Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 12/21/12: Target Slashes Prices, Tracking Social Media Spend


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“Why Walmart Took Over Facebook for 72 Hours” by Brad Tuttle in Time.  “But does an increased presence by retailers in social media actually boost sales? The answer’s not clear. An IBM Digital Analytics report indicates that social media’s impact on sales appears to be minimal:  Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated 0.41 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, a decrease of more than 26 percent from 2011.  The results of a study published by Forrester in the fall also came to the conclusion that in terms of overall online purchases, “less than 1% of transactions could be traced back to trackable social links.”  Data like this makes it sound as if it’s not particularly worthwhile for retailers to put much emphasis on social media. But while it looks as if Facebook and the rest don’t have much direct correlation to online sales, it’s much harder to determine whether or not shoppers ultimately wound up shopping in person at Walmart or another store over Black Friday weekend (or even days or weeks later) due to something they glanced on Twitter or Facebook. In some cases, shoppers themselves may not be fully aware that they were influenced in such a way by social media.”  https://business.time.com/2012/12/20/why-walmart-took-over-facebook-for-72-hours/


“Target slashes prices on its Target + Neiman Marcus collection by 50%” by Thomas Lee in the Star Tribune.  “Target corporation, always quick to start and end a trend, slashed prices on all 60 pieces in its Target + Neiman Marcus collection on Thursday. About 20 shoppers, nearly all of them Target corporate employees who must have gotten a memo, stood patiently waiting for the security guard to let them in when the Nicollet Mall store opened at 7 a.m. All immediately rushed to the nearby Target + Neiman Marcus collection where Tracy Reese dessert plates quickly were cleaned off the shelves. Tory Burch’s lunch box, Diane von Furstenberg’s yoga mat and a rag & bone flask were also selling quickly. All items were still in stock this morning at Target.com, which also has the collection discounted 50 percent.”  https://www.startribune.com/blogs/184258761.html


 “Amazon invests in original shows, taking on Netflix and TV” by Julia Boorstin at CNBC News.  “The series are largely from industry veterans.  Alpha House, about four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington D.C., is written by Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau.  Browsers, a musical comedy about young people working at a news site, is written by an Emmy-winning writer from “The Daily Show” and a director from “30 Rock.”  The “Big Bang Theory’s” co-stars have written “Dark Minions,” an animated workplace series.  Another animated series, “Supernatural,” will be produced by a “Daily Show” producer.  “The Onion Presents: The News” is a scripted comedy set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network…”  https://www.wbir.com/watercooler/article/246408/141/Amazon-invests-in-original-shows-taking-on-Netflix-and-TV-


Whole Foods CEO on Store Count and Private Label (Video on CNBC).  https://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000136401


“Rite Aid Returns to Profit After 5 Years, Stock Surges” by Jennifer Booton at Fox Business.  “The Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug-store chain posted net income of $61.9 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $52 million, or 6 cents. The profit topped average analyst estimates of 3 cents a share in a Thomson Reuters poll.  Shares of Rite Aid soared more than 15% to $1.20 on the news.”  https://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/12/20/rite-aid-returns-to-profit-stock-surges-23/#ixzz2FgjtJPCh


Publix takes No. 9 spot among year’s ‘Top 10’ (in Cleveland) by Rick Norton in Cleveland Daily Banner.  “Publix is adding some beef to a burgeoning Cleveland market that some believe is already fat with grocers, according to an early October confirmation by the Florida-based company whose shopping aisles are stretching longer and wider across the Southeast…Cleveland is already home to popular grocery outlets like Cooke’s, BI-LO, Fresh N’ Low Cost Plus Foods, Walmart, Aldi and Food Lion.”  https://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/21193413/article-Publix-takes-No–9-spot-among-year%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98Top-10%E2%80%99?instance=latest_articles


“Williams-Sonoma accelerating global growth” by Renee Frojo in San Francisco Business Times.  “Williams-Sonoma is in full-on global expansion mode.  Just this month, the San Francisco-based company — which owns Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PTteen, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation and recently, Mark and Graham — announced the construction of four new stores in Australia and opened another Williams-Sonoma store in Canada.”  https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2012/11/30/williams-sonoma-accelerating-global.html 


“Supermarkets (in UK)  peg hopes on final weeks to lift market share” by Rosie Baker in Marketing Week.   “Tesco was the highest spending supermarket on TV and press investing £1.8m in the four weeks ending 2 December. Asda spent £11.2m, Sainsbury £7.3m and Morrisons £7.1m.  Aldi was the next highest spender investing £6.5m, a 36 per cent increase on last year.  The percentage of items bought on promotion remains at an all-time high of 36 per cent as retailers support festive ranges with in-store promotions. On the high street retailers are already turning to sales to drive footfall and attract shoppers.”  https://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/supermarkets-peg-hopes-on-final-weeks-to-lift-market-share/4005205.article


“Wal-Mart names Karen Roberts new general counsel” at Reuters.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which is facing bribery investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, named a new general counsel, Karen Roberts, effective February 1, 2013.  Roberts replaces Jeff Gearhart, who now oversees the retail giant’s legal functions as well as its newly expanded compliance department.  Roberts, 42, has been with Wal-Mart for 17 years and will be responsible for “all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets,” the company said in a statement.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/20/us-walmart-generalcounsel-idUSBRE8BJ1AX20121220 


“Amazon sends mom a book wrapped in THIRTY FEET of paper” by Ian Garland at The Sun.  “Helen, 43, from north London said: “I was really surprised when I saw the size of the package as I couldn’t remember buying anything that big.  “The man in the sorting office actually joked that he didn’t think there was anything inside as it was so light.  I took it home and opened it and couldn’t believe what I saw. I’d unravelled 30ft of packaging paper before I got to the one book I’d ordered!”  https://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4707341/Mum-gets-book-delievered-in-thirty-feet-of-wrapping.html#ixzz2Fga8hQiV