OPERATIONS

Survey: Bargain hunting part of shopper experience

BY Staff Writer

Chicago — A survey released Monday by Mintel Inspire found that bargain-hunting has become a desirable pastime among shoppers.

According to the latest data, Mintel found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. moms said they’re spending more time looking for sales, discounts and coupons, compared with last year, while 28% of U.K. consumers were classified by Mintel as "bargain hunters" due to their dedication to comparing prices and reading online reviews.

"It’s no longer enough to save money, shoppers want to have fun with the savings experience as well," Mintel Inspire managing editor Alexandra Smith said. "Consumers have come to expect reduced prices since the economic downturn, but retailers need to take that discounting a step further with promotions that engage and entertain."

Smith also said that while consumers presently are more open to try new products or venues, it’s the promotions that can entice them to purchase an item or visit a certain store.

"Allowing customers to choose the number and type of deals they receive, coupled with location-based offers will help reduce the potential for savings burnout," Smith noted.

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Report: Tentative deal in SoCal to avert strike

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Union leaders on Monday said they reached a tentative agreement with The Vons Cos. Ralphs Grocery Co.; and Albertsons, to head off the threat of a strike in Southern California by more than 60,000 workers, the Associated Press reported.

The union said the agreement, which still must be approved by the rank and file, would protect workers’ health policies.

"Thanks to the unity of our members and the hard work of our negotiating team, we were successful in bargaining an agreement that grocery workers can be proud of," said United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324 president Fred Conger in a statement.

The three companies released a joint statement lauding the deal, which they said "continues to preserve good wages, secure pensions and access to quality, affordable health care — while allowing us to be competitive in the marketplace."

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Lowe’s announces new ‘Never Stop Improving’ brand positioning

BY Marianne Wilson

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s is replacing its “Let’s Build Something Together” tagline with a new one, “Never Stop Improving” as part of its new brand strategy.

As part of the program, the chain is launching a new advertising campaign Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Also, Lowe’s will soon be launching MyLowes, a online tool to help customers manage their homes and home improvement projects through every stage.

“’Never Stop Improving’ is not just a tagline — it reflects our customer’s mindset about their homes and their lives,” said Tom Lamb, senior VP marketing and advertising for Lowe’s. “Never Stop Improving is our promise to them that we will constantly be innovating and improving at Lowe’s so we can satisfy their ever changing needs.

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