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Kantar Media reports double digit increases across retailer coupons in 2013

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — The distribution of digital coupons on retailers’ websites exploded in 2013, increasing 39.5% over the previous year, according to data released by Marx, a Kantar Media company. The growth of digital coupons was followed by a 25.6% increase in retailer participation in freestanding insert (FSI) coupon promotion pages, and a 12.6% increase in total retailer feature ad pages distributed.

Although total retailer advertising remained flat in 2013 versus 2012, several leading retailers had significant increases in their advertising expenditures including Walmart, Kroger, and Target, according to Marx.

Significant shifts in advertising and promotion activity were observed among leading retailers across the mass, food, drug, and other retail sales channels. For example, Walmart had the greatest levels of actual advertising expenditures and the highest level of participation in retailer FSI promotion pages in 2013, increasing their activity in these areas 32.9% and 30.8% respectively.

Walmart also benefited from a 25.2% increase in digital coupon activity on Walmart.com and a 43.7% increase in retail feature ad pages distributed in 2013. However, Target kept pace with Walmart by also driving double digit increases across all four of these tactics in 2013.

The three leading retailers in the drug sector all decreased their advertising activity in 2013. CVS had the greatest decrease in retailer advertising among the three leading Drug retailers with a 32.2% decrease.

CVS also decreased retailer FSI coupon participation by 37.3% and retail feature ad activity by 9.3%, with digital coupon support on CVS.com receiving the only increase among these tactics, up 10.2%in 2013.

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Hilco rebrands, adds deals to Steele’s

BY CSA STAFF

The Hilco Global Retail Group is rebranding its recently acquired Steele’s retail stores as Steele’s & Deals. The company also appointed several key executive leaders who will take over new management roles at the retail chain.

The company feels that the Steele’s & Deals name more accurately communicates value to customers.

"We believe that this name change clearly positions our stores with local customers as a terrific off-price department store, selling brand name family apparel, shoes, accessories and home decor at deep discounts off traditional department store prices," said Michael Keefe, president and CEO of the Hilco Retail Group. "It is our aim to introduce additional brands and value priced merchandise, which will encourage shoppers to visit their local Steele’s & Deals stores often. Hilco is in the unique position of being able to leverage our considerable retail expertise and our access to many diverse merchandise channels to complement our current Steele’s & Deals buying operation in New York."

Keefe added that the merchandising office of Steele’s & Deals will be run by Bob Naylor, who has been promoted to SVP, general merchandise manager, and that operations will be overseen by Raymundo Armendariz, as SVP, chief operating officer.

Prior to his promotion Naylor served as VP, divisional merchandise manager. He has held positions at Macy’s and Federated Department stores.

"Bob’s experience with the current organization, coupled with his tremendous retail skills, provides critical continuity within the merchandising process," said Keefe.

"The acquisition by Hilco Global presents extraordinary possibilities as we continue to develop our brand and serve our customers. The combination of two great organizations not only reinforces and complements existing strengths, but also creates unprecedented opportunities," added Naylor.

Armendariz previously worked at Levitz Furniture for more than 10 years.

"By providing consumers with a great selection of quality merchandise at very affordable prices, Steele’s & Deals stores fill an important need in their communities," said Armendariz.

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Loblaw cuts cheese in record-setting effort

BY CSA STAFF

More than 360 select Loblaw banner stores across Canada nabbed the world record for the most wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cracked simultaneously, as declared by a Guinness World Records adjudicator. Officially, 1,008 wheels were cracked in more than 360 Loblaw banner stores simultaneously across Canada.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard Italian cheese produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena or Bologna, using the same recipe for almost 1,000 years. It takes 11 steps to crack a 34-kilogram cheese wheel in the traditional style and requires special cheese cracking knives and training.

"Today was a memorable day for Loblaw and our colleagues. It was an overwhelming experience to celebrate this achievement with our customers and store teams at more than 360 stores; we couldn’t have done it without them," said Metzi Liau, senior category director, Loblaw Companies. "Our colleagues were specially trained to crack the wheels in the traditional style upheld by Italy’s Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium, and we are thrilled to have achieved this world record."

At the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Loblaws Angus in Montreal, Provigo Le Marché in Charlesbourg, Loblaws CityMarket in North Vancouver and Atlantic Superstore in Dartmouth locations, representatives from Mulino, Pargmigiano Reggiano maker were in attendance.

In Toronto, a member of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium and Guinness World Records adjudicator looked on as colleagues and customers cheered cheese-crackers to victory. Using special cheese-cracking knives, each of the 34-kilogram wheels were cracked and customers sampled the freshly cracked cheese.

"It is exciting for us to witness Loblaw earn the title of Guinness World Records holder for the most wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese broken simultaneously; we take great pride in the production and quality of this cheese," said Stefano Greiner, Mulino Alimentare export manager. "Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the most carefully produced and thoroughly enjoyed cheeses in the world. For centuries, it has been considered the ‘king of cheese’ for its incredible taste and crystalline texture.

The Consortium is the group of dairy producers and cheese makers designated to preserve the integrity and quality of each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano created. It is officially assigned to the task of adhering to the specifications outlined by the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), when inspecting each wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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