April 7, 2010

Retail Roundup

Subway's new "Build Your Better Breakfast" campaign is designed to reinforce the company's philosophy of consumer customization, with breakfast sandwiches available in all 25,000 U.S. Subway locations. … Urban Outfitters, whose holdings include Anthropologie and Free People, is poised to ratchet up its catalog circulation for all three brands this year. … Weight Watchers has tapped Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist Jennifer Hudson of "Dreamgirls" and "American Idol" fame as its latest celebrity spokeswoman. … Boosted by a banner fourth quarter in 2009, Dollar General hopes to add 600 more stores this year. … Target Corp. is kicking off Earth Month by installing recycling bins in all of its 1,700-plus stores. … While sales of toys made from natural or recycled materials now add up to less than 1 percent of the market, a push for green toys led by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Wham-O and Garan Inc. may help grow that figure. … Is the children's market impervious to economic downturns? Two Chicago-area men are saying "yes" to that question with the launch later this year of Wonder!, the first of what they hope eventually will be a 120-store chain.More

Forbes names fastest-growing retailers
Few industries have been hurt as badly by the recession as retail, the front lines of the battlefield where businesses try to separate consumers from their money. In an industry that got overbuilt during flush times, the recession sent sales plunging, forcing chains to close stores. But there are exceptions — retailers that have found a strong competitive advantage.More

Retailers see brisk options trade
The Wall Street Journal
Options traders rallied around retail companies, buying bullish options in Kohl's, Lowe's and Family Dollar Stores, after a series of economic reports helped to drive gains in the sector's stocks. The action in Kohl's took on a bullish tone as the Wisconsin-based department-store chain prepares to release its monthly sales data.More

Internet advertising: the future is content
Strategies Magazine
Legendary ad man Jay Chiat once described a round of golf as "very fascinating, very addictive and incredibly challenging. You're never satisfied. It's kind of like advertising." Chiat didn't live to see the advent of search engine marketing, but his observations fit with what search engine marketing is today. Search engine marketing has come close to satisfying its users with its ability to be measured, analyzed and optimized.More

Starbucks goes upmarket with Seattle test cafe
Reuters via ABC News
Heavy velvet curtains, indie movie nights, single-origin coffees, wine and beer, mouth-watering organic pastries and gourmet cheese and meat plates — this is Starbucks? Well, sort of. It's Roy Street Coffee & Tea by Starbucks Corp., the result of Chief Executive Howard Schultz directing his store designers to break the mold and build a neighborhood coffee house from scratch.More

The iPad is the space shuttle to the future
U.S. News & World Report
The iPad arrived as promised, and it is everything it was cracked up to be, except the savior of journalism. More

Economist tightens Web paywall
The Economist continues to lead the way for magazines considering whether or not to enact a paywall for content on their Web sites. The magazine's content was mostly free until last fall, at which time content older than 90 days was put behind a paywall. Now, only subscribers to the print edition can read content from the week's print edition online without paying a fee, writes Mediaweek.More

Promotional dollars continue shift to digital
Every month brings new evidence of advertising, marketing and communications budgets steadily moving in the direction of the Internet, with predictions that 2010 will see digital spending surpass print.More

Some publishers are wary of sales on iTunes
The Wall Street Journal
Newspaper and magazine companies rushed to prep their titles for the debut of Apple Inc.'s iPad. But while publishers hail how the tablet computer lets them showcase their wares, some are working to develop ways to sell their publications separately from Apple's iTunes.More

Magazines get pushback on per-issue price on iPad
Magazines are pinning their hopes on the iPad and other, forthcoming tablets and e-readers helping offset a decline in circulation and ad revenue. But as the early feedback shows, they may be paying the price for the industry's long-standing practice of charging steep discounts for subscriptions. As a result, consumers are well aware of the per-issue discrepancy between subscriptions and single issues.More

A&E Networks signs with Microsoft's Admira for TV ad selling
A&E Television Networks has signed with Microsoft's Admira marketplace, to sell data- and audience-optimized TV advertising inventory on Bio, History International and History en Español channels. A&E is the largest cable network to use Admira, Microsoft announced.More

Why does everyone want to work at AOL all of a sudden?
AOL is the most-troubled big Internet company, a turn-around job with a speculative future. So why, then, does it seem everyone wants to work there? The company is snagging talent from all sectors: Wall Street, publishing, consulting, Google, Yahoo, social-news aggregator Digg, Time Warner and even its own huge diaspora of former employees, some of whom have chosen to come back.More

CBS Radio jumps on iPad
Everyone knows publishers are racing to get digital versions of their products on the iPad, but how about … radio? Yes, online audio and broadcast radio groups are also introducing digital content services tailored for the new high-profile mobile device. CBS Radio is one of the first big radio groups to unveil its new iPad app, a tablet-ready version of, the online music emporium operated by CBS Interactive.More

Marketers take loyalty to the next level
Customer retention has been an area of marketing focus for many companies this past year. To combat a widespread reticence to spend during the recession, many brands beefed up their existing loyalty programs to meet consumers' needs. Loyalty programs at some big-box stores have become more elaborate and offer more rewards and discounts than in the past.More

McClatchy to roll out WebVisible's online marketing services
Business Wire via Market Watch
The McClatchy Co. and WebVisible announced an aggressive rollout of the WebVisible online marketing platform to every McClatchy U.S. market by the end of the year. The move gives McClatchy's local advertisers the most efficient way to get found by customers no matter how they're looking — in newspaper listings, newspaper Web sites or search engines, or via mobile phones or navigation devices.More