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Ingles Markets swings to profit in Q3

BY Dan Berthiaume

Asheville, N.C. – Ingles Markets Inc. swung to a profit of $13.83 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 from a net loss of $14.42 million in the third quarter of the prior fiscal year. The elimination of debt refinancing costs from the previous fiscal year helped push Ingles Markets into the black.

Net sales rose 5% to $978.26 million from $934.01 million. Same-store sales increased 2.1%, benefiting from an Easter shift to the third quarter of fiscal 2014 from the second quarter of the previous fiscal year.

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Study: Out-of-stocks affect back-to-school shopping

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Out-of-stocks and placement continue to be key issues for back-to-school retail efforts. According to a field study of 465 retailers across the U.S. from mobile contractor Gigwalk, 47% of the retailers visited had an issue with their back-to-school displays.

Forty-five percent were due to the product being out of stock, followed by missing price and having the product in the wrong display. Other findings include:

• 49% plan to spend more this back-to-school season.

• When asked what steps a shopper would take if a particular item was not available 48% said they would purchase at a different store and 36% said they would buy another brand!

• Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they did not plan to do their back-to-school shopping online.

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Toys ‘R’ Us launches omnichannel promo

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us is launching an omnichannel promotion called “C’mon Let’s Play” in partnership with advertising agency The Escape Pod and ‘Action Movie Kid’ YouTube channel creator Daniel Hashimoto. The campaign includes TV ads and in-cinema advertising.

In addition, the campaign includes the hashtag #LetsPlay and a cross-platform presence on desktop, mobile and tablet with premier placements on Hulu and Hulu Plus, among others. Throughout the coming months, Toys ‘R Us will leverage its social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and The Toys “R” Us YouTube Channel, to share ‘C’mon, Let’s Play’ content, including commercial clips, behind-the-scenes photos and video from the campaign shoot, and more.

"We’ve designed our new brand campaign to showcase how we, as a specialty retailer, have the unique ability to help stimulate kids’ imaginations with the innovative playthings we carry,” said Hank Mullany, president, Toys “R” Us. “It also allows us to shine a light on our employees and their expertise in assisting parents to select the perfect toys to create magical, memorable moments."

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