MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Staples Back-to-School study: Canadians look for value

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — According to the Staples’ Annual Back-to-School study evaluating the back-to-school shopping habits of Canadian customers, value is the top priority; 81% of Canadians say they look for a retailer that offers good value.

Highlights from the annual survey include:

• 81% of back-to-school shoppers look for a retailer that offers good value;

• Nearly three quarters (74%) of Canadian back-to-school shoppers prepare their own lists;

• Almost as many (71%) make their own budget;

• While late August and early September are the busiest times for retailers, more than half of back-to-school shoppers (54%) consider shopping in July. And more than a third (36%) consider shopping in June;

• Half of back-to-school shoppers (49%) find the season stressful – parents (51%) more than students (46%); and

• Thirty-three percent of Canadians, more than 11 million, will shop for school supplies this year, the same as in 2013.

"The study reveals how important the back-to-school season is to Canadian families," says Steve Matyas, president of Staples Canada.

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ECRM: Retail circular advertising trends, July 2014

BY CSA STAFF

ECRM compared retail circular advertising in July 2013 versus July 2014 and noted trends occurring across top retail chains. The start of the back-to-school season saw large decreases in these metrics for both Staples and Walmart across the board. Walmart continued its trend of smaller, less dense, highly-targeted and themed circulars. It barely touched on BTS on the front pages of its July 2013 circulars, with only a small laptop ad and some apparel promotions. 2014 saw a more concentrated effort as early as 7/13, prominently featuring notebooks, glue sticks, and crayons. Additional BTS-focused circulars included lunchtime grocery items and college dorm furniture/appliances, as well as an apparel-focused circular similar to the year prior.

Staples followed a similar trend in downsizing, with less-cluttered pages and better imagery. Additionally, it switched tactics this year by featuring its “110% Price Match Guarantee” and incentivizing a large stock-up trip with an offer for 25% all school supplies with purchase of a backpack. Last year, it instead focused on low-budget price points, prominently featuring 1¢ and 25¢ items.

About ECRM’s Business Intelligence:
ECRM’s Ad Comparisons technology captures promotional data from the top U.S. and Canadian retailers in all major markets. Ad Comparisons captures more than 40 metrics for each ad block and provides hundreds of analytic reports to put the advertising data in context. Ad Comparisons takes an individual approach to ensure all data and reports fit the needs of each user.

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Snyder’s-Lance doubles new product revenue

BY CSA STAFF

Snyder’s-Lance, a leading manufacturer and distributor of premium snacks, recently marked the first anniversary of its state-of-the-art Research and Development Center.

The center, located near one of the company’s largest bakeries in Hanover, Pennsylvania, has been instrumental in the research and development of new product introductions that are both innovative and in line with consumer trends, according to the company.

Snyder’s-Lance reported that revenue from new products in 2014 has been double that of new products in 2013 — a new high for the company — demonstrating the critical importance of research and development and an innovation pipeline. The new items spanned across the company’s core brand portfolio, including Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Cape Cod and Snack Factory.

"The opening of the Research and Development Center last summer was part of our company’s transformation, and now our effort is proving itself in the market," said Rod Troni, CMO for Snyder’s-Lance. "Snyder’s-Lance is focused on aggressively creating innovative and better-for-you snacking options for our customers, executing new product launches that surprise them, and being nimble enough to remain at the center of trends that evolve with their eating habits."

By using detailed product and quality comparisons, sensory evaluation and lab tests at the Research and Development Center, Snyder’s-Lance employs a consumer-centric approach to develop products that are in sync with consumer trends. The top new items for Snyder’s-Lance this year come from each of the company’s core product lines, including:

  • Lance Bolds sandwich crackers, in Buffalo Wing Blue Cheese, Pizza and Bacon Cheddar flavors.
  • Snyder’s of Hanover Sweet and Salty Pretzel Pieces, in Cinnamon Sugar or Salted Caramel flavors
  • Cape Cod popcorn, in White Cheddar, Kettle Corn and Sea Salt flavors.
  • Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Minis

"The first year of using the Research and Development Center paid dividends for Snyder’s-Lance, and after acquiring the capabilities of Baptista’s Bakery, the company has even more tools in its arsenal to innovate," said Troni. "Expect big announcements and new products in the coming year that will drive future growth for our company."

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