Retailing Briefs

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Consumers Upbeat

NEW YORK— The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index improved in October — the first time in five months. The Index stood at 81.1, up from 77.0 in September. "With the holiday season around the corner, this improvement in consumers' spirits is a good omen for upcoming retail sales," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

Another indication that the holiday selling season may be jolly is the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2003 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. NRF projects holiday sales will increase 5.7 percent this year to $217.4 billion, which would be the largest increase since 1999. NRF anticipates the following items will remain popular gifts this year: books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed said they hoped to receive CE products.

New NARDA Officers

LOMBARD, ILL.— The North American Retail Dealers Association has elected new officers and directors. The officers are as follows: chairman Michael Corder, Hod's Home Theater; immediate past chairman Michael Fischer, Nielsen's; first vice chairman Randy Whitehead, Service West; second vice chairman Leon Barbachano, Allen and Petersen Kitchen and Appliance; secretary Timothy Seavey, Seavey's Furniture and Appliance; and treasurer Robert Cremer, Aronson Furniture, Electronics and Appliances. New directors are David Borsani, Complete Home Appliance Service, and Michael Grimes, G H Home Furnishings.

In Other News…

Extended service plan provider NEW has contracted with ServiceBench to utilize its online ClaimCenter service to process warranty claims …Badcock Home Furnishings , No. 20 on TWICE's Top 100 Appliance Retailers, has named A-1 Home Services as a primary white goods installer for its 350 stores.


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