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Hardware chain ‘Aces’ marketing strategy

BY CSA STAFF

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Ace Hardware has launched a new marketing campaign, Meet the Aces, designed to promote the hardware co-op/retailer’s personal service.

The new campaign also reintroduces, for the first time in more than 15 years, the words of Ace’s iconic jingle, “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man,” but changed slightly (from “man” to “folks”) to reflect all Ace associates.

The marketing campaign will employ strategic, integrated marketing initiatives, including national television and print advertising, targeted online and radio spots, rich media, social media, in-store signage, emails to members of the Ace Rewards customer loyalty program, and public relations initiatives.

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Replacement named for long-time Williams-Sonoma president

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Janet Hayes, currently the president of Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen, will become president of the Williams-Sonoma brand, effective March 20. She replaces Richard Harvey, whowill be leaving the company on May 3, 2013, after 30 years of service.

Laura Alber, the company’s president and CEO, said, “On behalf of the board and senior management team, I want to thank Richard for his many contributions to the company. He provided vision for the Williams-Sonoma brand over the past three decades as it grew from a few California stores to the iconic, multi-channel business that it is today. Over the last few years, Richard increased the percentage of products that are either vendor-branded exclusives or Williams-Sonoma-branded, created innovative new product lines, introduced our Agrarian business, and relaunched Williams-Sonoma Home. He also hired top talent to evolve the brand’s aesthetic and marketing.”

Alber stated, “Janet’s strong vision, retail leadership and operational expertise have driven record revenues and profits in both Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen. Her experience in product development and retail customer engagement is an excellent fit for the Williams-Sonoma brand as it focuses on strategies to increase product exclusivity, introduce new products, deepen customer relationships, and evolve the in-store experience. She will lead a strong and seasoned merchandising and field leadership team.”

Hayes has served as president Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen, since 2010. From 2008 to 2010, she served as EVP Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen, and from 2007 to 2008, she served as SVP and general merchandise manager Pottery Barn. Prior to 2007, she held roles at American Eagle Outfitters, Nike and Gap.

Harvey commented, “I am so proud to have been associated with this great brand and the talented team that will take it forward. I will be working closely with Janet to ensure a smooth transition.”

Sandra Stangl, president of Pottery Barn, will expand her role to include Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen, effective March 20.

Stangl has served as president Pottery Barn, since 2008. From 2006 to 2008, she served as EVP Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen. Between 1994 and 2006, Stangl served in various leadership roles in the Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen brands.

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Williams-Sonoma has recipe for earnings success

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Williams-Sonoma reported that fourth-quarter EPS grew 15% to $1.34 and that quarterly revenuegrew to $1.406 billion versus $1.268 billion in 2011 with comparable brand revenue growth of 4%.

Fiscal 2012EPS grew 14% to $2.54. Net revenues for the year grew to $4.043 billion versus $3.721 billion in FY 11 with comparable brand revenue growth of 6.1%.

Laura Alber, president and CEO, commented, “Today’s announcements reflect the power of our multi-channel, multi-brand operating model and confirm our confidence in the growth potential and cash-generating ability of our brands as we look forward to 2013 and beyond. We finished 2012 above our expectations, and our strategies for 2013 are strong. We are pleased that we are able to significantly escalate our commitment to return excess cash to stockholders through a balanced program of share repurchases and dividend increases.”

For the first quarter of 2013, the company expects net revenues to be in the range of$850 million to $870 million.Comparable brand revenue growth in the first quarter is expected to be in the range of 4% to 6%.

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