Tonight: Clear and cool with an overnight low in the mid 50s.
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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.
More Business News
Last Update on September 23, 2014 17:33 GMT
OVERSEAS TAX BREAKS-COMPANIES
NEW YORK (AP) -- A handful of companies pursuing overseas deals that could lower their tax rates are under pressure after the U.S. unveiled rules that would make those deals less lucrative.
The Treasury Department announced new regulations yesterday that would make it less lucrative to pursue a so-called inversion. Under such a deal, an American company buys a foreign firm, then re-incorporates overseas.
The pharmaceutical company AbbVie, based in Chicago, reached an agreement to buy Dublin-based Shire in July for $54 billion. Shares of both companies sank in Tuesday trading. AbbVie lost 2 percent in New York trading, while Shire sank 2 percent in London.
Among other companies getting hit in Tuesday trading, Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., which plans to buy Dublin-based Covidien Plc., fell 4 percent. Covidien lost 3 percent. The British drugmaker AstraZeneca, still considered a likely takeover candidate after it successfully rebuffed overtures from Pfizer Inc. earlier this year, slumped 3 percent.
BERLIN (AP) -- The World Trade Organization has sharply reduced its forecast for global trade growth this year, pointing to uneven economic growth in countries including China and the U.S.
The WTO said Tuesday that its economists are now predicting 3.1 percent growth in world trade this year, down from the 4.7 percent forecast in April. They also cut their outlook for 2015 to 4 percent from the previous 5.3 percent.
The Geneva-based body said global trade stagnated in the first six months of this year as a gradual recovery in demand for imports in developed countries was offset by declines in developing countries.
Its director-general, Roberto Azevedo, said that "uneven growth and continuing geopolitical tensions will remain a risk for both trade and output in the second half of the year."
LONDON (AP) -- Further evidence has emerged to show that the economic momentum across the 18-country eurozone is petering out.
In its monthly survey, financial information company Markit says its purchasing managers' index for the eurozone -- a gauge of business activity -- fell to a nine-month low of 52.3 in September from the previous month's 52.5.
Though anything above 50 indicates expansion, the survey found that France remains a laggard.
It also suggested that growth may slow further in the fourth quarter as new manufacturing orders fell for the first time in 15 months.
Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, says the danger is that the European Central Bank's recent efforts to stimulate the eurozone economy will "prove ineffective in the face of such headwinds."
BERLIN (AP) -- Greece's prime minister says his country isn't seeking another international financial rescue and has indicated that a new economic reform plan is coming soon.
Since 2010, Greece has relied on two bailout packages totaling 240 billion euros ($308 billion). Payments from eurozone partners are due to end this year while those from the International Monetary Fund conclude in 2016.
After meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said "Greece can now stand on its own two feet and ... we believe we do not require a new support package."
Samaras added that Greece will soon propose "its own framework to continue reforms in the years to come, beyond the timetable of the (bailout) agreements."
Germany has been the single biggest contributor to Greece's bailouts.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- World leaders are promising billions of dollars to take better care of planet Earth at a United Nations summit on climate changes.
The non-binding pledges are coming in response to a challenge from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. At the opening of the one-day summit, Ban said the world needs to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases.
By mid-morning, world leaders had made pledges of at least $5 billion to help the world become more sustainable. And the European Union offered a rare proposal -- specific targets beyond 2020.
The EU says its member nations will cut greenhouse gases so that by 2030 they would be 40 percent below the 1990 level. The vow also calls for using renewable energy for 27 percent of the bloc's power needs and to increase energy efficiency by 30 percent.
NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 30 countries are setting the first-ever deadline to halt deforestation by 2030 to curb global warming.
The United States, Canada and the entire European Union were among 32 countries signing on to a declaration to halve forest loss by 2020 and stop it by 2030 at the U.N. climate summit Tuesday.
But the enthusiasm for the pledge was tempered when Brazil, home to wide swaths of Amazon rainforest, said it would not join.
If the goal is met, the U.N. says it would be the equivalent of taking every car off the road in the world. The group also pledged to restore more than one million square miles of forest worldwide by 2030. Norway vowed to spend $350 million to protect forests in Peru and another $100 million in Liberia.
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