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Dana Hunsinger Benbow
Indianapolis Star|indystar.com

Consumers are scaling back the frills, the flowers, the champagne brunches and massages to buy something a bit more practical — and pricey — this Mother’s Day: tablets, iPads and smartphones.

More than 14 percent of shoppers will buy electronics for mom, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation, the highest percent in the decades-old history of the NRF report.

Spending on the category, one typically reserved for dads, will reach $2.3 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2012. It’s quite a jump from just a few years back. In 2007, consumers forked out $747 million on electronics for mom. read more »


Lines at the cash register?

What lines? Come to think of it, what cash register?

Some retailers are beginning to do away with stationary checkout counters and are launching mobile checkouts that let customers pay for merchandise anywhere in the store through clerks who use handheld devices and apps. And we aren’t just talking techy, edgy companies like Apple.

Starbucks and Nordstrom are doing it. So is Indianapolis-based Finish Line. JC Penney will roll out mobile checkouts next year.

Could it be that the traditional checkout line will someday — and someday soon — disappear?

“This is the road to the extinction of the cash register,” said Richard Feinberg, professor of consumer sciences and retailing at Purdue University. “We have just gotten on the highway and not yet reached 65 miles per hour, but it will happen — sooner rather than later.” read more »

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