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Small business big for Sam’s

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sam’s Club announced that since launching its 2009 Small Business Savings Drive earlier this month, it has helped nearly 30,000 small businesses identify $55,654,494 in savings potential.

Year to date, more than 60,000 small businesses have taken advantage of the free cost comparison service, resulting in $126 million in savings, Sam’s Club reported.

“In visiting small businesses, we have found many are hunkering down, cutting out unnecessary expenses and trying to manage their cash flow,” shared Catherine Corley, Sam’s VP small business. “With revenue falling, lowering their (small business) costs is really the only thing they can control right now.”

Sam’s Club associates have visited small businesses nationwide to perform cost-savings comparisons, and, according to the company, business owners are surprised to find unexpected ways to save on every-day items. For example, a real estate office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was paying 5 cents apiece for 12-ounce foam coffee cups, Corley stated. Sam’s price was 2 cents, helping the company save more than $13,000 a year. A restaurant in Prescott Village, Arizona, will save $2,475.66 a year buying 4.5-ounce chicken breast fillets from Sam’s, she added.

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Beauty in the eye of the category holder

BY CSA STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. Consumers are switching channels in some key beauty categories, according to a new survey fro The NPD Group and Information Resources Inc.

While department store sales of makeup declined, makeup posted a slight increase in the FDMx channel. Conversely, the hair segment, although representing a relatively small portion of the prestige business, grew by 6% in department stores versus the decline of 4% in mass, where hair represents a larger portion of the overall business.

“For the first time we have the ability to take a broader view of the U.S. beauty industry,” said Diane Nicholson, president of beauty for The NPD Group. “When looking across total channels — department stores and food, drug and mass channels, excluding Walmart (FDMx) — we can size the market at $19.1 billion dollars, representing approximately 60% of the U.S. beauty industry.”

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Pier 1 selects vendor for marketing efforts

BY CSA STAFF

INDIANAPOLIS Pier 1 Imports has chosen ExactTarget to power its global one-to-one marketing campaigns.

“We continue to see an increased interest among consumers in receiving marketing messages via email from Pier 1 Imports,” said Jeff Haddox, a direct marketing analyst at Pier 1 Imports. “We’ll build on that momentum in 2009 with a new online subscription center that will allow customers to tell us exactly what types of messages they’d like to receive as well as the message frequency.”

In addition to powering e-mail marketing messages for the company, ExactTarget will use its landing page technology to power Pier 1 Imports’ new Web-based subscription center launching this summer. The integrated online site will allow consumers to subscribe to receive messages via e-mail, direct mail or both. The technology will also automatically update Pier 1 Imports’ data management system, which holds its subscriber list for ExactTarget-powered messages, with any changes to a consumer’s preferences or personal information.

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