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Retail roundup: Teen spending, Wal-Mart contest, Spanish e-books

April 07, 2012|By Shan Li
  • A teenager and her mother shop for a prom dress at Alfred Angelo in Brea.
A teenager and her mother shop for a prom dress at Alfred Angelo in Brea. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

--After a few years of restraint, teen spending is on the rise.

Just in time for prom season, American teenagers reported double-digit increases in how much they're shelling out on fashion, beauty and entertainment, some of the sharpest jumps since 2004, according to a semiannual survey from Piper Jaffray.

Teens from wealthy households said their fashion expenditures rose 17% in the last six months, while youngsters from families with more moderate incomes said their spending had risen 18%. Overall, about 39% of teen budgets are devoted to fashion, up from 38% last fall and 37% a year ago.

--Discount giant Wal-Mart has picked 10 products as finalists for its Get on the Shelf contest.

The competition, which officially launched in January, offered inventors and small businesses a chance to snag shelf space in Wal-Mart's stores and on its website. Applicants submitted videos introducing their item and the public voted.

The finalists include a kosher salt, a Christian print magazine for teen girls, an acne-fighting system and a line of T-shirts that contain "hidden images that appear when the garment gets wet and disappear when dry."

People can vote for the final three winners at GetOnTheShelf.com. The grand prize winner will be sold online and at select Wal-Mart stores around the country, while the other two top vote-getters will be available on Walmart.com.

--Online retailer Amazon.com unveiled a new Spanish-language e-book store that targets Spanish speakers in the U.S.

Dubbed "eBooks Kindle en Espanol," the shop carries 30,000 titles, including popular novels such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Cien años de soledad" or "100 Years of Solitude."

Beyond books, shoppers can also buy subscriptions to Spanish-language newspapers and browse customer support pages online in Spanish.

"We're excited to introduce Spanish language storefronts on all Kindles, as well as a dedicated store for our Spanish-speaking customers in the U.S.," Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, said in a statement. 

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