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 July 02, 2015 07:49 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The department will also release unemployment data for June.
Also today, the Commerce Department will issue its report on factory orders for May and Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece is bracing for more chaos on the streets. Banks have been closed all week to prevent a crash from mass money withdrawals, while a few have been reopened to help pensioners without ATM cards.
Meanwhile, Greece and its creditors have halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend.
The Greek government doesn't want to put up more collateral in order to receive the final installment of bailout money, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (TSEE'-prahs) believes a "no" vote from citizens gives Athens a strong negotiating position.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Moody's investors service is slashing Greece's rating from Caa2 to Caa3, or just above default. It's the country's fourth ratings downgrade this week.
The agency says Greece is likely to default on its remaining privately held debt due to its impasse with lenders.
It says "Events of recent months have illustrated the distance between what Greece's official creditors will demand as a condition of continued support over the coming years, and what Greece's institutions are able to do to meet those demands.."
Moody's goes on to say that "This creates significant difficulties for the achievement of a long-lasting support agreement."
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT-GE APPLIANCE
NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. government is suing to stop Electrolux from buying General Electric's appliance division, saying the combined company would dominate sales of kitchen appliances to customers like home builders, property managers, hotels, and governments.
General Electric Co. says it will defend the sale in court and aims to complete the $3.3 billion deal this year.
The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the sale. It says GE and Electrolux, the owner of the Frigidaire brand, have been competing for decades to sell appliances like ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens.
The agency says Electrolux would eliminate a major competitor if it buys the GE division, and Electrolux and Whirlpool would be the only major companies selling appliances to many customers.
CARGILL PORK ACQUISITION
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The U.S. subsidiary of a Brazilian-based international meat processor is buying the pork division of Cargill Inc.
JBS USA, a division of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based JBS, and Cargill said Wednesday they have signed an agreement for the $1.45 billion transaction.
JBS USA Pork Chief Operating Officer Martin Dooley says it's a strategic investment in the long-term growth of the company's U.S. pork business.
The deal includes Cargill processing plants in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Beardstown, Illinois. The two plants processed 9.3 million hogs last year.
Feed mills in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Texas are included, along with hog farms in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
JBS entered the U.S. pork market in 2007 when it bought Swift & Co. It sells products under the Swift and Swift Premium brand names.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Ebay's PayPal unit is buying Xoom for $890 million cash in a bid to expand into international money transfers.
Xoom is a San Francisco-based digital money transfer provider. The company's technology lets U.S. customers send money to, and pay bills for, family and friends worldwide with their mobile phones, tablets and computers.
PayPal said Wednesday it's paying $25 per share for Xoom Corp., a premium of nearly 21 percent over the company's closing price of $20.70.
PayPal said Xoom's presence in 37 countries including key markets like Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil will accelerate its expansion.
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval by Xoom shareholders and antitrust regulators and other closing conditions.
PayPal itself is splitting off into an independent company later this month.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard is moving forward with plans to split into two companies, filing paperwork to create a new entity that will sell commercial technology, while a separate spinoff will sell personal computers and printers.
HP said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the new company called Hewlett Packard Enterprise will include units of the old HP that sold computer hardware, software and tech services for large organizations. The papers show those units had $25.6 billion in sales over the last two quarters, with net earnings of $852 million.
CEO Meg Whitman, who will lead the new enterprise company, said in a statement that the split remains on track to occur by November.
HP, meanwhile, said one of its senior executives, Bill Veghte, resigned this week to pursue an unspecified new opportunity.
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