Sony Stores partners with shopkick to offer shopper rewards
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Sony Stores have joined shopkick, a real-world shopping app, to offer “kicks,” shopkick’s proprietary reward currency, to shoppers for visiting stores, browsing lookbooks or interacting with products.
Shoppers who link a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card to shopkick’s Buy and Collect program will receive even more kicks when they make qualifying purchases at a Sony Store. The shopkick app allows shoppers to redeem their kicks for gift cards, including Sony Store gift cards; song downloads; movie tickets; Facebook credits and even donations to charities.
"Sony’s awesome products often top holiday wish lists. Now gift-givers can get rewarded with shopkick kicks while shopping for a Sony Cyber-shot digital camera or TV for a loved one, at one of Sony’s thirty U.S. locations," said Doug Galen, CRO of shopkick. "From collecting kicks while browsing high-impact lookbooks or from walking from store-to-store and browsing products, a shopper can quickly earn enough kicks for a free cup of coffee or eventually a stylish set of headphones. This year, donations to charity have been especially popular, with more than 30,000 individual redemptions for the Red Cross’s Sandy Relief fund."
To inaugurate the partnership, Sony Stores are giving away free earbuds, a $9.99 retail value, to any shopkicker who visits a Sony Store and uses the in-app offer to claim the gift before Thanksgiving Day. In addition, through Black Friday, the amount of kicks available for walking into Sony Stores or browsing through its in-app lookbook is higher: shoppers will get 200 kicks for visits and an additional 50 for viewing content within the lookbook.
"We’re thrilled to add shopkick’s innovative and interactive rewards technology to our service toolkit. Sony Store Guests already enjoy our unique in-store experience and great Sony products and services — now we can provide another treat in the form of kicks, and bring our latest and greatest products to their attention by using shopkick’s beautiful signature lookbooks," said Michaela Ion, senior manager of guest experience, Sony Stores. "And to help us ‘kick off’ the holiday season in style, we’re going to have a fun gift for shopkickers who visit our stores before Black Friday."
Lowe’s looking better with room for improvement
Positive same-store sales in 12 of 14 merchandise categories at Lowe’s pushed third-quarter profits up 76%.
Lowe’s reported third-quarter net income of $396 million, up 76% from earnings of $225 million a year ago on revenues that increased 2% to $12.07 billion, ahead of consensus estimates of $11.93 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.8%.
Lowe’s president and CEO Robert Niblock called the results solid and said the company is focused on improving execution, delivering value and increasing product differentiation.
"These focus areas build on Lowe’s core strengths and are expected to deliver comp transaction growth and better gross margins by localizing assortments, driving excitement in our stores through better display techniques and managing an appropriate balance of product cost and retail pricing," Niblock said during a conference call. "We continue to make progress and are encouraged by early results. By mid-2013, we will have completed this work and expect these efforts to provide meaningful comp and gross margin benefits."
Benefits are already being seen across most categories as Niblock noted that 12 of 14 product categories ended the quarter with a positive comp. And nearly 2/3 of the categories generated comps above the company average, including big-ticket categories such as cabinets and appliances. Building materials was the only significant drag in the quarter, which resulted from a strong comparison to the prior.
While Lowe’s reported strong profit growth, its sales results lacked the momentum evident at Home Depot which reported third quarter results last week. Riding a gradually improving housing market around the country, Home Depot’s sales increase 4.6% to $18.1 billion and same store sales increased 4.2% overall. Despite a charge of about $165 million to close seven stores in China, the company posted net earnings of $947 million, up 1.4% from $934 million in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company’s net earnings rose 23.3% to $1.1 billion.
"Our third-quarter results were better than we expected and reflected, in part, what we believe is the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market," said Frank Blake, Home Depot chairman and CEO.
Based on its performance through the third quarter, Home Depot updated its fiscal 2012 guidance and raised its sales growth guidance to be up approximately 5.2% for the year on a 53-week basis. The company expects fiscal 2012 diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 18% to $2.92 for the year.
At the end of the third quarter, the company had a total of 2,250 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.
Jo-Ann magnifies mobile initiatives
HUDSON, Ohio — Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores has launched a mobile-optimized version of Joann.com, m.joann.com, to facilitate shopping for smartphone users just in time for the holiday shopping season.
“We are extremely excited to have a mobile-optimized Joann.com up and running before the holiday season to complement our existing smartphone and iPad apps, allowing our customers to interact with Jo-Ann however is most convenient for them,” said Riddi Kline, CMO and SVP at Jo-Ann. “Our customers have embraced mobile technology whole-heartedly, and we strive to provide fresh, innovative ways for them to engage with Jo-Ann while continually developing our existing channels to meet our customers’ evolving preferences.”
Jo-Ann launched an iPhone app in late 2010, and the Andriod version of the smartphone app in 2011. The Jo-Ann smartphone app provides customers with exclusive coupons, a Find-a-Store feature and the ability to browse products.
When Jo-Ann launched its iPad app earlier this year in July, it did so with a focus on the Idea Center – a highly interactive collection of inspiration, projects and how-to’s. In addition to the Idea Center, the Jo-Ann app for iPad allows customers to browse weekly ads and catalogs, create shopping lists and find the Jo-Ann store nearest them.
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is the nation’s largest fabric and craft retailer with 790 store locations in 49 states, was founded in 1943 as a single retail store. It continues taking the necessary steps to remain relevant in the online retail market.