OPERATIONS

Dunkin Donuts switching focus to beverages

BY Dan Berthiaume

Canton, Mass. — As part of a brand overhaul, Dunkin’ Donuts is switching its focus from doughnuts and baked goods to coffee and other beverages. At this week’s annual consumer conference hosted by investment banking firm Jeffries, Paul Carbone, CFO of parent company Dunkin’ Brands Group, said beverages accounted for 58% of sales at U.S. franchise locations last year.

“We are a beverage company,” Carbone said. “Fred the Baker is not coming back.”

Dunkin’ Donuts seeks to double its current U.S. store count to 15,000 in the next few years. Much of this expansion will take place in the western U.S., where Starbucks dominates, with California as a major target. The retailer expects to start opening stores in California in 2015. A new national media campaign will emphasize beverages rather than food.

Dunkin’ Donuts has also been recently rolling out “café-style” store redesign that includes a new, earth-toned palette, to make its locations resemble those of rival Starbucks, according to Bloomberg. The retailer has opened 90 remodeled stores to date, according to the report, and plans to open about 600 by the end of this year.

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OPERATIONS

Ross Stores pays $3.9 million fine for defective kids’ clothing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores has agreed to pay a $3.9 million fine to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for neglecting to inform the commission within a mandated 24-hour period that it sold or stocked in stores roughly 23,000 pieces of children’s apparel with drawstrings located at the neck or waist between January 2009 and February 2012. Sales of children’s clothing with these types of drawstrings has been officially banned in the U.S. since 2011 and subject to voluntary restrictions since 1996.

As part of the fine agreement, Ross Stores will create a compliance plan to prevent future sales of defective children’s apparel but denies intentionally violating any regulations. Ross Stores previously paid a $500,000 fine in 2009 for selling defective children’s clothing during 2006 and 2007. Neither the CPSC or Ross Stores website had any information or comment on this matter.

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News

Mobile coupons increase store purchase likelihood

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Slightly more than half of consumers (51%) said they would be more likely to buy something in-store if they received a coupon on their mobile device for that store while nearby, according to a recent mobile commerce survey from RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Company. The survey of 1,067 U.S. residents age 18 and older conducted in April 2013 also revealed:

  • One-third (33%) of consumers surveyed have conducted searches on a mobile device for coupons online.
  • More than one-quarter (26%) of consumers bought something in a physical store using a coupon found on a mobile device.
  • Of those consumers who made purchases in-store using a digital coupon, 90% had done so in the last month.
  • If a consumer received a coupon on their mobile device while already inside a store, more than 6 in 10 consumers (63%) indicated that they would be more likely to buy something.
  • More than four-in-10 (44%) 18- to 34-year-olds and 26% of respondents 35+ have searched for a coupon on the Internet with a mobile device. Almost four in 10 (39%) 18- to 34-year-olds and 18% of older consumers have actually bought something in a physical store with a coupon they found on a mobile device.

The survey also revealed that men (61%), 18-to-34-year-olds (71%) and parents (67%) are more likely than women (48%), consumers 35 and older (42%) and non-parents (46%) to have used their mobile device to make a purchase in the past month.

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