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...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2012 11:55 AM
The folks that make Peeps, those little marshmallow-chick candies found nesting in Easter baskets each year, have tried to market their product to fit other holidays such as Christmas (snowman and Christmas tree Peeps!), Valentine’s Day (heart Peeps!), and Halloween (Guys: there are pumpkin, ghost, and cat Peeps!) Nice try, Peeps, but the enduring image of the candy is still poking out of Easter baskets, no matter what Just Born seems to do. After all, 700 million of the sugar-beeked things are sold around that time of year.
Undeterred, Peeps is soldiering on and making another effort this year to break the wall down and market itself as a year-round sweet treat. The brand's holiday 2012 collection includes a new Peeps on Earth line of T-shirts, infant clothing, and water bottles, according to a press release.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 19, 2012 01:38 PM
As holiday season is now upon us, the two major U.S. shippers are gearing up as e-commerce and mobile access portend a healthy economic surge this week, through Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and into full-fledged holiday shopping mania.
According to the National Retail Federation, overall holiday sales are expected to rise 4.1% compared to last year – a bellwether for the health of the economy, with electronic items, apparel, and luxury comprising a significant portion of total holiday shipping volumes.
Both UPS and FedEx have delivery contracts with most of the biggest e-tailers including Toys R Us, Kohl's, Walmart, Macy's, eBay and Amazon.
UPS (the brand formerly known as United Parcel Service) expects shipments to hit record levels up 10% from last year and plans to hire 55,000 seasonal workers, and estimates it will deliver 527 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, topping last year’s record of 480 million.
Their busiest day will be Dec. 20, with an estimated 28 million packages delivered, up from the regular 15.8 million packages daily.Continue reading...
Posted by Andrew Chan on November 19, 2012 01:05 PM
Coca-Cola pretty much has a lock on Christmas (or at least Santa Clause) as far as brands go. This holiday season, its holiday campaign features a giant Santa puppet and a catchy tune, "Something in the Air," composed by Grayson Sanders.
Does the campaign stand with the brand's iconic "Holidays Are Coming" campaign with its now-iconic festive red trucks, or its more recent "Snow Globes" holiday campaign?Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 12, 2012 01:12 PM
"Jingle Bells." "Silent Night." Those are just two of the many Christmas songs to be heard on repeat by anyone currently spending more than an hour in a Chinese Starbucks. Unlike in America, many Chinese consumers go to Starbucks specifically to spend more than an hour.
Americans may be gearing up for Thanksgiving but in China's Starbucks, it's already Christmas. From the cups to the signage to the baristas' shirts to the plastic tree with ornaments, there is no "Happy Holidays" war on Christmas in China. There's even a Starbucks China Christmas website. Despite slowdowns in other areas of the nation, China's Starbucks economy is booming and Christmas in China just might deliver shareholders the best present of all.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2011 03:02 PM
It turns out that on-sale winter apparel and Christmas gifts weren't the only things propelling a torrid Black Friday. U.S. auto sales also came in strong last weekend, helping the industry post satisfying results for the entire month of November. Sales were up 14 percent over a year ago.
And more than that, automakers solidified their status as one of the few genuinely rosy sectors of the U.S. economy, with some car-brand executives suggesting that their industry could actually help lead America out of its current economic doldrums. J.D. Power just announced that car buyers in the U.S. are considerably more satisfied than they were a year ago.
"[Auto] dealers enjoyed the same uplift as other merchants" last weekend, Ken Czubay, Ford's U.S. vice president of sales, told journalists on a conference call. "That included a strong Saturday." Ford's retail sales were up 20 percent for last month over a year earlier, and the company's largest dealer, Galpin Ford in Southern California, experienced its largest single sales day in history on the day after Thanksgiving.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2011 01:41 PM
'Tis the season for certain types of brands. And before we get to the January marketing blowout for weight-management brands, there's something we all must get past. It's gastronomic, too, but it requires overconsumption rather than dieting. It's holiday eating — or, rather, overeating. And Pepto-Bismol is all over it.
The pink post-feast recovery remedy by Procter & Gamble has launched an opportunistic advertising campaign that uses humor, elves and lots of food to make points about Pepto-Bismol. While the references to extreme digestive distress are only oblique, however — no "plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is" jingle a la Alka Seltzer — the point is the timing of the ads.
While Pepto-Bismol ranks as one of P&G's highest-penetration brands, only 7 percent of consumers surveyed claimed to have used it over the last 12 months, according to the New York Times. So now, instead of advertising steadily throughout the year as Pepto-Bismol used to do, the company is taking a "pulsed marketing approach where we focus our spending and our efforts around times when we know people are celebrating," a spokeswoman told the Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 29, 2011 05:59 PM
Remember the launch of Carmelo Anthony's M8 Jordan Brand shoe back in October? Well, Melo's at it again — this time with a Christmas themed shoe for the Nike-owned Jordan Brand. The occasion? All NBA games will start on Christmas Day as a result of the just-resolved lockout, which saw Brand Jordan himself at odds with fans and players alike as Michael Jordan sided with his fellow team owners in the labor dispute.