CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Business

August 6, 2013

Back-to-school shopping likely to be less this year

Tiffany Slaney-Leigh, 14, of El Cerrito, Calif., says she'd love to get a laptop, an iPhone, three-inch wedge sneakers, mini dresses and a butterfly tattoo on her hip before starting ninth grade this fall.

That's not going to happen.

"The economy is uncertain," said her mother, Kim Slaney. The office-operations manager will spend $500 on Tiffany's clothes after dropping $800 in 2012. "You take a few steps forward and a few steps back."

Plenty of other consumers are feeling the same way. U.S. households are planning to shell out an average of 7.8 percent less for this year's back-to-school shopping season because of the bumpy economic recovery, the National Retail Federation says.

The potentially lackluster spending is one more signal that consumers are conflicted about the strength of the recovery and the stability of their buying power. That means retailers will have to keep prices low and offer exclusive products to fare well during the important back-to-school season, second only in importance to the year-end holiday season.

Total back-to-school spending may total $26.7 billion this year, the Washington-based NRF said July 18. That translates to an average of about $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics for parents with school-age children, down from $688.62 last year, the group said.

"There is no question that the economy still has a tight grip on Americans' spending decisions," NRF Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay said on a conference call. "People are finding ways to get by."

About 90 percent of consumers plan to shop in discount stores, up from 83 percent in 2012, according to a survey from the New York-based International Council of Shopping Centers. They'll also cut back on gadgets, with only 56 percent of families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade planning to purchase electronics this year, down from 60 percent last year, according to the ICSC.

Text Only
Business
  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 18, 2014

  • WSCC HILL.jpg Hill hits the ground running at Wallace State

    Marcie Hill of Double Springs likes taking on new challenges. As an 18-year veteran of the education system, Hill has taught first grade, sixth grade and served as a reading coach to students and teachers in Kindergarten through sixth grade.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: A boom in firework sales

    This year could be quite the boom for fireworks sales across the U.S. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, or the APA, sales are already off to a good start.

    July 3, 2014

  • Edward Jones Recognized as 2014 Most Valuable Employer for Military by CivilianJobs.com

    Local financial services firm Edward Jones in the Cullman-area was named a 2014 Most Valuable Employer (MVE) for Military by CivilianJobs.com, recognizing the firm's deep committment to recruiting, training and retaining military veterans as financial advisors.
     

    June 23, 2014

  • CRMC welcomes Harrison.jpg CRMC Welcomes Adam Harrison, DO to the Medical Staff

    Cullman Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is pleased to welcome Adam Harrison, DO to the Medical Staff. Dr. Harrison is originally from Cullman and graduated from Cullman High School in 2002. He obtained his bachelor of biomedical science degree from Auburn University in 2006, and attended Wallace State Community College prior to Auburn. He received his degree in osteopathic medicine in 2010 from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Georgia Campus in Suwanee, Ga. He successfully completed an internship through Columbus Regional Medical Center in Columbus, Ga., in 2011. He will complete his residency through UAB Family Medicine in Huntsville, Ala.
     

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deadly guardrails spearing drivers is whistleblower's crusade

    Harman is suing Trinity Highway and its Dallas-based owner, Trinity Industries Inc., alleging that it made quiet design changes that transformed guardrail systems across the U.S. into potentially deadly hazards.

    June 12, 2014

  • google-seo-search-results-screenshot.jpg Your new boss is going to Google you, so make sure she likes what she sees

    This is what a professional online reputation management "campaign" looks like: four people — one patched in via video — around a conference room table, jotting notes on laptops, carefully examining every trace of a client's digital existence and plotting a strategy to improve it.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Merchants Bank promotes 1.jpg Merchants Bank promotes four officers

    The Board of Directors of Merchants Bank of Alabama, a community bank since 1907, recently announced the promotions of four key officers.
    Kerry Hanvey was promoted from vice president of retail banking to senior vice president of operations. Kerry joined the bank in 1992 and has served in various positions over this 22- year period. Kerry is responsible for bank wide operations for the five bank offices.
     

    June 11, 2014 4 Photos

  • Chamber's June Small Biz of Month.jpg Chamber's June Small Business of the Month winner

    The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce recently awarded their Small Business of the Month award to Quick Tire Sales of Cullman. The award is given monthly to a local small business that meets nomination requirements. Victor Quick of Quick Tires Sales was thrilled for their business to be selected for this honor.
     

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • $15 minimum wage puts Seattle in uncharted waters

    Depending on which pundit is nattering away, this means Seattle is either going to fall off the map and become a "Mad Max"-style economic wasteland or transform into an egalitarian utopia that inspires sweeping pro-labor activism nationwide.

    June 9, 2014