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For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2011
Contact: 518-486-9846
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Secretary of State Cesar Perales and the Retail Council Reach out to Consumers with Important Holiday Tips


Albany – Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales and Ted Potrikus, executive vice president of the Retail Council of New York hosted a holiday consumer event in the Center Court of the Colonie Center in Albany today. Joined by staff from the Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection, Secretary Perales and Mr. Potrikus offered consumers safety tips, holiday shopping advice and the latest information on toy safety and recalls.

“Given today’s tough economic climate, many families are operating on tight budgets. That’s why it’s so important to be properly armed with information that will help make your holiday shopping less stressful and more rewarding,” explained Secretary Perales. “We want to make sure all shoppers know their basic rights in the marketplace, including understanding rules pertaining to gift cards, refunds and layaway policies. We also want to make sure that consumers are properly informed about toy and other product recalls to help reduce the risk of injury.”

The Division of Consumer Protection staff was on hand to provide shoppers with information on timely consumer topics including budgeting, refund policies, layaway plans and rebates, understanding the fine print of advertisements, online shopping tips, and rules surrounding gift card purchases. During the event they handed out brochures and answered questions from interested consumers.

Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council reminded shoppers about the positive impact they can have on New York’s economy by shopping locally during the holiday season.

“Governor Cuomo, Secretary Perales, and the Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection know that New York’s retail industry is an important part of the state’s economy, particularly during the holiday shopping season when we welcome people from all over the world to stores across New York State,” said Retail Council Executive Vice President Ted Potrikus. “The advocacy and oversight of the Department of State gives the shopping public more access than ever before to information about the products they want to purchase and about their rights as shoppers. We’re pleased to work with Secretary Perales in those efforts, to help our customers make good shopping choices, and to make sure that they’re pleased every time they walk out of our stores after making a purchase.”

Today’s event at the Albany Colonie Center is the first of several outreach efforts that DOS will schedule during the 2011 holiday season. For a list of helpful holiday tips, please visit our website at