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Report: February sales grow 0.7%

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco — Shopper activity cooled off in February 2014 as a result of extremely cold weather across the country. According to in-store retail analytics provider Euclid, analysis of data from tens of millions of domestic shopping sessions indicates that general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales grew by a modest 0.7% year-over-year.

Euclid said that these metrics illustrate a weak outlook for industry revenues. Overall, retailers did well to keep shoppers engaged in physical stores during a month that typically sees less interest in robust browsing, yet consumers kept nonessential trips to a minimum during spells of cold weather.

Here are some of Euclid’s top findings in this month’s report around standard traffic metrics:

• Shopper traffic declined 3% compared to the same month last year, as visits were negatively impacted cold weather and storms across much of the country for the majority of the month.

• Storefront conversion was up nearly 1% as a result of the heavily promotional environment and depressed outside activity.

• Bounce rate increased 2% from the prior year as more shopping trips were quick and focused, but overall shopping session duration was in line with 2013.

Shoppers also behaved differently around February’s two holidays: Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day. The best shopping day of the month was Monday, Feb. 24, which saw the best in-store shopper engagement – average duration was greater than 25 minutes. The worst day of the month was Wednesday, Feb. 19, which saw a significant slowdown in activity following the long Presidents’ Day holiday weekend and was plagued by particularly low storefront conversion and a high bounce rate.

Valentine’s Day did not have nearly the positive impact on shopping activity this year compared to last year. Cold, stormy weather and the growing ease of online fulfillment drove an increasing amount of Valentine’s Day related shopping to online e-tailers and away from the physical store, resulting in 10% less store traffic year-over-year for the week preceding the holiday.

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Report: Target post-holiday shopper penetration drops

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston — Target’s database breach in December 2013 not only affected the retailer’s fourth quarter comparable store sales, but also contributed to plummeting shopper penetration post-holiday. Kantar Retail ShopperScape data indicates that just 33% of U.S. households reported shopping at Target or SuperTarget during January 2014, the lowest penetration number for Target in the past three years, and a 22% decrease in penetration compared to January 2013.

Kantar data shows that the overall trend in Target’s past four-week shopper penetration has been on a downward trajectory for the past several years. The shift away from shopping at Target in January varied among key segments of guests but was most significant among its core guests, including Gen X (shoppers 32 to 49 years old), who are more likely than any other cohort to shop Target, as well as lower-income shoppers, who tend to shop Target at a lower rate in general but whose penetration at Target declined by a full 30% from January 2013 to January 2014

“In the wake of that news, Target failed to reach a December ‘bump’ in penetration of the same magnitude as it has enjoyed in recent years,” said Rachel McGuire, Kantar Retail senior analyst and co-author of the report. “Our shopper data reflects the extent to which this issue continues to influence shopper behavior.”

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Coupons.com prices IPO

BY CSA STAFF

Coupons.com has gone public. The digital promotional platform has priced its initial public offering of 10,500,000 shares of common stock at $16 per share, which is above the reported expected range of $12 to $14.

Coupons.com has also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 1,575,000 shares. Shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today under ticker symbol "COUP."

Goldman, Sachs & Co., Allen & Company LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets LLC are acting as bookrunners.

A registration statement relating to these securities was filed with, and declared effective by, the Securities and Exchange Commission late this week.

Coupons.com connects brands and retailers with consumers, offering digital printable coupons, digital paperless coupons, coupon codes and other promotions. Founded in 1998, the company is based in Mountain View, Calif.

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