OPERATIONS

Toys ‘R’ Us opens Halloween ‘Boo-tiques’

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wayne, N.J. – Toys ‘R’ Us is opening Trick ‘R’ Treat “Bootiques” inside Toys "R" Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com. These in-store shops feature a broad assortment of Halloween costumes, accessories, candy, gear and more.

In addition, from now through Halloween, Toys “R” Us will offer a dedicated Halloween hub on its e-commerce site. The retailer will also place themed interactive content on its Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram channels, including photos from allowing customers to upload photos using the hashtags #Halloween and #BabiesFirstHalloween.

"At Toys "R’ Us, we are excited to offer a one-stop-shop for families looking to make their Halloween frightfully fun," said Lisa Harnisch, senior VP, general merchandise manager, Toys "R" Us, U.S. "From the year’s hottest costumes for kids and innovative dress-up themes for the whole family, to eerie decor and online activities, we are dedicated to providing our customers with affordable, on-trend merchandise for the Halloween season."

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News

Target launches Target Ticket video service

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target Corp. is rolling out its Target Ticket digital video service nationwide. The service allows users to download and view digital video content on their personal digital devices and channels.

Target Ticket offers 30,000 movie and TV titles for purchase or rental on download or stream. There are no subscription or signup fees, and members of Target’s REDCard loyalty program receive a 5% discount. Viewers can watch rented content as many times as they want within a 48-hour rental period. Target partnered with non-profit group Common Sense Media to create ratings and reviews of Target Ticket content for parents.

“Many of our guests told us that streaming and viewing videos is complicated, so we created Target Ticket to simplify the experience,” said Anne Stanchfield, divisional merchandise manager of entertainment, Target. “Target Ticket will help guests who are looking for a kid-safe, easy-to-use service that mirrors what they have come to expect from Target’s entertainment offerings; a premium selection of the newest titles plus exclusive content, all at an affordable price.”

Target Ticket is currently available on PC and MAC, Android and iOS, Roku, Xbox, Samsung televisions and Blu-Ray players, with availability on additional devices in the coming months. Customers can obtain access to the service via the Target website or the Target Ticket app.

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FINANCE

Mobile ad budgets jump 142%

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Brand marketer mobile budgets surged 142% between 2011 and 2013. The 2013 “Marketer Perspectives on Mobile Advertising” study from IAB and Ovum also shows that three-quarters (74%) of 300 surveyed brand marketing executives who currently use mobile advertising expect that their companies’ mobile advertising spend will increase in the next two years.

Almost one-in-five respondents (19%) predict that their mobile budgets will increase by more than 50% in the next two years. Respondents to the survey were also asked to rank the top developments in mobile advertising. Taking the lead were responsive design, HTML5 and mobile native advertising. More than two in three (67%) cited the IAB Mobile Rising Stars ad units as a key driver in the space.

When asked to name challenges to mobile advertising, 22% of respondents said privacy issues, while 31% said device/operating system fragmentation and 13% mentioned standard mobile metrics.

“During the past two years, the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report has shown an impressive rise in mobile spend and this study establishes that marketers expect more vigorous growth to come,” said Anna Bager, VP and general manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “These findings reaffirm that publishers need to make mobile a top priority in order to take advantage of strong brand marketer demand. In addition, it is a signal to all of us at IAB that we must continue initiatives, such as our HTML5 guidance for digital advertising, to fuel the mobile arena.”

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