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Gap launches omni-channel holiday marketing campaign

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco — Gap’s new global marketing campaign, "Make Love,” includes print, outdoor, direct mail, social and cinema, as well as new digital content daily.

The "Make Love" campaign includes 26 days of curated gift ideas through a partnership with VSCO, makers of the photo editing app, VSCOcam, and some of their photographers at Gap.vsco.co. Available in 45 countries at Gap.com/gift-guide starting Nov. 18, the #giveatoz gift guide includes a series of personal photo essays by the photographers who interpret Gap’s favorite holiday products, iconic patterns, and fabrications from their own unique perspectives. Other features include a series of short films showcasing high school students performing with singer Tony Bennett.

"For a few short weeks during the holidays, we become conscious of what matters most to us. It’s a time when moments turn into memories, experiences become traditions, and gifts become sentimental reminders that we’ll cherish for years to come," said Seth Farbman, Gap’s global chief marketing officer. "Make Love is about giving love through action, whether it’s a service to others or a gift that’s a representation of love."

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Study: October non-cash consumer spending growth rises from September

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta — Dollar volume growth in credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations in October 2013 was 6.8%, an uptick from the prior month’s growth of 5.3%. First Data Corporation’s First Data SpendTrend analysis shows the growth was supported by the onset of cooler temperatures, which drove sales of seasonal merchandise and early holiday advertising attracting shopper foot-traffic.

The year-over-year gas price discount continued to widen. This negatively impacted overall spending growth. Gas station dollar volume growth was -4.9% in October, the lowest growth seen since April 2013. However, strong growth in categories such as food services and drinking places and leisure, which saw growth of 7.8% and 9.9% helped offset some of that negative growth.

Retail dollar volume growth in October jumped to 5.6% compared to September’s 3.6% growth. Retail spending growth accelerated toward the end of the month as the government shutdown ended and shoppers regained confidence. All retail sub-categories saw positive year-over-year dollar volume growth.

Average ticket growth was 0.5% in October, up from September’s growth of -0.2%. The slowdown in gas station average tickets continued to offset the overall growth. Gas station average ticket growth of -7.9% marked a twelve-month low. However, retail average ticket growth jumped to 1.8% from last month’s growth of 0.8% as discounting activity by retailers eased. Retailers focused on profits in October, as this period is an opportunity to plump up profits between the back-to-school and holiday seasons; periods where retailers may be forced to cut prices to win customers.

“Consumer spending growth gained momentum in October, which should provide retailers with an optimistic outlook heading into the holiday season”, said Krish Mantripragada, senior VP, information and analytics solutions, First Data. “Retailers should expect holiday spending to be modestly stronger compared to last year barring any number of external events that could negatively impact sales such as poor weather or geopolitical events at home or abroad.”

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Survey: More than half of Americans prefer general purpose gift cards

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – More than half of Americans (53%) prefer general purpose gift cards as opposed to branded gift cards. In addition, new survey data from Bankrate.com shows that almost two in three Americans have given a gift card, and more than three in four have received one.

The most common value of gift cards, both given and received, is between $25 and $50. People older than 65 and those between 18 and 29 years old are the least likely to give a gift card. As income level increases, Americans are more likely to give and receive gift cards.

Other findings include:

  • 53% of the gift cards that Bankrate.com surveyed can be reloaded, up slightly from 51% last year.
  • 56% can be delivered electronically, in line with each of the past two years.
  • 69% of gift card issuers will replace the card and/or funds in the event of loss or theft.

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