Take a Peak campaign will promote MyPyramid

Filed under: Retail |

Take a Peak is an initiative created by the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products Association, the Food Marketing Institute and MatchPoint Marketing.

The program will promote the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid, the government’s food guidance system.

Take a Peak will show consumers how small, progressive changes in their purchasing habits and diets can improve their health.

The campaign will launch in 17 states and 2,000 retail locations. It will include point-of-purchase messages and materials, aisle banners, informational kiosks, floor graphics, educational coupon booklets and displays in grocery stores nationwide.

Only food and beverage products that meet specific nutritional criteria and provide a meaningful contribution toward helping consumers meet the goals of MyPyramid are eligible for the Take a Peak program.

Consumer confidence up

Consumer confidence rose to a nearly one-year high this month, as the outlook for future economic activity and individual’s own financial situations during the next six months turned considerably brighter.

The RBC Cash Index, based on the results of the international polling firm Ipsos, showed confidence clocking in at 95.3 in January. That is up from 86.9 in December and was the best showing since February of last year.

In January a year ago, confidence had sunk to 78.2.

The RBC consumer confidence index was based on responses from 1,002 adults surveyed Jan. 8 through Jan. 10 about their attitudes on personal finance and the economy. Results of the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Electronics led holiday sales

The National Retail Federation predicted 5 percent growth for holiday sales, but the actual result was only 4.4 percent.

High definition televisions rang in the highest sales.

According to the NRF, retail industry sales for December (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) rose 3.9 percent unadjusted compared to last year and increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November.

November industry sales were revised from 6.3 percent unadjusted to 5.1 percent unadjusted.

December retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) rose 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted from November and increased 3.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Holiday purchases of high-end electronics such as video game systems and plasma televisions helped December sales at electronics and appliances stores rise 13.7 percent unadjusted from December 2005 and 3 percent seasonally adjusted from November.

Sales in the clothing and clothing accessories category increased 3 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 0.6 percent adjusted month-to-month.

However, the sluggish housing market had an effect on building material and garden equipment sales, which decreased 4.3 percent unadjusted from last December and were also down 1.1 percent from November.

Strong year-over-year gains were seen at health and personal care stores as sales rose 8.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 1.2 percent from November.

OfficeMax, Xerox ink deal

OfficeMax Inc. is starting the New Year with a new marketing campaign and new equipment. The company signed a three-year agreement with Xerox Corp. adding nearly 3,000 Xerox printers and multifunction systems to about 900 retail stores nationwide.

The agreement makes Xerox the primary equipment vendor for OfficeMax ImPress, the company’s print and document services operation.

OfficeMax ImPress will launch its multimedia campaign with the printing and binding of a 28-page Wall Street Journal insert.

By the end of January, OfficeMax will have upgraded all of its self-serve copiers in OfficeMax ImPress Centers to Xerox WorkCentre Pro 245 multifunction systems, which can copy, print, scan and fax.

The company also plans to install the Xerox DocuColor 250 copier/printer as the main color production system in each store by the end of the month.

OfficeMax ImPress solutions are for all customers from large businesses to home-office and retail consumers.

GGP extends mall hours

General Growth Properties, which owns Chapel Hills Mall, has decided to extend hours of operations at its 210 malls. The change is designed to appeal to consumers’ changing shopping habits.

Most U.S. malls close at 9 p.m.

“More than two-thirds of our shoppers have said they wanted extended hours on the weekends,” said General Growth spokesman David Keating. “You see places like Target and Best Buy and Wal-Mart opening as early as 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the weekends. We have the same things that the big-box retailers have, so we’re trying to capture some of that shopping.”

Friday and Saturday hours changed about a month ago at Chapel Hills Mall. The new schedule is:

Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Joan Johnson covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.