News

Survey: Nearly half of consumers feel BTS promotions are improved

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — A PriceGrabber back-to-school survey released on Wednesday found that 48% of consumers believe retailers are offering better back-to-school shopping promotions this year.

According to the survey, 88% of consumers chose ‘sales’ as the top retailer promotion that will entice them to make a back-to-school purchase this year. Forty-nine percent of shoppers cited coupons; 44% noted that "free items with purchase" would persuade them to buy; and 34% selected sales available online only.

When survey respondents were asked to select all back-to-school products that are offering great deals, school supplies topped the list with 67% of the consumer vote. Clothing came in second place with 58%; 32% cited electronics including computers, tablets and smartphones; 30% selected backpacks or tote bags; and 15% said books.

"The start of the back-to-school shopping season has been very competitive with retailers offering aggressive promotions to win the consumer dollar," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "We anticipate retailers will continue to offer very strong promotions and incentives through the remainder of August and even into September as kids start the school year."

When PriceGrabber survey respondents were asked if they think back-to-school deals are better online or in stores this year, 34% said online. Twenty-two percent of consumers said deals were better in stores and 44% of shoppers said deals were the same whether online or in stores. When asked how they plan to purchase back-to-school items this year, 60% of consumers said in stores and 40% selected online.

When respondents were asked to select all of the types of stores they plan to shop at for back-to-school items, 67% selected large, multichannel department stores. Online retailers were voted second and discounters third. Nearly half (47%) plan to shop in office supply chain stores this back-to-school season.

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News

Scott Naturals names winner of four-week test drive promotion

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS — Scott Naturals has announced the winner of its nationwide promotion, which asked consumers to to pledge to try the Scott Naturals line of hybrid paper products for four weeks.

The brand declared the state of Alaska as the winner and will donate $50,000 to be used toward local forest and land conservation efforts to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, through the National Association of State Conservation Agencies.

Scott Naturals also will be making a donation to New York due to the state’s "overwhelming participation."

This marks the second year of the Scott Naturals four-week test drive and the first year that the brand has made a donation toward conservation efforts.
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FINANCE

Sears Canada loss widens in Q2; looking for opportunities to refresh stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Toronto — Sears Canada reported Wednesday a loss of $9.8 million in the second quarter, widened from a loss of $200,000 in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 8.5% to $1.050 billion, from $1.148 billion. Same-store sales dropped 7.1%.

The retailer attributed much of the problem to warm, dry weather in many areas of Canada, which impacted sales of outdoor power equipment.

"While we are not pleased with our quarterly sales results, we continued to implement key transformation initiatives," said Calvin McDonald, CEO. “Of note was the performance in our apparel departments, which received a significant portion of our investment. We are exploring other possible locations across Canada to refresh.”

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