Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 11:14 AM
Best Buy, no stranger to Black Friday-related madness, is prompting camped-out shoppers to create Vine videos using hashtag #VineinLine in an invitation issued through Twitter ads.
To prepare for the pandemonium, a Best Buy store in Denver, Co. held a dress rehearsal. Store manager Doug Ryan told his team, "Black Friday, in my opinion, is the funnest day at Best Buy," according to the Denver Post. “The energy of the customers coming into the store, the fact they are choosing us—it's a special atmosphere." That is, until someone gets trampled.
After his intro, employees broke into departments for detailed briefings on door-buster deals, pricing, inventories and how to pitch extended-warranty protection and store credit cards. Department manager Kevin Ribbens described the training as "'bum rushing’ individual departments with dozens of workers playing frantic customers posing endless questions—sometimes with an element of impatience."
Last year Best Buy opened stores at midnight for Black Friday, but this year, like so many other retailers out to grab any edge they can, its stores will open Thanksgiving evening.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 27, 2013 09:23 AM
NHL makes NFL play with more unscripted programming, outdoor games—and concussion lawsuits.
Boston Market expects to see biggest Thanksgiving sales yet.
Burberry appeals China ban on trademark pattern.
Atlanta Braves see council approve $300 million, move to suburbs.
BlackBerry rolls out BBM social network.
Burger King expands presence in France.
Facebook tries to find balance with onslaught of sponsored posts.
Instagram is now publishing a new ad almost every day.
L'Oreal names new global CMO.
Louis Vuitton stunt in Moscow's Red Square doesn't go over well.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2013 06:57 PM
As the holiday season looms, Twitter is counting on retailers to fuel ad sales following its IPO, but a recent poll by Shop.org showed that just 15 percent of retailers consider Twitter when thinking about making a social marketing investment, with 34 percent choosing Facebook.
Twitter has been pushing its promoted posts as the way to convert eyeballs into purchases, citing data from Crimson Hexagon last month that holiday shopping conversations increased 30 percent in 2012 over 2011 and that retailers using Twitter ad products has nearly doubled since last September, and retailer spend on digital ads are projected to reach $13.5 billion by 2017 from $9.4 billion this year, according to researcher EMarketer.
To further lure potential advertisers, Twitter is giving away up to $1 million in free ads in conjunction with Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, to accounts with a US address. Marketers can use the credit for Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets products.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2013 06:23 PM
While most retailers would like consumers to heat up their credit cards this weekend, outdoor gear and apparel retailer Patagonia is going seriously against the grain and asking consumers to put away their wallets. After all, how much stuff do we need?
In line with the company's sustainable ethos, the company has released a short film, “Worn Wear,” that celebrates the gear we all already have and the stories that our clothing can tell. The retailer's sales have gone up 40 percent since it ran the campaign's first installment in 2011, featuring a full-page ad in the New York Times that showed a picture of a Patagonia coat with the words “Don’t Buy This Coat."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2013 05:46 PM
The home-beverage making trend is stronger than ever, and up-and-comer SodaStream is out to grab more market share from giants like Keurig and Starbucks, both of which have increasingly stepped into the seltzer-maker's territory.
The company has introduced SodaCaps, small recyclable containers that screw onto the top of its seltzer bottles that distribute flavor syrups such as ginger ale, cola, diet pink grapefruit, or diet cola into the bottle below. The packages of eight caps will retail for between $5 and $10 and will be sold along with the company's current bottles of syrup flavoring that consumers need to pour in manually.
According to the Motley Fool, the strategy both Green Mountain, the maker of the Keurig system, and SodaStream are using is called “the razor-and-blade business model, in which a company sells a low-margin item that requires the use of a high-margin item, which has to be replaced frequently.” SodaCaps should create a nice new revenue stream for the company that already pulls in sales from its CO2 canisters.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2013 04:32 PM
23andMe, the brainchild of Google co-founder Sergey Brin's estranged wife, Anne Wojcicki, has received a lot of press for its surprisingly accessible genetic mapping service, but the latest headlines aren't in praise of the mail-order spit test. In fact, the FDA has demanded that the company cease marketing of its $99 kit, citing the risk of false results that could lead consumers to undergo unnecessary health procedures.
In a stern letter issued on Monday, the company, whose stated mission is “to be the world's trusted source of personal genetic information,” was told to “immediately discontinue marketing the PGS until such time as it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device."
The company’s saliva-based test identifies 240 genetic traits and can provide information such as if biological children are at risk for inherited health conditions, personal genetic health risks and likely drug responses. But the warning given to the Google- and Johnson & Johnson-backed company is just the latest as a heated debate continues over direct-to-consumer genetic testing and claims made by 23andMe.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 26, 2013 02:52 PM
Most of the buzz around Target has been positive in recent years. The value-based retailer has always managed to rise above the ordinary, combining modest prices with a chic image engendering a fierce loyalty that cut across demographic lines. Chances are the bigwigs at Target smiled benevolently when consumers and the media referred to the brand as "Tar-jay" in an effort to highlight its designer-focused trendiness.
Well even a star can get tarnished—and right about now, Target is looking quite a bit less shiny than usual.
Take Target's stumble in Canada. When the chain made a big splash in the Canadian market earlier this year, the payoff for Canadian consumers who anticipated the chain's arrival was less than expected. Target seemingly did the right kinds of things, like partnering with Canadian brand Roots and Canadian entertainer Michael Buble, but the retailer's opening was beset by product shortages. What's more, while prices were competitive with other retailers operating in Canada, Target couldn't match the lower prices it set in the US—reinforcing the perception that Canadians would have to cross the border to save money in a Target store.
And if pricier duds weren't enough of a buzz-kill, a recent survey found that , "Some customers likened Canada's version to 'Target Lite,' with lackluster prices and an atmosphere that, despite renovations, still had the feel of the Zellers outlets that occupied the same spaces for years before."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2013 01:41 PM
For those that still prefer to buy their books in print-form, retailer Books-A-Million has debuted a new way for consumers to get their paperback fix: a book vending machine.
Dubbed the Espresso Book Machine (though it doesn't serve up any caffeinated drinks), it can print out any of nearly seven million titles between 5”x5” and 8”x10” and ranging from 50 to 600 pages. One unique feature, though, is the self-publishing options. Consumers and aspiring writers can upload their digital reams of short stories, novels, family histories and images to the machine that can be arranged and printed on the spot.Continue reading...