Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 11:13 AM
What's the best way for a well-known retailer to introduce its brand to a new country? Come bearing gifts. That, apparently, is Target's strategy. In advance of its spring 2013 launch in Canada, the retail chain is laying the groundwork with PR-positive initiatives, including a push to support Canadian charities, sustainable stores, and a focus on Canadian fashion designers.
Target has pledged to give $1 million to six local Canadian charities in food, active play, education, and the arts. Visitors to Target's Canadian Facebook page through December 9 can select any of the six charities and Target will make a $100 donation and add the donor's photo to its "Gallery of Giving." Facebook visitors can also specify the province where they would like the money to go. The "Give with Target" campaign just launched on November 20 and has already raised over $250,000.
Will using corporate citizenship as a calling card convince Canadians to forgo Walmart and homegrown faves such as The Bay, Sears (which just refreshed its branding ahead of Target's arrival) and Canadian Tire?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 12:02 PM
The retail stampede is on, as early bird shoppers are being wooed this year to become pre-bird shoppers.
Whether Black Friday actually starts on Thanksgiving Thursday at 5:23 p.m., which is when eBay says it starts, or 9 p.m., which is when Target is opening its doors, doesn't really matter anymore. The fact is that America's biggest shopping day is getting a jump on itself, and there's no going back. Neither will retailers trying to get a jump on Black Friday by pre-positioning themselves with shoppers weeks ahead of time as they set their Black Friday plans.
Walmart already has released its Black Friday promotions online — buy now! — telling USA Today that it has bought so "deep" that it will have enough of some of the hottest electronics items — including iPad 2s — to satisfy shoppers who are sure to swarm their stores on Thanksgiving night while the day's slate of NFL games on TV is still playing itself out. Of course, retail workers are outraged, with charges of "pure greed" being bandied about, while at least one Walmart (in Bergen County, NJ) is being forced to close for two hours on Thanksgiving to give staffers a chance to gobble down some turkey.
Walmart and other bricks-and-mortar chains have been shifting more of their deals for Black Friday to the web for some time now. Staples plans to begin on Thanksgiving Day with some special mobile offers. The National Retail Federation projects that fewer Americans will brave physical stores this year than last year — but thanks to the deals and ease of shopping online, they'll spend more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2012 11:12 AM
It won't come as news to the millions of Americans who go to humanity-choked Apple stores and try to find a blue-shirted staff member who might be unoccupied, but Apple's outlets are the most productive retail real estate in the United States, according to new research.
Now if its former retail guru Ron Johnson could finally just figure out how to apply some of the Apple shine to JCPenney, where he is the increasingly beleaguered CEO after having left Apple as head of its retail stores a little over a year ago.
Apple's store productivity has soared in recent years as consumers have flocked to buy iPhones and iPads, reports the Financial Times. As a result, Apple recorded sales per square foot of retail space of $6,050 in the year ended in June, putting it ahead of all other contenders, including No. 2 Tiffany & Co. and No. 3 Lululemon Athletica, according to data from Retail Sales. But even Tiffany finished a distant runner-up, with sales of $3,017 per foot.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 01:55 PM
The textbook case of entrepreneurial success that is Sara Blakely's Spanx shapewear brand has just written a new chapter: on Nov. 2nd, Spanx opened its first standalone retail store in the U.S., at the Tysons Corner Center in Maclean, Virginia, one of three stores opening this fall in addition to the brand's first airport boutique, at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. As the brand posted on its Facebook page, Blakely told USA Today that the opening made her feel "excited, nervous, emotional" as it made the leap into its own bricks-and-mortar retail channel.
Blakely's meteoric rise from inspired but inexperienced entrepreneur to one of the richest women in the world has been one of the most interesting stories in business over the last few years. She started out shilling her first invention — a modernized, footless hybrid of a girdle and panty hose — from a folding table in the foyer of a Neiman Marcus and would ship online orders in white Office Depot envelopes from her Atlanta apartment, as Forbes recounts.
The 41-year-old entrepreneur continued tirelessly promoting her brand to the point where, today, Spanx products are sold in more than 11,500 department stores, boutiques and online shops in 40 countries. As Forbes puts it, Spanx has become the "Kleenex" of the category Blakely invented, with revenues just shy of $250 million last year. And her success made Blakely the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.
Even so, Spanx never had operated its own stores, but it now has the cash and variety of products, including Spanx for men, swimwear and apparel, that the timing couldn't be better.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 22, 2012 12:14 PM
Don’t happen to live anywhere near London but want to shop at Harrods, anyway? Well, it appears that you are in luck. Well, at least your avatar is.
Fashion-centric social network Stardoll has partnered with the famed 178-year old, five-acre department store to sell virtual copies of some of its children's wear to the avatars within the game, Brand Republic reports. The virtual Harrods store features digital replicas of designs by Harrods' real-world kids' clothing partners, including Chloe, Junior Gaultier and Rykiel Enfant.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 19, 2012 11:14 AM
There’s a huge difference between a 13-year-old and a 30-year-old, but there is one thing that brings them together: sharing the role of bookends to the demographic group known as the Millennials.
Now two years into its run with Madonna's Material Girl collection, repped by her blogging daughter Lourdes and Mick Jagger's model daughter Georgia May, Macy’s knows that this big swath of humanity is where the money is, and it's working hard to get more of them in the store. That's why the retailer is launching 13 new brands and expanding 10 other existing labels that it believes will resonate with millennials, as AP reports.
Molly Langenstein, group merchandise manager for Millennials for Macy's, told WWD that "We're serious about this and we're aggressively going after this consumer. This is not a test."
This youthful focus has been going on since March when the retailer’s merchandise team was restructured to pay or more attention to that age group. Ch-ch-changes are expected to continue over the next three years that include integrating tablets and other user-friendly tech into the shopping experience as well putting different displays on the shopping floor more often.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 18, 2012 09:50 AM
Target celebrated its 50th anniversary with an event in New York, unveiling its upcoming Neiman Marcus holiday collection and web price-matching plan.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2012 05:16 PM
Gap Inc. chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy announced today that it has created a new global brand management structure so that its flagship Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands will each be led by a single executive with global purview beginning in fiscal year 2013. The move also creates a global innovation and digital strategy group, a first for the apparel company.
With more than 3,200 stores across its brands, the move consolidates North American, international, online, outlet and franchise divisions in an effort to improve market share. Gap has been expanding abroad and now has stores in more than 40 countries (compared with eight in 2006), but a word of caution from NASDAQ: “The company would be following the path of other apparel retailers, like Abercrombie & Fitch Co. But the road is a tricky one, especially right now due to economic conditions around the globe. Gap would do well to take a steady-as-she-goes approach.”Continue reading...