CST Brands plans 38 new stores
San Antonio – Convenience store operator CST Brands plans to open 38 new stores in North America during fiscal 2014. That includes 30 new stores in the U.S. and eight in Canada.
CST says the new stores will provide a much larger footprint, more product variety and enhanced food service offerings. The company has opened eight new stores in the U.S. and one in Canada so far in 2014. In addition, CST has identified 117 existing stores as good candidates for network optimization, either by selling them to outside parties or to its own wholesale business.
The new store announcement came as part of CST’s financial report for the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The company’s net income fell 52% from $23 million to $11 million, with the expense of becoming a public company a major factor. Revenues dropped 6% from $3.2 billion to $3 billion, driven by declining sales and prices in motor fuels.
“As we celebrate our one year anniversary as a separate company, we are making tremendous strides on the initiatives we outlined following our spin,” said Kim Bowers, chairman and CEO of CST Brands. “We have significantly increased our new store builds, our fuel margin capture continues to improve and our focus on food and overall inside margin is positioning us for a solid year in 2014.”
Study: ‘Webrooming’ eclipses showrooming
San Diego – While showrooming, the process of researching in-store before buying online, remains popular among 76% of consumers, the emerging trend of webrooming, or researching online before buying in-store, is even more common, representing 88% of shoppers. According to “The Rise of Webrooming: A Changing Consumer Landscape,” a report from Interactions, 75% of webroomers believe they can find the lowest in-store price, while 72% prefer online product comparisons and 71% prefer online product research.
The report also highlights why people research in-store before buying online. Sixty-eight percent like to experience the product in person first; 48% believe they can find the lowest price online; and 41% prefer to seek help from in-store associates during their research process.
"Consumers expect retailers to be everywhere they are," said Giovanni DeMeo, VP of global marketing and analytics at Interactions. "If retailers are not leveraging omnichannel marketing approaches, or not embracing the concept of ‘Everywhere Commerce,’ they risk an inconsistent customer experience, potentially reduced profits and diminished brand loyalty."
Survey: Retail marketers shift to digital, personalized campaigns
Westlake Village, Calif. – Senior retail marketers report that 38% of their total marketing spend is now devoted to digital. According to a research study released by Conversant, nearly 20% of retail marketers reported that digital accounts for 50% to 75% of their total marketing budget.
The new study found strong retailer interest in personalized marketing and advertising. Eighty-six percent of senior retail marketers said that individualized messages can be more effective than mass messages.
Nearly three-quarters of the participating marketers said that one-to-one communications represent the future of retail digital marketing. But 59% also said that omnichannel consumers make personalization marketing more difficult.
Additional findings from the study include:
• Retailers rely on many partners for their digital advertising needs, in fact, nearly a third report working with 11 or more vendors. Furthermore, almost half report that finding the right digital vendor is difficult.
• The group has a high interest in measurement, with 57% saying they are using or plan to use a marketing attribution platform in 2014. Last click measurement remains the most frequently used, with more than two-thirds responding that they use last click for at least some of their measurement efforts.
• 62% of respondents report they are concerned about cookie blocking and deletion, and their effects on user identification and measurement.
The respondents to this survey represented 81 senior-level marketers at leading retailers (brick-and-mortar and e-tailers).
“Today’s consumers demand communications relevant to their personal needs and interests,” said Scott Eagle, CMO at Conversant. “They are tired of being served ads that don’t have relevance to their everyday lives. In order to ensure each interaction is a positive one, brands must engage with consumers in an individualized manner, one that acknowledges each consumer’s behaviors, needs and interests.”