retail watch

Target Puts Value Front and Center in Holiday Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 24, 2013 04:38 PM

Target plans to shake up its approach to the Christmas-shopping season with more price advertising, digital promotion and even more attention to the Thanksgiving holiday than in past years. Like all other retailers, the discounter is facing prospects of tentative consumers and with a traditional shopping period that is six days shorter than last year.

But unlike many other retailers, Target's moves comprise a significant pivot away from its recent emphasis on style over affordability, especially in Christmas ads that have emphasized its trendiness. The chain believes it has lost some lower-income shoppers over the years by focusing on its chic private-label designs rather than the low prices that have continued to be the staple of competitors such as Walmart.

"We think [there] is an opportunity for us this holiday that we are very loud and clear about our value proposition," said Kathee Tesija, Target's executive vice president of merchandising, according to the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Del Monte, Hershey, Toyota and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on October 11, 2013 09:26 AM

In the News

Del Monte to sell consumer products division for $1.68 billion.

Hershey plans to bring China-based Lancaster brand to US market. 

Toyota debuts hydrogen prototype as fuel cell race heats up. 

Activision's $8.2 billion Vivendi buyout is cleared. 

Aereo wins injunction battle against Boston TV station.

Best Buy promises $100 buy-back credit for new iPhones. 

Jeff Bezos has built Amazon into a $75 billion 'everything store,' as it looks to show shortform YouTube content on its video service. 

Boeing unveils "jumbo killer."

CVS tailors print ads to loyalty members' preferences.

Facebook removes option to block search by name.Continue reading...

retail therapy

Williams-Sonoma Combats Showrooming Issue with Private Labels, Customer Experiences

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 05:38 PM

It was one thing for Best Buy and other big box, commodity chains to suffer from “showrooming,” but the practice now appears to be afflicting haute cuisine enabler Williams-Sonoma. And its new CEO Janet Hayes, who was named in March, is trying to do something about it.

The chain—a sibling brand to the Pottery Barn and West Elm housewares chains—has posted same-store sales declines for five of the last seven quarters as Williams-Sonoma copes with the growing scourge of showrooming—an action that the high-end retailer once didn't have to worry about because of its exclusive inventory. But now a host of brick-and-mortar and online rivals are presenting much of the same stuff, including upstarts Cutlery & More and Sur Le Table as well as Macy’s and Amazon, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Target Diversifies its Brand with Innovations in Tech, Healthcare

Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2013 12:27 PM

Target keeps stretching the footprint of its brand, which now includes efforts to fuel innovation in health care—and a new digital-movie and -TV service.

Joining the growing ranks of big companies that are attempting to spark new enterprises—and re-stock the corporate cupboard of new ideas—by incentivizing and nurturing startups, Target launched the Target Simplicity Challenge to foster ideas for helping Americans make helpful lifestyle choices and to assist in living with chronic conditions. In 2012, Walmart launched a similar effort with its "Get On The Shelf" competition, and has continued to invest in startups for its @WalmartLabs project. Nike has an accelerator to develop mobile and green technologies, and Target already has a retail accelerator

The healthcare initiative will help further the already existing retail medical clinics, pharmacies and optical departments in many Target stores. "The growing dialogue about the need to transform health care is near and dear to our hearts," Jose Barra, Target's senior vice president for health and beauty, said in a press release. "We believe there is value in surfacing simple, intuitive ideas to drive a lot of impact.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Aramark, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2013 09:19 AM

In the News

Apple gets license to run phones on China Mobile network.

Aramark files for $100 million IPO.

Target launches digital movie and TV service.

BMW fights SUV lead by Mercedes-Benz with new "Boss" version of X5.

Best Buy CEO sells shares to help pay for his divorce.

Four Seasons Hotels starts a food truck.

GM sees Canada sell part of its stake in automaker and perceives opportunity in Europe to push Chevy as value brand.

Gevalia launches frothy K-cups.

Google Play gets a new logo

Home Depot is accused of shaking down suspected shoplifters.

Intel unveils line of chips for wearable devices.

J&J reintroduces Tylenol.Continue reading...

digital moves

RadioShack Bids for Relevance with 'Cord-Cutting' Deal During TWC-CBS Fight

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 06:16 PM

RadioShack is bidding to renew its relevance in a fresh way this week, offering a "cord-cutting" deal on high-definition digital TV antennas to the millions of consumers in some major national markets that have been blacked out of CBS in the network's continuing deadlock with Time Warner Cable.

Under new management and in an attempt to begin rolling back a long tide of red ink, Radio Shack has turned toward a new logo, new slogan ("Let's Play"), new store concept and new positioning that recasts the brand as an even better digital playground for Millennials than their local Verizon Wireless or AT&T store. At the same time, RadioShack says it wants to fortify the loyalty of its traditional audience of electronics hobbyists.

The brand's new promotion ratchets up RadioShack's immediacy a few notches. Saying it makes "cutting the cable" convenient and easy, the company is offering a 25 percent discount on its best-selling HDTV antenna in areas affected by the blackout, through September 7.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Bill Ackman, Samsung, Billabong and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Bill Ackman gives up stake in JCPenney.

Samsung confirms Galaxy Gear Smartwatch for Sept. 4. 

Billabong reports record loss and writes down value of brands.

Adobe has some bold plans for online ad business. 

Amazon exposes cloud's dark lining with weekend outage.

Apple plans to launch trade-in program for iPhone, report says.

AT&T sees its commercial straight man leap to Saturday Night Live.

Best Buy will see founder unload some of his shares this year.

Chevrolet does deal with University of Texas Longhorns for Silverado.

Cracker Barrel revamps menu with lighter dishes and rejects activist investor's third attempt to join its board.

Ford ramps up output of Fusion to challenge Toyota's Camry.Continue reading...

brand revival

Best Buy Shows Signs of Life as Turnaround Strategy Kicks In

Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 21, 2013 03:38 PM

All things considered, turnaround specialist Hubert Joly has something to celebrate on his first anniversary at the helm of Best Buy. The electronics retailer was "all but given up for dead a year ago—when it was fighting against shrinking revenues, bad publicity, and crushing competition from industry rival Amazon..."

But on August 20, Best Buy reported gross margins of 26.5 percent, beating estimates, as its stock price gained 10 percent. Best Buy's profit for the quarter ending August 3 was $266 million compared to $12 million for the same period one year ago. Still, CEO Joly "is simply better managing the decline. Same-store sales fell by 0.6 percent, and overall revenue was down 0.4 percent," comments Bloomberg. 

Nevertheless, Joly can take some satisfaction from his efforts in righting a sinking ship. One move that has surely helped: In March, Best Buy instituted a no holds barred "Low Price Guarantee" to blunt the negative impact of "showrooming"—when consumers visit the chain's stores to look at products, only to then leave and purchase the items online. The Guarantee offers to match a price from any local retail competitor's store, as well as from a designated list of online retailers, which includes Amazon.com, Apple.com, Sears.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com. It's likely that the Guarantee contributed to a 10.5 percent increase in online sales.Continue reading...

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