News

Lowe’s tailors social media strategy to platforms; has 4 million Pinterest followers

BY Dan Berthiaume

North Wilkesboro, N.C. – Despite discussions about the need for retailers to develop a “social media strategy,” the reality is that social media is not a monolithic entity. Different social media platforms reach different types of consumers, are used for different purposes and draw traffic at different times of the day. Thus, a social media strategy really needs to be a collection of smaller strategies that are built around the dynamics of each individual platform a retailer chooses to leverage.

One major retailer that recognizes the need for this type of multifaceted social media strategy is Lowe’s Companies. At the recent Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago, Lowe’s director of social media and emerging platforms, Brad Walters, told workshop attendees that retailers must establish objectives that are defined for each social platform.

“Content is key,” said Walters. “Look at the daypart that attracts the most traffic for different platforms and the frequency of posting that will work best.”

For example, Walters said Lowe’s views Facebook as a shareable solution.

“Facebook gives you an ‘a-ha’ moment,” said Walters. “You can get tremendous engagement from shares and likes.”

Lowe’s also uses the Vine mobile Twitter video service to tweet short “how-to” videos, such as a video showing customers how using a rubber band can allow them to remove a stripped screw. And the retailer uses Pinterest as an opportunity to inspire customers.

“We released a ‘Spring Has Spring’ Pinterest board with colorful images and videos and gained 80,000 followers,” said Walters. “We don’t use Pinterest to extend our catalog or flyer. It’s a way to provide valuable content for inspiration. We don’t have pictures of products with a white background.”

To date, Walters said Lowe’s has accumulated 4 million Pinterest followers.

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REAL ESTATE

Canada’s Birks to debut new format

BY Staff Writer

Montreal — Canadian jewelery retailer Birks will introduce a new retail concept in the summer of 2013, with new stores opening in DIX30 Complex, Brossard, Quebec, and in the new Mapleview Mall in Burlington, Ontario.

The new format, developed in collaboration with Sid Lee Architecture, will feature round 1,500 sq. ft. of retail space and be dedicated to jewelry from the Birks Collection.

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News

Target delivers the dividends

BY CSA STAFF

The Target board of directors demonstrated its faith in the company’s cash generating capabilities on Wednesday and agreed to up the company’s quarterly dividend 19% to 43 cents a share.

The hefty increase ups the annual payout to $1.72 and moves the company closer to a long-term commitment to increase the full-year dividend amount to $3 by 2017. In addition, the company has established a target of growing earnings per share to $8 over the same time frame, up from $4.26 last year.

The dividend increase was announced in advance of the company’s shareholders’ meeting held Wednesday at a Target store located at 7777 East Hampden Avenue in Denver.

Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company’s strategic clarity and powerful brand would help it deliver results going forward and the REDcard Rewards program, which currently stands at a 17.1% penetration rate, would allow the company to promote loyalty.

Steinhafel added that the company would take smart risks, pursue bold and innovative ideas and continue to raise the bar on differentiation.

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