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Consumer Confidence Index falls below 50

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The closely watched Consumer Confidence Index fell to 48.5 in September, down from a downwardly revised 53.2 reading in August, according to the New York City-based Conference Board.

The Present Situation Index decreased to 23.1 from 24.9. The Expectations Index declined to 65.4 from 72.0 last month.

“September’s pull-back in confidence was due to less favorable business and labor market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Overall, consumers’ confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim. And, with so few expecting conditions to improve in the near term, the pace of economic growth is not likely to pick up in the coming months.”

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Circular of the Week

BY HBSDEALER Staff

This week, Billings, Mont.-based Billings Hardware is helping its customers prep for fall, with deals on lawn winterizer, fall plant bulbs and Stihl chainsaws and leaf blowers. The one-page add also draws attention to planting fall trees and offers more than 300 varieties.

Hot Deals

• Hardware Hank Winterizer lawn fertilizer for $7.99; • A case of Ball Pint Jars for $6.99; and • Linzer eight-piece professional paint set for $12.99.

The Skinny: Winter food prep

With more and more people growing their own food, it only makes sense that canning and long-term food storage items crop up in hardware stores. Billings offers 12 products in this week’s circular aimed at preserving food, be it making jerky or canning fruits and vegetables.

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Executives expect rise in store brands

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to Deloitte’s “The Battle for Brands in a World of Private Labels” study, when asked how market share of store brands will change in the United States by 2012, 77% of CPG executives and 90% of retail executives surveyed indicated it will increase or increase significantly.

Fewer than two out of 10 executives surveyed believe consumers view store brands as likely to be manufactured by the traditional national brands. Also, eight out of 10 consumers surveyed during Deloitte’s “2010 American Pantry Study” believe that most store brands are manufactured by the traditional national brands, Deloitte reported. In addition to the disconnect around manufacturing of store brands, 85% of consumers also indicated that they have found several store brands that are just as good as national brands, and as a result have little reason to switch back. 

“Though conventional wisdom has co-branding between retailers and CPG companies as a win-lose proposition, the results of our study indicate that nearly half of retail and CPG executives agree that working together may be the best way to win the wallets of the ‘new consumer,’ ” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer products practice leader. “What they need to consider are variations on current brands and what new innovations should be brought to market so as not to overwhelm an already substantial marketplace.”

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