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Survey: Retail marketers find digital advertising important

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Retail marketers say social media and digital, customer data and brand awareness are their top three marketing challenges. Findings from a retail marketing survey SAP conducted with University of Arizona students also showed that survey participants said 100% of respondents cited digital advertising among the most important marketing tools for their organization.

Nearly 50% of participants said there is need for improvement in their companies’ digital and social “listening” strategies, as well as in how they use customer data to improve marketing efforts.

“While retailers are aware of the increasingly critical role of digital and social channels in marketing, they clearly perceive the gap in their ability to effectively leverage these trends,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, senior VP, global industry business unit for retail, SAP. “Having access to the right digital, social and analytics tools to communicate with, listen to and understand customers in real time enables retailers to make more informed and impactful marketing decisions.”

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Safeway gets second request for merger info from FTC

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway Inc. has received a request for additional information and documents from the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") in connection with the FTC’s review of the previously announced agreement and plan of merger among Safeway and Albertson’s. The second request extends the waiting period imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 until 30 days after Safeway and Albertsons have substantially complied with the second request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the parties or terminated sooner by the FTC.

Safeway and Albertsons say they have been working, and will continue to work, cooperatively with the FTC.

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PriceSmart has sharp Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Diego – PriceSmart Inc. reported increases in net earnings and revenues during the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Compared to the same period a year earlier, net earnings rose 14% to $28.3 million, from $24.9 million.

Revenues climbed 11% to $674.4 million from $607.4 million. The opening of two new warehouse club stores contributed to PriceSmart’s fiscal performance.

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