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Report: Wal-Mart most prolific and most creative holiday advertiser

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mountain View, Calif. – Wal-Mart is this year’s most prolific holiday advertiser in terms of new creative, airing more than 40 unique holiday-themed ads. According to new Ace Metrix TV and video advertising ratings, a philanthropic ad spotlighting its Salvation Army program also earned Wal-Mart a number one ranking in terms of creative effectiveness, with a leading Ace Metrix score of 687.

Two other retailers also had ads in the top 10 rankings. Kohl’s took eighth place with its “Christmas Surprise” ad (Ace Metrix score 639) and Lowe’s ranked 10th with “It’s Easy (635).

“While consumers have a tendency to reward philanthropic work, this holiday season saw more do-good creative at the top than ever before,” said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. “What stands out in this year’s philanthropic effort is the authenticity of the brand to the cause. Walmart and Duracell are true to their brand while communicating the values of the season. In fact, many of the ads on this list are successful because they effectively impart values of family, giving and togetherness.”

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Outlook good for beauty, cosmetics & fragrance stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – Beauty, cosmetics and fragrance stores should experience 2.7% growth in sales to $13.1 billion during 2013. Industry revenue is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 0.8% from 2008 to 2013, according to business intelligence firm IbisWorld.

The number of stores in the industry is also expected to grow, averaging 1.3% annual increases to reach 102,447 during the five years to 2013. IbisWorld also forecasts that revenue will grow at an average annual rate of 5.2% to $16.8 billion during the five years to 2018. Consumers will buy more cosmetics, and the proliferation of naturally derived products will spur growth in new markets.

Ibisworld says the industry faces possible saturation, though, and competition from other specialty beauty stores and alternative retailers will slightly curb growth opportunities. E-commerce will be one of the fastest-growing competitive threats to this industry.

Other Ibisworld statistics on the beauty, cosmetics and fragrance channel include:

  • Skin care products (27%) and cosmetics (22%) are the largest products/services segments.
  • The industry is expected to earn a $1.3 billion profit in 2013.
  • Wages will total $3.7 billion in 2013.
  • There are 93,529 businesses in the beauty, cosmetics and fragrance channel.

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Report: LLBean.com tops November e-retail customer service ranking

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – LLBean.com provided the highest-rated customer service of all major online retailers during the month of November 2013. According to the Stella Monthly Ranking from the StellaService customer service analysis firm, L.L. Bean was ranked number one for overall customer service and also in the email customer service area.

SierraTradingPost.com took top honors for phone customer service, Sears.com had the highest ranked shipping customer service and Bloomingdales.com has the best returns customer service.
Five retailers maintained their spots in the top 10: LLBean.com, RalphLauren.com, JCrew.com, Shopbop.com and Net-A-Porter.com. Meanwhile, SierraTradingPost.com, Zappos.com, ToryBurch.com, BrooksBrothers.com and SaksFifthAvenue.com improved to join the top 10.

“LLBean.com is always a strong performer in our evaluations, but they are particularly impressive around the holidays,” said Kevon Hills, StellaService director of research. “Their well-trained seasonal employees are among the best in retail.”

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