Suggestions for a Less Stressful Shopping Season
The 2013 holiday shopping season is set to be the shortest on record. With just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, six fewer than last year’s 32 days, consumers will undoubtedly be seeking easy and efficient ways to still get their shopping done. In order to make the most of your shopping trips, here are a few simple tips from the professional at Hamilton Place Mall:
Have a shopping list. Taking a few minutes to actually write out what you need and who you’re shopping for can save both stress and over-spending. It will also save you time, especially if you’ve written down information such as sizes and color preferences. Don’t forget to list the people who will receive holiday tips such as the babysitter, dog groomer, mail and newspaper carriers or hair stylist. This will also help you manage your holiday budget. But you may also want to have a few “surprise” gifts that are generic in case you forget anyone or someone drops by with a gift for you during the holidays.
Be comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes to keep your feet happy during your shopping trip. If possible, leave your bulky winter coat in the car.
Shop during the week rather than on the weekend. Generally, fewer people shop during the week as compared to the weekend. Also, malls are places where people socialize as well as shop. With school in session during the week, you’ll find fewer families in the mall at that time.
Shop early in the day rather than later in the day or evening. Remember the saying, “The early bird catches the worm.” The same applies to shopping. In the mornings there are generally fewer people out. That means fewer crowds, faster service and time to browse a bit more when making gift selections.
Shop with somebody. This is a good idea unless the person you’re shopping with is the person you’re shopping for! Nevertheless, time goes by faster when you’re shopping with someone. Plus, you have somebody to talk to, to share gift ideas with and to help make color and size decisions.
Make multiple shopping trips rather than an all-day shopping marathon. This will require a bit more planning, but can help preserve your strength, stamina and sanity in the long run. There are numerous methods to use in following this suggestion such as shopping for all the members of a particular family or purchasing children’s presents on one trip and adult’s presents on another trip.
Map out your shopping trip. When planning a trip, you wouldn’t dream of driving off without having looked up directions on your phone or the internet. Why should shopping be any different? If you know what you want to purchase and where you can find it, half your battle is won.
Don’t forget the gift receipt and gift wrapping. In order to ensure that the recipient can return or exchange an item, make sure the sales associate includes a gift receipt with your purchase. At Hamilton Place Mall you will find Kids on the Block gift wrap stations located on the upper level by Customer Service and on the lower level by JCPenney.
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or directions. In order to make room for holiday and seasonal merchandise, stores sometimes have to reconfigure departments or sections. This can be confusing to a customer who regularly shops that store. As a result, a great deal of time can be spent “searching” for merchandise and the searching can lead to frustration. Why not simply ask a sales associate for assistance?
THINK SAFETY - One final suggestion regarding shopping – at any time – but particularly during the holidays, is to keep safety in mind at all times. Know where you place your credit card or checkbook after a purchase. Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your wallet or purse. Take in just want you need to spend and come back later. When getting money from an ATM, don’t let people crowd you too closely. When taking purchases to your car, lock them out of sight in the trunk rather than exposed in the back seat. Finally, let somebody at home know you’re going to be shopping, your destination, route and estimated time of return.
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Last Update on August 04, 2015 07:28 GMT
FOSSIL FUELS ON SALE
NEW YORK (AP) -- These days it seems whatever can be burned to power a car, heat a home, make electricity or ship people and goods around the globe is being sold at bargain basement prices.
Prices for coal, natural gas, oil and the fuels made from crude such as gasoline and diesel are all far less expensive than they have been in recent years.
Consumers are rejoicing. Fossil fuel companies are reeling. Countries that import energy, such as the U.S., China, Japan and those in the European Union, are getting an economic boost. Exporters, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are facing lower income and budget shortfalls.
Commodities in general are slumping. The S&P global commodity index hit its lowest level since 2002 on July 27, lower even than during the 2008 global financial crisis.
The recent price declines are a result of complex factors that have led to a simple outcome: There is more than enough fossil fuels at the ready than customers need.
THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Commerce Department will be releasing factory orders for June. Today's release is set for 10 a.m. EST.
In Germany, Automaker BMW AG will report its second-quarter earnings.
On Wall Street, Aetna reports quarterly financial results before the market opens. Other pre-market quarterly reports are due to be released by CVS Health, Walt Disney, and Freddie Mac.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Investment giant Pimco says the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into its total-return fund.
Pimco says it was notified that the SEC is looking into the valuation of smaller-sized positions in non-agency mortgage-backed securities purchased by the fund between its inception on Feb. 29, 2012 and June 30, 2012. The SEC is also investigating the fund's performance disclosures for that period and its compliance policies and procedures.
Pacific Investment Management Co. says it received a Wells notice, which means SEC investigators are recommending that the agency take civil action against the company. The SEC is not formally accusing Pimco or the Pimco Total Return Active Exchange-Traded Fund of wrongdoing.
The SEC declined comment.
GENERAL MOTORS-IGNITION SWITCH DEATHS
DETROIT (AP) -- According to a fund set up to compensate victims General Motors' faulty ignition switches were responsible for at least 124 deaths and 274 injuries. The fund, administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, updated the totals Monday.
Victims' families are being offered compensation of at least $1 million each. The fund has finished processing the 4,342 claims it received by the Jan. 31 deadline. Of those, 91 percent -- or 3,938 -- were deemed ineligible. Feinberg is waiting for additional documentation for six claims.
Fund spokeswoman Camille Biros says 385 compensation offers have been made so far and 275 have been accepted. Five have been rejected.
GM recalled 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars last year but acknowledged it knew about the ignition switch problems for more than a decade.
MEDICAL DATA HACK
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) -- An Indiana medical software company has reported the private information of 3.9 million people nationwide was exposed when its networks were hacked earlier this year.
That's according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Medical Informatics Engineering reported the number of people affected by the hack to the federal agency on July 23.
The Fort Wayne company announced June 10 that the attack on its main network and its NoMoreClipboard network began May 7 and was detected May 26. The company said the exposed information includes names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers and health records.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has urged all state residents to freeze their credit in the wake of the hack. He said his office is investigating the breach.
A list of affected providers can be found online at www.mieweb.com/notic
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