MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Shoppers Drug Mart and Beyond the Rack teaming up

BY Antoinette Alexander

Toronto — Shoppers Drug Mart is teaming up with Beyond the Rack, the online shopping club, to provide Shoppers Optimum members with exclusive deals on designer fashions and accessories.

Shoppers Optimum members are invited to join a new subscription-based retail website that offers exclusive savings and rewards on designer fashions and accessories. Those who register can receive special weekly product offers from Beyond the Rack while collecting 10 Optimum points on every dollar spent.

"We are always looking for new ways to reward Shoppers Optimum members, and partnering with Beyond the Rack allows us to offer amazing deals on designer fashions and accessories for our style-savvy shoppers," stated Mike Motz, executive VP and chief merchandising officer for Shoppers Drug Mart. "Gaining access to exclusive designer discounts while earning Shoppers Optimum points gives our members a unique and rewarding shopping experience."

Optimum members who register for the new program via the Shoppers Drug Mart website will receive weekly emails with exclusive shopping offers on designer merchandise, including fashion, electronics, jewelry and more. With discounts of up to 80%, Optimum-Beyond the Rack members will rack up 10 Shoppers Optimum points for every dollar spent on the new website to be redeemed on purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart. These members-only deals will last for seven days as opposed to the usual 48-hour deals currently offered by Beyond the Rack. Optimum-Beyond the Rack members will have access to deals on designer brands for up to 80% off.


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REAL ESTATE

Bojangles Knows Customer Demographics

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — The three rules of retail real estate are the same as the three rules of any other type of real estate – “location, location, location.” But each retail chain has its own unique requirements for what makes a good location, and Charlotte, N.C.-based Bojangles’ Restaurants Inc. is getting some technical assistance in determining the best spots for new stores based on factors such as who lives nearby.

Scouting the Best Locations
Bojangles, which will have about 580 units by year’s end, had been using a variety of methods to analyze customer demographics, but was looking to further refine its demographic profiling. Boston-based private equity firm Advent International, Bojangles’ corporate parent, recommended that the retailer investigate customer analytics technology provider Buxton.

The company initially met with Buxton around the beginning of 2012 and decided to start testing Buxton’s remotely hosted SCOUT customer analytics application. Buxton hosts SCOUT on a Google Maps platform and Bojangles employees can obtain access via PC or mobile device.

“We use the tool in two or three ways,” said Eric Newman, executive VP & general counsel at Bojangles’. “It helps us visualize where customer bases are and isolate demographic characteristics of potential sites.”

Discovering New Data
In addition, Newman said Buxton’s analytical capabilities help Bojangles strategically lay out the location of franchise restaurants to avoid locating a unit between two trade areas. At the end of 2012, Bojangles began using the core of the product to estimate the range of sales projections. These estimates were based on the mix of customer demographics located within six minutes’ drive of a store. More recently, Bojangles began comparing projections to results and discovered some surprising revelations.

“We discovered some franchisees were having success with non-traditional demographics others were not obtaining,” said Newman. “We applied those learnings to other franchisees to avoid the self-fulfilling prophecy of avoiding certain parts of town.”

And when sales came in less than projected, Newman said Bojangles was able to dig in and usually find human issues, such as a poor opening or an owner not following the system correctly, to blame. Another discovery occurred when Bojangles superimposed internal data, such as site proximity to interstate highways.

“We discovered proximity to an interstate is a ‘super-plus’ we had underconsidered,” admitted Newman.

Newman said Bojangles will continue organically refining the data it feeds to the Buxton system. For example, sales significantly improved in 2012 compared to 2011, so the company will reset projections against those higher figures.

“We’re pleasantly surprised by how well it’s done,” Newman said.


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News

FedEx prepares for surge in holiday shipments

BY CSA STAFF

FedEx anticipates moving more than 22 million shipments around the world on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2 —its busiest day in company history. The 11% year-over-year increase will be driven by online retailers feeding the FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost networks.

During the busiest week of the year, Dec. 1 – 7, FedEx expects more than 85 million shipments to move through its global networks. This is a 13% increase compared to last year’s busiest week. In addition to e-commerce, retail inventory such as personal consumer electronics, apparel and luxury goods will drive this increase in FedEx holiday volumes.

“Our workforce of more than 300,000 team members worldwide is ready to deliver the holidays once again this year,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx. “FedEx’s vast global network coupled with our broad suite of shipping solutions enable us to meet our customers’ every need during this busy time of the year.”

FedEx is responding to the continued boom in online purchasing with several new tools and solutions, including:

  • FedEx One Rate, a U.S.-based flat rate shipping option
  • FedEx Delivery Manager, a service which allows U.S. package recipients to customize home deliveries to fit their schedules

FedEx expects to increase its workforce with tens of thousands of seasonal positions to help handle the surge in holiday shipments.

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