OPERATIONS

Best Buy, Office Depot top retail back-to-school brands

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mountain View, Calif. — Best Buy was the most effective retail brand overall during the 2013 back-to-school advertising season for the second year in a row with an average Ace Score of 561, performing 15% higher than its retail peers, according to TV and video advertising data from Ace Metrix.

Office Depot was the second most effective back-to-school retail advertiser with an average Ace Score of 540.

Meanwhile, Ace Metrix reports Kmart ads aimed at a young, hip audience were highly polarizing and offended and confused many viewers. J.C. Penney debuted the most new creative this season but also experienced the largest decline in average Ace Score (484), dropping 14% from 2012. Target had the second most significant year-over-year decline of 12%. Retail ads accounted for 82% of total back-to-school ads

“This was a lackluster year for back to school, but technology and gadgets dominate this season with brands like Best Buy, Office Depot, and H.H.Gregg topping the list over traditional apparel and department store ads,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Best Buy returns this year as the most effective brand based not only on their compelling product-featured ads but engaging viewers with outstanding visuals and compelling stories of customized shopping experiences.”

In terms of most effective single ads, Best Buy had back-to-school ads with the highest and third-highest Ace scores, while J.C. Penney had the number two ad. Office Depot tied with Best Buy for number three and also had ads ranked sixth and seventh, Kohl’s had ads ranked fifth, eighth and ninth, and a Target ad took the 10th spot.

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Herald Square Victoria’s Secret workers win concessions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – Employees at the Victoria’s Secret store in Herald Square, New York City have reportedly won concessions on pay and promotions from the retailer. According to CNNMoney, following a petition effort started by employees at the store in June of this year, Victoria’s Secret agreed to give them pay raises between $1 and $2 per hour and also start promoting employees at the location.

In response to what Herald Square employees called unfair wages, inconsistent scheduling of shifts and lack of internal promotions, four employees at the store presented management with a letter demanding change in June. When management did not respond, the employees began a petition and collected signatures both in writing and online, and also sought assistance from the Retail Action Project labor group.

Employees allege management began reducing hours and changing shifts of workers involved in the petition effort, but last month received the concessions. Victoria’s Secret management did not comment in the article.

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RILA names former GM exec as public affairs VP

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. –The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has named Annette Guarisco as executive VP for public affairs, effective Oct. 1. Guarisco will oversee RILA’s federal and state government affairs, as well as the association’s communications efforts.

Guarisco joins RILA following more than 11 years as a senior executive at General Motors, most recently serving as executive director of global public policy.

Guarisco replaces Katherine Lugar, who left RILA earlier this year to become president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

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