Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/4/13: Walmart Ads Under Fire; 10 Big Retail Trends


“Rivals Object to Wal-Mart Ads” by Ann Zimmerman and Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “An aggressive Wal-Mart Stores Inc.   advertising campaign that claims better prices than specific, named competitors has rankled rivals, which have complained to attorneys general in more than half a dozen states…The Bentonville, Ark., giant said last year that the initial ads spurred a 1.2% boost in sales at stores open at least a year and a 1.1% rise in store visits in areas where the ads aired, compared with similar regions where they didn’t run. Likening the ads’ techniques to reality shows, Wal-Mart U.S. President Bill Simon said at a September retail conference, “We’re able to film these ads on a Tuesday, get them on the air on a Thursday.” The result, he said, is that Wal-Mart can “deliver a far more intense, far more directed message.”  But rivals claim in documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that Wal-Mart’s ads cross a line by making misleading comparisons or promoting products the company doesn’t have in ample supply.  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578219703156296568.html


“10 Big Retail Trends from the 2012 Holiday Shopping Season” by Brad Tuttle at Time.  “What did the 2012 holidays teach us about the current state of shoppers—and, of course, the places where they shop?   Here are 10 notable trends:

*  The Expansion of Black Friday—and the Entire Season

*  Soaring Online Sales, So-So In-Store Sales

*  Brick-and-Mortar and Online (Try to) Become One

*  More Shipping Deals—Speedy, Free, You Name It

*  More and More “Leaked” Black Friday Ads

*  Price Matching Crosses the Digital Line

*  Layaway: Popular with Stores and Shoppers Alike

*  The Discounts Just Keep on Coming

*  Season of Giving—To Oneself

*  Here’s a Gift—So You Can Pick Out Your Own Gift

Read more: https://business.time.com/2012/12/28/10-big-retail-trends-from-the-2012-holiday-shopping-season/#ixzz2H0boEHN1


“Family Dollar profit hit by focus on everyday items” at Reuters.  “The discount chain added cigarettes and other tobacco products, Pepsi drinks, gift cards, magazines and some other goods to its assortment in recent months in an attempt to better compete against chains such as Dollar General Corp.  Its profit was $80.3 million, or 69 cents a share, in the fiscal first-quarter that ended Nov. 24, compared with a profit of $80.4 percent, or 68 cents, a year earlier.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/03/familydollar-results-idUSL1E8NV27S20130103


“Higher Lumber Prices Are Good News For Lowe’s And Home Depot” at Trefis (Text and Charts).  “Sales from housing materials contributed around 19% to total revenues in 2011 for Home Depot while the corresponding figure for Lowe’s stood at around 18%. We estimate that the Home Depot and Lowe’s derive around 18% of their total stock value from their building materials products. And both companies derive over 90% of their revenues from the U.S. Stronger demand in the segment is likely to benefit both companies equally.”  https://www.trefis.com/stock/hd/articles/159249/higher-lumber-prices-are-good-news-for-lowes-and-home-depot/2013-01-03


“To Spur Growth, Target Profitable “Prosumers” by Eddie Yoon at Harvard Business Review.  “”Prosumer” is a word you probably have seen in the camera category. A prosumer camera is one that is borderline professional grade but a price point in between a consumer camera (few hundred dollars) and a professional camera (few thousand dollars)…Prosumers can be the guide to finding unmet demand on the price/value curve. By finding distinct buyers who are willing to pay more, accentuating your product’s cachet via the right professional endorsements, and finding key upgrades with minimal cost of goods or delivery system, you can command much higher prices. For example, UnderArmour provides athletic gear used by professional athletes to the masses. Almost Family provides professional hospital nursing care in the comfort of your home for a tenth of the cost. Costco and Sam’s Club allow consumers to buy great quality and a better bulk price like a business wholesaler.”  Read more:  https://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/01/to_spur_growth_target_profitab.html


“Wal-Mart appoints Lev Khasis to develop new store concepts” at Reuters.  “Khasis, who joined Wal-Mart in 2011 as senior vice-president, will focus on developing new store concepts that can be deployed across markets, Wal-Mart spokesperson Kevin Gardner said in an e-mail statement.  Khasis built up Russia’s biggest food retailer X5  through acquisitions into a Russian market leader until his resignation in 2011.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/04/us-walmart-international-idUSBRE90302120130104


Google’s “The Home Depot: 360 mobile strategy bridges the gap between in-store and mobile experience” at Mobile Marketing Association (Downloadable PDF).  Read at:  https://www.mmaglobal.com/studies/home-depot-360-mobile-strategy-bridges-gap-between-store-and-mobile-experience


“Target Sees 4Q Beat Despite Dreary December” by Matt Egan at Fox Business.  “Despite stumbling in the crucial month of December, discount retailer Target relieved shareholders on Thursday by saying it expects to meet or beat the conservative end of its fourth-quarter earnings outlook…Target said its same-store sales were essentially flat in December due to “softness” during the first three weeks of the month. Wall Street had been anticipating slight growth of about 0.8% for last month.”  Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/01/03/target-sees-4q-beat-despite-dreary-december/#ixzz2H0kCgOCI


“Amazon Is The Real Reason Google Is Forcing Everyone To Join Google+” by Jim Edwards at Business Insider via WSJ.  “First, here’s what’s at stake, per the WSJ:  Because using Google+ requires people to sign in to their Google accounts, Google will be able to blend mounds of data about individual users’ search habits and the websites they visit with their activities on Google+. That is a potential boon to Google’s ad business, from which the company derives about 95% of its more than $40 billion in annual revenue, excluding its new Motorola phone-making unit.”  Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/google-forcing-everyone-to-sign-up-for-google-2013-1#ixzz2H0r6o3l4


“CONNECTIONS™ Summit: Lowe’s to showcase Iris platform and connected home solutions during networking reception” at Herald Online.  “Parks Associates today announced Lowe’s as the exclusive sponsor of the CONNECTIONS™ Summit networking reception, January 8 at 2013 International CES in Las Vegas. The reception starts at 6:00 p.m. following a full day of sessions addressing connected CE, home systems, tech support, and value-added services. The reception will showcase Lowe’s Iris platform and feature networking opportunities to discuss strategies to engage consumers with new home controls and management solutions.”  Read more  https://www.heraldonline.com/2013/01/03/4517981/connections-summit-lowes-to-showcase.html#storylink=cpy