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Sears, Kmart to open on Thanksgiving

BY Staff Writer

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears and Kmart stores joined the growing list of national retailers whose stores will open on Thanksgiving Day.

Kmart, which has opened Thanksgiving Day for 22 years, this year will be open for 41 straight hours, starting at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day to 11 p.m. Black Friday. Sears will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Sears and Kmart are delivering integrated retail shopping options. For example, if a members or customer can’t find a product in-store at Sears or Kmart, they can order it in-store and have it shipped to their home for free.

"Sears and Kmart have been leaders in integrated retail, delivering convenient options to create a more rewarding shopping experience for our members, while blurring the boundaries between offline and online shopping," said Leena Munjal, senior VP customer experience and integrated retail, Sears Holdings

Plus, Kmart’s latest budgeting solution for the holidays – lease-to-own through Whynot Leasing, LLC – is available nationwide starting Nov. 22. The program gives customers a no- credit-required way to take home products they need or want, right away – including doorbuster items.


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Target cleans up in NY’s Grand Central

BY CSA STAFF

Target turned heads at New York’s Grand Central Terminal Monday morning with its newest popup store featuring an exclusive collection of bath and body products by Sonia Kashuk.

Dominating the center of the popup store was a large four-sided display featuring various products in the line, including fragrances, shower gel, body lotion, body butter, loofas and shower caps. It served as a platform for the pièce de résistance: a white bathtub 8.5 ft. in the air — bearing the Target logo and Kashuk’s name — occupied by a very brave model who seemed completely unaffected by the display’s height. Solid and translucent balloons flanked the space and floated up high, surrounding the bathtub and evoking bath bubbles.

Within 10 minutes of opening at 9 a.m., the popup was crowded with curious onlookers, many of whom photographed the model in the bathtub atop the display before making their way around the store, checking out products and testing various samples.

Target employees worked the cash registers, located on either side of the display, and took care of shoppers. A sign encouraged customers to take and post photos on Instagram using hashtags #SKBody and #TargetBeauty.

Sonia Kashuk was on hand, near the popup store’s entrance, talking with a few people and posing for photographs. The bath and body collection is not the first time Target has teamed up with the designer. The retailer already carries Kashuk’s line of makeup and accessories, which just got a makeover and is available in black packaging to complement the new collection, which is itself packaged in black with hand-illustrated floral patterns.

Anchored by four fragrances created in collaboration by Kashuk and perfumer Jérôme Epinette of Robertet, the collection offers consumers a touch of luxury at an affordable price point. The fragrances are Pink Innocencia, Purple Seductia, Yellow Alluriana and Red Promisia. The Sonia Kashuk bath and body collection is already available at Target.com and makes its debut in stores November 10.

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Crossmark acquires PromoWorks

BY CSA STAFF

Leading sales and marketing services provider Crossmark has enhanced its shopper marketing capabilities with the purchase of PromoWorks.

The transaction will result in Crossmark being the preferred product sampling and demonstration agency for 10 of the top 20 food retailers in North America and the exclusive event marketing planning agency for many of the top consumer brands, according to the company.

“Through intense focus and execution, we have become the North American leader in in-store marketing for brands,” said Crossmark CEO Joe Crafton. “Not only does PromoWorks add to Crossmark’s scale and coverage, but we also are excited about the company’s ability to create integrated and innovative omni-channel campaigns.”

Founded in 1999, PromoWorks offers unique strategies that enhance the retail experience through customized shopper engagement and product sampling and demonstration events. The deal complements Crossmark’s acquisition in August of Marketing Werks.

“The PromoWorks and Marketing Werks transactions create solutions for our clients that are unrivaled. As traditional advertising continues to lose relevance in many categories, we are experiencing an explosion in utilizing people as media to engage with consumers on-the-go,” Crafton said.

The deals are designed to position Crossmark to capitalize on what the company expects will be increased usage of experiential marketing services in the coming decade.

“There is no more powerful marketing tactic than someone telling you face-to-face about a product benefit or giving you a sample of the product to taste or touch when you’re on the path-to-purchase,” said Jim Rose, president of Crossmark Marketing Services. “That is experiential marketing that leads to conversion and loyalty. And it’s why we’re so excited about making investments in this growing segment.”

PromoWorks will be led by industry veteran Julie Beck. Prior to joining PromoWorks in 2011, Beck held a variety of leadership positions at Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft and The Partnering Group.

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