofit Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

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