Alex & Ani boosts Facebook revenue with EBay
Cranston, R.I. – During the 2013 holiday season, Alex and Ani turned to EBay Enterprise, an EBay Inc. company, to help drive sales and achieve higher ROI through its Facebook ads. Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the company’s Facebook ads drove $1.6 million
EBay Enterprise partnered with Kenshoo Social, an advanced technology platform, to optimize Alex and Ani’s highly targeted social marketing campaign. The retailer currently leverages several EBay Enterprise commerce offerings, including Magento Enterprise Edition, to customize and extend its e-commerce efforts with best-of-breed capabilities such as its marketing solutions programs affiliate, search and paid social to exceed its online goals.
“The strategies and best practices championed by the EBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions team helped drive insights that refined our Facebook advertising program, making it a force for our direct response goals,” said Ryan Bonifacino, VP of digital strategy at Alex and Ani. “The Kenshoo Social platform coupled with our team at EBay Enterprise gave us the horsepower that allowed Alex and Ani to come out of the gate strong during the second half of 2013, and we plan to continue to scale our investment in Facebook advertising as a result of the performance we’ve seen.”
When comparing performance of Facebook ads for the six months before and after launching with EBay Enterprise, Alex and Ani noted significant performance gains. ROI increased by 80%, while revenue saw a 4,388% boost. In addition, average order value rose from $14 to more than $75, an increase of 434%.
Warby Parker takes Upper East Side location
New York — Warby Parker, the hip eyeglass brand, has leased the iconic retail space on the southeast corner of the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 82nd Street in the Upper East Side.
Winick Realty Group represented the landlord Samy Mahfar of SMA Equities in the transaction. Thor High Street Advisors represented Warby Parker.
The location, which will be the brand’s third in Manhattan, consists of a 1,600-sq.-ft. ground floor and approximately 600 sq. ft. each on the mezzanine and in the basement. The property’s striking features include cathedral-style 20-foot ceilings, spectacular 20-foot arched windows and 115 feet of wraparound frontage.
Working hand-in-hand with Mahfar, Warby Parker restored and revitalized the century-old storefront, focusing on every detail from the interior moldings to the original terrazzo floors from the early 1900s.
Tough times continue for Cato customers
Playing in the value priced fashion space is a challenging proposition and one of the leaders in the segment doesn’t expect conditions to get easier this year.
The Cato Corporation, operator of 1,320 stores focused on value conscious shoppers, had a challenging fourth quarter like a lot of retailers and chairman, ceo and president John Cato expects the pain could linger this year.
"Results for 2013 were negatively impacted by the continuing difficult economic situation our customers have faced for some time now," Cato said when the company reported fourth quarter results. "Even with the very challenging environment, we have continued to grow our store base, manage our inventory, control costs and, most importantly, remain profitable.
That said, Cato indicated 2014 could be another tough year characterized by a challenging sales environment due to continuing slow job growth and higher costs which reduce customers’ discretionary income. Same store sales are expected to be flat to down 2% this year, according to the company. Gross margins are also expected to contract resulting in 2014 profits below 2013 levels.
Sales at the company declined 7% to $215 million during the fourth quarter ended February 1, compared to sales of $232 million during the fourth quarter period the prior year which benefitted from an extra week. Same stores sales declined 3%.
Profits for the 13 week quarter fell 52% to $3.8 million, or 13 cents a share, compared to $7.9 million, or 27 cents a share during the 14 week quarter the prior year. Full year net income was $54.3 million, or $1.86 per share, compared to $61.7 million, or $2.11 per share for the 53 week prior fiscal year.
Despite the top line challenges, Cato has continued to invest in its store base, opening 32 units last year and closing 22 stores. This year it expects to open 64 stores and close as many as 17 locations.
“We have also continued to invest in our business by renovating and expanding facilities, upgrading systems and launching an e-commerce website in November. The e-commerce website launch went very smoothly and has been well received by customers,” Cato said. “However, we do not expect e-commerce to have significant impact on 2014 results. In regard to the fourth quarter, earnings were impacted by a very promotional holiday sales season as well as a number of winter storms in December and January. Also, the comparison of fourth quarter results to the prior year is negatively impacted by the fact this year had one less week than the prior year period."