Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/15/13: Tiffany sues Costco; Apps that lure shoppers into stores


“Mobile Rewards Apps That Lure Shoppers Back to Stores” by Lauren Goode at All Things D.  “What would it take for you to shop in stores these days, rather than buy from the comfort of your couch? Some companies are betting that smartphones can help lure you back to the mall by offering rewards, coupons and other incentives that can only be earned when you’re physically in a store.  Personally, my dislike for shopping goes against gender stereotypes. I’d much rather hide behind my computer screen, order all the gifts and clothes I need, and wait for them to show up at my door.  But for the past couple weeks I’ve been venturing out to stores, armed with two shopping rewards apps…Shopkick and Kapture”  Read more:  https://allthingsd.com/20130211/mobile-rewards-apps-that-lure-shoppers-back-to-stores/


“Tiffany Sues Costco Over Alleged Fake Rings” by Ann Zimmerman at WSJ.  “Tiffany sued Costco Wholesale Corp. on Thursday, contending that the warehouse chain sold engagement rings it falsely claimed were made by the luxury jewelry company.  The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, claims Costco violated counterfeiting laws by selling fake Tiffany rings for many years. It seeks to find out the exact number of counterfeit Tiffany rings Costco sold and the source of the jewelry, as well as damages.”  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578304362559348462.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


“Target to continue to partner with high-fashion names” at sctimes.  “Retail analyst Carol Spieckerman says designer partnerships have been a terrific concept for Target, but thinks the retailer would be wise to work on a new act. So many others have copied the concept that by now, “the novelty has certainly worn off.”  “But that doesn’t mean they’re not viable, because otherwise, how else is Target going to create that kind of buzz?” Spieckerman said. “I wouldn’t advocate them pulling the plug, but I would urge them to champion other strategies that are complimentary,” she said.  Target thinks its struggles in December reflect the quirks of that program, not a waning interest in designer partnerships.”  Read more:  https://www.sctimes.com/article/20130214/BUSINESS/302140054/Target-continue-partner-high-fashion-names?nclick_check=1


“Housing Recovery to Boost Jobs Growth: Goldman Sachs” by Patti Domm at CNBC.  “The housing recovery could be about to pay off in some new jobs.  Goldman Sachs economists, in a new report this week, forecast that residential investment-related employment growth should pick up this year and next, and could start to add jobs at a pace of 25,000 to 30,000 per month, compared to the average 14,000 per month of the last year.”  Read more:  https://www.cnbc.com/id/100457954


“Only in Sacramento: Safeway lets customers link debit to phone” by Kelly Johnson at Sacramento Business Journal.  “Safeway Inc. has rolled out a debit program in which shoppers can pay simply by entering their phone number and a PIN at the register, but only in the Sacramento area.  The Pleasanton-based supermarket chain’s initiative, introduced last week, is called the Fast Forward Debit Card program. But customers can use it with or without the actual card.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/blog/kelly-johnson/2013/02/safeway-fast-forward-debit-program-pay.html


“How Target Scored Two Exclusive Bonus Tracks on Justin Timberlake’s ‘20/20 Experience’” by  Andrew Hampp at Billboard.  “Sunday night’s Grammys may have marked the official television debut of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (not to mention album track “Pusher Love Girl”), but the real surprise was the news that Target would be carrying an exclusive deluxe version of his hotly anticipated album, “The 20/20 Experience,” with two bonus cuts—“Dress On” and “Body Count” —only available at Target stores The album will be released March 19 and is also available for pre-order at Target.com. How did Target score the coveted tracks? By having a “history” with the singer, as Timberlake put it in a statement about the new partnership, that dates all the way back to 2003. That’s the year Target sponsored Timberlake’s tour with Christina Aguilera ”  Read more:  https://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/branding/1539214/how-target-scored-two-exclusive-bonus-tracks-on-justin


“More Affordable Groceries Are Costing Whole Foods” by Annie Gasparro at WSJ.  “Whole Foods on Wednesday warned it expects its profit margins for the next three quarters to decline compared to last year.  What’s more, the company admitted even with all the investments it made to appear more affordable, it still didn’t make the additional progress it hoped for in attracting new customers in the latest quarter. In fact, its overall customer traffic growth slowed.  The weak outlook caused Whole Foods’ shares to fall about 6% to $91 in late trading, despite reporting a 24% rise in profit for its fiscal first quarter, which ended Jan. 20.  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324616604578302780625291880.html


“J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Poor Social Media Practices can Negatively Impact a Businesses’ Bottom Line and Brand Image”  “The study finds a correlation between overall satisfaction with a company’s social marketing efforts and consumers’ likelihood to purchase and their overall perception of the company. Among highly-satisfied consumers (satisfaction scores of 951 and higher on a 1,000-point scale), 87 percent indicate that the online social interaction with the company “positively impacted” their likelihood to purchase from that company. Conversely, among consumers who are less satisfied (scores less than 500), one in 10 consumers indicate that the interaction “negatively impacted” their likelihood to purchase from the company.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6308382&access=EH


“Amazon signs deal to put Cloud Player in Ford cars” at Parcel 2 Go.  “Owners of current-year Ford car models will be the first to benefit from having access to Amazon’s Cloud Player as they drive.  Ford has devised a way of synchronising the Amazon MP3 app which is available on all Android smartphones, with many of itscars’ entertainment systems. This lets users get access to all the contents of their Cloud Player library while on the move.”  Read more:  https://news.parcel2go.com/article/amazon-signs-deal-to-put-cloud-player-in-ford-cars-8186


“Michaels Names Chuck Rubin Chief Executive Officer”  “Mr. Rubin brings more than 30 years of retail industry experience, including serving as President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors for Ulta Beauty, where since 2010, he successfully led his team in driving record revenue and earnings growth, as well as creating significant shareholder value for one of the largest beauty retailers in the United States. He is a proven industry leader with a track record of results in marketing, merchandising, operations and strategy, having held executive leadership positions at a number of leading retail businesses including Office Depot, Sportmart and Federated Department Stores.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6306434&access=EH


“Wal-Mart divulges names of its Indian IT partners” at Business Standard.  “US-based retailer Wal-Mart which has been so secretive about its IT outsourcing services sourcing partners, today for the first time disclosed their names.  Addressing a session at the Nasscom Leadership Summit in Mumbai on Thursday, Wal-Mart CIO Karenann Terrell said the company works with Indian IT vendors such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and Kochi-based UST Global apart from its global companies like IBM, Accenture and Softech.”  Read more:  https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/wal-mart-divulges-names-of-its-indian-it-partners-113021400847_1.html


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