Consumers choosing layaway option as method to save in hard economic times

- Company selling bulk grocery packages finds a 25 per cent increase in
    sales that help save now for future food items -TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - With forecasters predicting that Canada will slip
into a recession early next year, Canadians are becoming more cautious about
how they spend their money. Experts are encouraging consumers to save and plan
for their purchases ahead of time.
    "The times we are living in now are so uncertain that there is an obvious
fear of loss of income which, in turn, may create an inability to make debt
payments," said Linda Stern, a Bankruptcy Trustee and Vice President at
Deloitte and Touche Inc. "More than ever people need to sit down and look at
their household budget and spending, make certain adjustments and find ways to
save more than they normally would."
    Santas Choice is a leading provider of grocery hampers that allow
customers to set aside a choice amount of money each month toward their orders
which are locked-in at 2008 prices. Over the past week alone, Santas Choice
has seen a 25 per cent increase in its Head Start program which enables
consumers who have completed payment on their current grocery purchases to
continue to put money aside for future orders.
    "This is a reflection of the current economic situation and strong
indicator of what is likely to come," said Geoff Spong, President of Santas
Choice. "When times are good, people are happy to have more money in their
pocket and aren't as interested in saving. As soon as there is a downturn,
that's when people start thinking about alternative savings vehicles for
everything - including their food."
    Santas Choice is reporting a significant increase in the number of
completed layaway payments in recent days and cheques are coming in fast to
lock in grocery packages by the company's October 31 deadline for orders
delivered this Christmas. Orders have already started for Christmas 2009 by
those who are anxious to save with the 2008 prices.

    Santas Choice is the largest catalogue retailer of premium brand seasonal
food items delivered to customers across the country throughout the year.
Hampers are sold with flexible payment options and delivered. For more
information visit www.santaschoice.ca.




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