FINANCE

Survey: Paid search marketing is tops online customer acquisition tactic

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles — Paid search programs are the most popular online customer acquisition tactic. According to the 2014 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc. State of Retailing Online study, which surveyed 81 retailers in May and June 2014, 85% of retailers cite search engine marketing as one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.

In fact, retailers spend more of their interactive marketing budgets on paid search programs than on any other tactic, and four-out-of five retailers surveyed are also spending more on pay-for-performance search placement this year than in 2013.

To acquire new customers, retailers also cited organic traffic (41%), affiliate programs (40%) and remarketing/retargeting of shoppers in online ads (29%) as effective vehicles — all of which they’re also investing in more this year than in 2013. Display ads are seeing something of a resurgence: specifically remarketing, retargeting, and behavioral targeting ranked among retailers’ leading customer acquisition tactics, and display ads now collectively rank as the second highest area of marketing spend behind paid search.

Social media is also getting increased attention from retailers. According to the survey, 62% of retailers surveyed plan to spend more on Facebook interactive marketing efforts this year than in 2013. Furthermore, nearly half of retailers surveyed say they will dedicate more spend to social sites such as Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter in the coming year.
The survey also found that on average, 42% of retailers’ email opens now happen on smartphones, up from 28% in 2013, while email open rates on tablets grew from 16 to 17%.

“While much of the ground work has been laid for perfecting paid search and how well it works for retailers’ customer acquisition goals, the fact of the matter is that retailers still have plenty of opportunities to learn more about their customers’ needs,” said executive director of Shop.org Vicki Cantrell. “As customer touch-points expand, retailers continue to investigate other ways to diversify their marketing spend, including budgeting for increased spend for text advertisements, display ads, social, and attribution models.”

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News

Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores expands Kansas City retail and distribution center

BY CSA STAFF

Sears Outlet Stores, a subsidiary of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, has leased the former Sears location on E Front Street, expanding Outlet Store operations and services, while offering an economic boost with mass job creation.

Originally leased by Sears Holdings Corporation, the facility included warehousing, distribution, repair service and a Sears Outlet retail location. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores took over the lease of the 354,000-sq.-ft. property earlier this year. As Sears Holdings Corporation wound down its operations in this massive location, situated on railroad tracks, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores saw the opportunity to expand and began repurposing and renovating the facilities in spring 2014. The company expects to have the project complete and operations fine-tuned by early fall this year.

"We’ve processed product and remained open to the public during the repurposing process, as we continue to renovate and expand the facility previously occupied by Sears Holdings," said Peter Nero, VP of real estate for Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. "We have been a presence in this community since 1968, and we’re looking forward to the continued warm welcome from our neighbors here and the opportunity we have to employ so many new local workers to give this building new life."

The size of this location allowed Sears Outlet Stores the ability to develop a new central distribution center for the South-Central region. The new repair and distribution center is expected to create nearly 160 new jobs to be filled by Kansas City locals.

Sears Outlet Stores has also invested in updating and remodeling both its retail location and the building’s exterior. The retail space in this location has expanded more than 50%, increasing the selection of home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, tools, sporting goods and household goods available to the public. The retail store, which now boasts more than 27,000 sq. ft. of retail selling space, has also expanded its assortment of merchandise, bringing in new categories such as apparel and furniture. The Sears Outlet Store located at 3632 E Front Street in Kansas City, Mo., is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

As of May 3, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and its dealers and franchisees operated 1,250 stores across all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Bermuda.

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REAL ESTATE

Levin Management brings Staples to New Jersey shopping center

BY Dan Berthiaume

North Brunswick, N.J. – Staples has leased a 14,000 sq. ft. space at North Village Shopping Center in North Brunswick, N.J. Levin Management, exclusive leasing and managing agent for the 132,000-sq.-ft. center, negotiated the lease.

The lease signing brings retail occupancy at the center to 100%. North Village Shopping Center is a dominant local shopping destination. Anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond (32,000 sq. ft.), Barnes & Noble (25,000 sq. ft.), Michael’s (24,000 sq. ft.) and Eastern Mountain Sports (13,000 sq. ft.), other retailers include Panera Bread, Smashburger, Chili’s, A & G Fine Foods and Rossopomodoro Ristorante.

The center serves a residential population of almost 250,000 people within a five-mile radius. The marketplace offers an average household income of more than $92,000 and the daily traffic count exceeds 99,500 vehicles.

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