Posted by Abe Sauer on November 19, 2013 11:36 AM
Target is hoping you have a holly, jolly, CIA espionage Christmas.
With the holiday selling season looking to be one of the most cutthroat in memory, is it any surprise that one of the biggest names in retail is turning to an ex-CIA covert specialist?
"I really don’t know a thing about merchandising, but I do have a son. They convinced me that a lot of the skills I acquired over the years could help moms treat Christmas like a covert operation," former CIA operative, Jonna Mendez, said in a recent interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Mendez—a career "Chief of Disguise" for the CIA—will be dispensing advice on Target's sub-site Abullseyeview.com on how her “years spent as a top-secret agent" can benefit parents looking for the perfect Christmas gift.
Target's hiring of Mendez may be a genuine attempt to find new sales tactics amid a grim consumer spending outlook, or it might just be a PR stunt to attract coverage like the Star-Tribune's. After all, the list of shopping tips "from the super sleuth" seem to stem a lot more from Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective than from the bowels of Langley, Va.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2013 06:39 PM
It's D-Days—Decision Days—for many American parents as they seek to get their holiday shopping done for their kids before the crunch of school programs, seasonal festivities and general mayhem ensues.
And sure enough, Fisher-Price, Toys R Us, Amazon and other brands are showing up with timely messages about how eager they are to help. They're all the more interested to make hay early in the season because the forecast for Christmas spending this year is cloudy at best.
Fisher-Price this season is targeting Millennial moms of kids up to ages five years old and, to accommodate the greater digital sensibilities of this generation, the Mattel-owned brand has boosted its digital-media spend by 50 percent.
"We know we need to reach her in this digital space," Lisa McKnight, Mattel's senior vice president of marketing for North America, told Advertising Age. "They want to make informed decisions when they make their purchases."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 18, 2013 09:22 AM
7-Eleven rebrands to target Millennials.
Nestle pledges zero waste in Europe by 2020.
Sperry Top-Sider unveils clothing line.
AT&T unveils $5 day-pass for tablet users.
Audi sees profit margin halving on investments in new models, report says.
Benjamin Moore stages "haunted hotel" stunt for painters.
Burger King names new CMO.
CVS unveils personalized circulars.
Dr Martens boots brand to be acquired by Permira.
eBay acquires Apple e-commerce exec.
Ford plans sneak peak for new Mustang.
Al Gore once tried to buy Twitter.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 06:17 PM
With American consumers still proving reluctant to open their pocketbooks too wide, Walmart is trying still harder to make it easier for them to spend by introducing free layaway for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
On the sales floor, Walmart and its competitors could be doing much better as they fret the slow pace of back-to-school sales and the implications for the Christmas-shopping season. The chain's second-quarter comp-store sales slipped by 0.3 percent and it's predicting relatively flat third-quarter comps, even while there are a few other signs of continued but slow economic recovery in the United States.
So heading into the year's most important spending season, Walmart is taking no chances. Its new layaway program eliminates last year's $5 fee for opening a new account, though it restores a $10 cancellation fee that Walmart had dropped last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 17, 2013 01:46 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: VW gets nostalgic... Luxury brands suffer... Starbucks canbalizes itself... Apple "ruins" family life... Translating cat app... Tencent profits... BYD... Let Li... Dutch infant formula... What Taobao can tell you about breast size... McDonald's McCafe absurdity... Face toothpaste... What a poorly made $30 hamburger reveals about China's middle class... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2012 11:18 AM
Back when Shaquille O’Neal was in his NBA playing days and couldn’t seem to sink a foul shot to save his life, there were plenty of coaches and fans who likely could have used a drink after watching him botch another attempt. Shaq has since retired from playing the game, of course, but he’s still ready to help people find a drink, though in a totally different way this time.
O’Neal is about to launch his own line of vodkas, the New York Post reports, that will be coconut-flavored, sugar- and gluten-free, hit store shelves early in 2013 and be called “Luv Shaq.” (One wonders how the B52’s are taking this.)
Drew Adelman, the founder of Devotion Vodka, which will produce the Shaq-branded sugar-free and gluten-free liquor, says that the plan is to go up against Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Ciroc vodka. Devotion was also responsible for a vodka that had Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s name on it.
O’Neal, who now makes big bucks as an analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA, has been on a self-promotion bender this year — or as he calls them on his Twitter bio, "random acts of Shaqness."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2012 12:01 PM
As the holidays are fast upon us, the brightest creative-commerce minds are devising promotions, deals and give-aways to snare the 2012 shopper wherever and whenever he or she may be.
The U.S. National Retail Foundation estimates that Holiday 2012 shoppers will spend $750 per family (up less than 1% from last year), with shopping smarter particularly important for higher-priced tech items that one-third of the population is focused on as lead gifts.
New research from Accenture shows a shift in consumer purchasing behavior and use of shopping channels, specifically online, regarding personalization vs. privacy, digital vs. in-store shopping and the rise of “showrooming.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2012 12:18 PM
This year we saw "Black Friday" creep, with store openings encroaching on Thanksgiving a troubling US retail trend to many. Now, get ready for the overnight retail rush heading into the final stretch of Christmas shopping.
Macy's has announced it will be open 24 hours a day, starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, December 21, and running through 7 a.m. on Sunday, December 23. And now comes the announcement by Toys R Us that it will stay open nationwide for 88 continuous hours beginning at 6 a.m. on December 21 through 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
In fact, the Toys"R"Us global flagship in New York's Times Square is going for an even bigger record. It opened its doors for 24/7 shopping at 7am on Sunday, December 2, and is keeping them open until 10pm on Christmas Eve, "providing New Yorkers and visitors alike a record-breaking 543 consecutive hours to shop around the clock for all their gift-giving needs."
Whether any store really needs to stay open until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve — how much of a procrastinator do you have to be to be Christmas shopping at that hour? and how much overtime are the workers getting for those overnight shifts? — is another issue. Does a never-close-the-doors promotion really help time-stressed consumers and help the retailer pick up market share during an already-frenetic month?Continue reading...