Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/3/13: Home Depot #1 in Radio; Facebook Selling


“Facebook, Google dip their toes in sale of physical goods” by Brandon Bailey in San Jose Mercury News.  “Google in particular may have reason to be concerned. While it still dominates the business of selling advertising keyed to Internet search queries, online shoppers today are more likely to start their quests on Amazon than Google, according to some studies. If that trend continues, analysts warn, it could make Google’s site less attractive to retail advertisers.  Facebook also has good reasons to offer shopping on its site, as the social network seeks to broaden its business beyond selling advertising and games. Facebook made Gifts available to all U.S. users less than two weeks ago. But Sterne Agee investment analyst Arvind Bhatia estimated the program could become a significant revenue source, contributing “several hundred million dollars” of annual earnings.”  https://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22239886/facebook-google-dip-their-toes-sale-physical-goods?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com


“From IPads to Crocs, New Patent Law Protects Design” by Jeff John Roberts in Bloomberg Businessweek.  “Design patents, which protect the ornamental features of an invention, are nothing new…The just-signed Patent Law Treaties Implantation Act of 2012 will see more design patent requests flood in from more places. The main purpose of the law is to harmonize America’s design patent laws with the rest of the world—in particular, by letting “inventors” use a single application filed anywhere in the world to seek design rights in many countries at once. For instance, Ikea could submit drawings of a chair in Sweden and get a U.S. design patent based on the same application. The law, which will take effect in about a year, will also increase the design patent term from 14 years to 15 years and allow applicants to seek 100 different design inventions with a single application.”  https://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-12-28/from-ipads-to-crocs-new-patent-law-protects-design 


“Home Depot Radio’s #1 Advertiser in 2012” at Radio Ink.  Here’s the list:

2012 Rank / Company/ # of spots aired / (2011 Rank)

1) The Home Depot – 2,093,047 (2)

2) GEICO Berkshire Hathaway – 1,937,625 (1)

3) McDonald’s – 1,366,786 (3)

4) AutoZone – 990,822 (5)

5) Wal-Mart Stores – 802,351 (4)

6) Lowe’s Companies – 786,490 (9)

7) State Farm Insurance Co. – 770,512 (6)

8) Macy’s – 613,485 (17)

9) Subway – 606,883 (18)

10) Walgreens – 597,840 (23)



“Epic Retail Fail: Where Did the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection Go Wrong?”  by Martha C. White at Time.  “…The consensus seems to be that items like these — or rather, prices like these — just don’t belong at Target. Indeed, prices were criticized repeatedly in the blogosphere. Sure, it’s cheap for stuff with a designer’s name on it, but the prices are still much higher than what Target shoppers are used to paying, and many bloggers groused that quality was markedly inferior. Target’s Facebook fans were also underwhelmed. The words “cheap” and “overpriced” popped up often — never good, but in combination, a death sentence.”   https://business.time.com/2013/01/02/epic-retail-fail-where-did-the-target-neiman-marcus-collection-go-wrong/#ixzz2GulVT2iuW 


“How to Shop Target Like a Pro” by Sam Grobart at Bloomberg Business Week (Graphical Illustrations).  https://images.businessweek.com/photos/2012-12-31/how-to-shop-target-like-a-pro#slide1


“Amazon’s and Facebook’s Ad Privacy Practices Irk Ad Agencies” by Kate Kaye at Ad Age.  “Two of the biggest publishers on the web don’t use the advertising industry’s standardized ad-privacy program, and it’s a problem for even the largest digital-media buyers.  Facebook and Amazon both offer targeted display advertising that can sometimes incorporate behavioral data from third parties. However, while nearly every other relevant media firm, ad network and ad-data firm either uses the industry’s self-regulatory Ad Choices program or operates one that can be easily integrated with it, Facebook and Amazon do not.”  https://adage.com/article/digital/amazon-s-facebook-s-ad-privacy-practices-irk-ad-agencies/238946/


“Safeway CEO Steve Burd to Retire in May” by Debbie Cai in The Wall Street Journal.  “Mr. Burd said Wednesday that he needs more personal time and “given my extensive work in health care, I want to pursue that interest further.”  Like its peers, Safeway—which operates regional grocery-store chains such as its namesake stores, Vons, and Randalls—has seen its sales and profit margin squeezed by high fuel prices, increasing food costs and weak consumer confidence…Mr. Burd will help with the search and continue to assist the company after he retires from his roles on May 14, at the company’s annual stockholders meeting.” https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323374504578218062266137592.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


“Costco December same-store sales up 9 percent” at Reuters.  “U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp has posted a better-than-expected 9 percent rise in December sales at stores open at least a year, mainly helped by an additional sales day in the reporting period.  “This year’s December retail month had one additional day compared to last year … As a result, December total and comparable sales results benefited by approximately 2 percent,” said David Sherwood, director of finance and investor relations.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/03/costco-results-december-idUSL4N0A82F420130103


“Amazon’s Record Holiday Season Boosted Its Third-Party Sellers Marketplace, Too: Sales Up 40% Year-Over-Year” by Sarah Perez at Tech Crunch.  “The Amazon Marketplace allows business customers to sell on Amazon, tapping into the e-commerce giant’s worldwide reach for a monthly subscription fee plus a selling fee when the item is purchased. According to today’s release, there are now over 2 million of these third-party sellers on Amazon, reaching the company’s 188 million active customers around the world, including the 50 U.S. states.  Amazon previously reported that 2012 was its biggest holiday season ever with over 26.5 million items ordered worldwide on its peak day, which is a record-breaking 306 items per second. Also on its peak day, Amazon’s worldwide fulfillment network shipped over 15.6 million units across all product categories. Third-party sellers apparently benefitted from the boost as well. One longtime electronics seller, Amazing Deals Online, who has been on Amazon for twelve years, reported a record holiday with an over 70 percent increase in sales from last year.”  https://techcrunch.com/2013/01/02/amazons-record-holiday-season-boosted-its-third-party-sellers-marketplace-too-sales-up-40-year-over-year/


“Lowe’s to open first Washington, D.C., store” in Charlotte Business Journal.  “Mooresville-based Lowe’s will occupy a 130,000-square-foot building in a new shopping center being developed by Fort Lincoln New Town Corp. The home improvement retailer joins Costco Wholesale Corp. as an anchor for the center.  Lowe’s operates more than 1,745 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, generating $50.2 billion in sales in 2011. It has roughly 248,000 employees. In October 2011, the home improvement retailer announced it would close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states, but it later announced it would open a dozen new stores in fiscal 2012.”  https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/morning-edition/2013/01/lowes-to-open-first-washington-dc.html


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