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Brooks Bros. implements Digby mobile optimized website

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Brooks Bros. said Thursday that it has implemented a mobile optimized website to create a unique mobile shopping experience for its customers, powered by Digby’s Mobile Software Commerce Platform.

With the new mobile presence, customers can now search, review and buy products from Brooks Bros. directly from their mobile devices.

Brooks Bros. created its mobile optimized website as part of a strategic move into mobile commerce. Key features of the mobile shopping experience include: rich product photographs with multiple color images, complete product descriptions, shop by category for men, women, boys and girls, store locator, email signup, order tracking, complete site search, ratings and reviews, promotional offers, share to Facebook, and email a friend.

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The ultimate indignity: TGT beats WMT in value ranking

BY CSA STAFF

A new Harris Poll EquiTrend study out this week shows Target, not Walmart, as the Value Retail Brand of the Year. That would be bad enough news for Walmart given the company’s prospects in the United States are closely tied to its reputation for low prices, but this is the second year in a row Target has been named the top Value Retail Brand and the gap with Walmart even widened this year.

“In difficult economic times, consumers look for value,” said Jeni Lee Chapman, EVP brand and communications consulting at Harris Interactive. “Target is seen as a retailer with strong brand equity especially when compared to its competition. As consumers consolidate where they choose to spend their paychecks, those retailers with the highest brand equity are going to obtain greater share of that spending.”

So how did Harris arrive at the conclusion?

The firm conducted an online survey among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between Jan. 11 and 27. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories with each respondent asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings with the data then weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income. Data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.

The study sought to evaluate such things as equity, consumer connection, commitment, brand behavior, brand advocacy and trust. According to Harris, the keystone to the study is equity, which provides an understanding of a brand’s overall strength and is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

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As if retail wasn’t hard enough

BY CSA STAFF

The complexities of running a retail business combined with low margins prevalent in the mass market leave little room for error when it comes to achieving operating profitability. For any retailer to produce a profit is quite an accomplishment, and in the case of Walmart it is even more impressive when factoring in some of the extracurricular activities that go on in its stores.

A couple examples stand out this week. First, a report out of Maryland suggests an unsuspecting man sat on a toilet seat in Walmart that had been laced with super glue. The man, unable to extricate himself from the commode, cried for help. Rescue personnel who arrived on the scene had to unbolt the toilet seat to transport the man to the hospital. Toilets at Walmart stores tend to be located near the front of the building by the checkstands so the incident likely caused quite a stir as emergency personnel moved about with curious shoppers and cashiers looking on.

The second matter involves a video featured on YouTube where someone who goes by the name of Kipkay illustrates what the voiceover describes as a harmless and funny prank to perpetuate at the local supercenter.

Apparently, the acoustomagentic tags present on many high theft items can be reactived once deactivated at the checkout. Kipkay suggests a funny prank is to take one of the deactivated tags back to a story and rub a magnet on it to reactivate and then stick it on the bottom of a cart. When an unsuspecting customer leaves the store they will activate the security system.

“No harm done, just a fun prank,” according to the video which clearly show the prankster at a Walmart stores.

The prank is neither funny nor harmless. Rather, it has the potential to aggravate customers and significantly disrupt store operations if loss prevention personnel become involved in an escalating situation. That’s understood by those in the retail industry, but the more than three million people who viewed the video may have a different perspective.

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