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Online Holiday Recap

BY CSA STAFF

U.S. consumers spent an estimated $36.4 billion in online purchases during the period Oct. 31 to Dec. 24, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, registering a 15.4% year-over-year increase over the 2009 holiday season.

SpendingPulse reports on national retail and services sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check.

Online sales registered double-digit growth for six out of seven weeks, and the apparel category led the growth, according to Michael McNamara, VP, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

"In terms of sub-categories, apparel was the clear leader, helping increase the channel’s overall lift,” he said. “In terms of share, online apparel sales during the holiday season accounted for 18.8% of total sales in that category, compared with 16.9% in 2009.”

As for some of the other sub-sectors, online electronics also recorded significant gains, while jewelry, although still in positive territory, lagged behind, McNamara noted

There were six days in the 2010 season that surpassed $1 billion in sales compared with three days in 2009. Top days included Tuesday, Nov. 30, which registered $1.16 billion in sales, and Wednesday, Dec. 1, registering $1.13 billion. The Monday after Thanksgiving generated $999.3 million in sales, a 25.3% increase compared with the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2009.

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CNBC offers its take on Target

BY CSA STAFF

This should be interesting. “Target: Inside the Bullseye” is scheduled to air on CNBC Thursday, Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. EST. The documentary will repeat that evening at 10 p.m., 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. and will also re-air again on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Hard to know exactly what to expect, but a brief description on the CNBC website suggests the show won’t exactly break new ground. For example, Target is described as “a $65 billion-dollar discount icon that changed the face of shopping. From humble beginnings as a family-owned Minneapolis department store to retail giant Target — or Tar-zhay. It’s goal: make cheap, chic.”

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Baby got billboard thanks to Target

BY CSA STAFF

Not sure why parents of a newborn would want to share images of their child with throngs of people gathered in Times Square or motorists in Los Angeles, but in these celebrity-obsessed and digitally-enabled times a lot of behaviors defy logic.

Be that as it may, Target devised a novel brand-building campaign that allowed parent to essentially share images of their baby with a universe of complete strangers as opposed to the more discrete tradition of limiting viewings to family and a close knit group of friends.

To participate in the program, parents were encouraged to visit the Target Baby Facebook page and create a playful digital birth announcement that could be shared online. The company then randomly selected birth announcements for display in Times Square and on an LA billboard, which are running through this week.

“Technology plays an important role in how Target’s guests share and receive information and our Target Baby Facebook page serves as an excellent resource for new and expectant parents,” said Will Setliff, VP marketing at Target. “We’re excited to tap into our guests’ online behaviors to provide them with a fun, relevant way to celebrate the birth of their child, whether that’s with friends and family, on an oversized magnetic billboard in Los Angeles or in the heart of our nation’s biggest city.”

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