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Retail loyalty programs bloom

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati — Retail loyalty programs have seen some impressive growth since 2011, according to results of the latest Colloquy Loyalty Census. In 2013, department stores achieved 70% growth in loyalty program memberships since the 2011 Colloquy Census, far surpassing the 26.7% rate of growth in loyalty programs across all sectors tabulated in the 2013 census. The number of department store loyalty memberships is 193.9 million.

Other retail sectors experience above-average loyalty growth rates in the past two years include drug stores (45% growth to 142.4 million memberships). Although the specialty retail sector had a slightly below average loyalty program growth rate of 26%, its 360.5 million membership count is the highest among all retail verticals and third among all industries, behind airlines and financial services.

The average U.S. household holds 21.9 memberships in loyalty programs but is active in 9.5 of those. In the 2011 census, the numbers were 18.4 and 8.4. The 2013 census shows that total membership in U.S. loyalty marketing programs across all sectors is 2.647 billion, a 26.7% increase over the 2.089 billion memberships in 2011.\

“As the economy slowly breathes new life, loyalty programs have gained increased awareness,” said Jeff Berry, Colloquy research director. “We expect continued growth as increasingly sophisticated programs revitalize engagement with existing members and attract new participants.”

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Saks launches new creative campaign

BY Staff Writer

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue is introducing a new creative campaign called “Look” that the retailer said will focus on its reputation as a place of discovery and be delivered to consumers via media including advertising, catalogs, shopping bags, direct mail, press initiatives, in-store events, digital marketing, social media and visual displays.

Officially starting tomorrow, June 18, the campaign will feature “Look What’s New” store outposts featuring emerging designers, “Making of a Look” beauty tutorials in stores, “Look Closer” features focused on craftsmanship, and a forward-looking trends. A catalog also called “Making of a Look” will offer advice from leading designers that will also appear in store displays and online communications. Updated packaging will launch in August and the campaign is expected to last into next year.

“Saks is not just a place to buy things, it’s the ideal place to look for what’s new and what’s trending,” said Terron Schaefer, executive VP of Saks Firth Avenue. “We seek to earn and build our customers’ confidence by focusing on the personal experience of discovery.”

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Kohl’s to open customer service ops center in Dallas

BY Marianne Wilson

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores has announced plans to open a new customer service operations center in Dallas.

Expected to open in late spring 2014, the two-building, three-story, 240,000-sq.-ft. facility will support the continued growth of the company’s Kohl’s Charge program, as well as its online business, which reached $1.4 billion in sales last year following three consecutive years of more than 40% annual growth.

“The addition of our new facility and associates will continue to ensure Kohl’s delivers a seamless, positive shopping experience for our customers,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO. “We are pleased to expand our presence in Texas and in the Dallas area, which offers a positive environment for business and a robust workforce.”

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