OPERATIONS

Unruly Media study: This Bud video’s for you

BY Staff Writer

New York — Almost all (97%) social video ad shares of alcohol brands during fourth quarter 2012 and first quarter 2013 were for four brands, Budweiser, Neft Vodka, Carlsberg and Heineken, according to a new report from Unruly Media.

Findings from “Untapped Potential: The State of Sharing in the Alcohol Sector” indicate Budweiser (59%) and Neft (24%) accounted for most of this social sharing activity.

Overall, wine brands have been the slowest to embrace social video ads, accounting for less than 1% of sharing activity.

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E-commerce business bolsters Bon-Ton Q1

BY CSA STAFF

YORK, Pa. — Inclement weather was not enough to hold back Bon-Ton’s first quarter results for the period ended May 4.

The company saw same-store sales increase 1.2% compared with the first quarter of the year prior. Total sales for the quarter were $647 million, a 1% increase from $641 million for the first quarter last year.

“Our first quarter financial results reflect meaningful progress on our strategic initiatives,” said president and CEO Brendan Hoffman. “Comparable store sales increased in spite of inclement weather. Enhancements to our e-commerce business again yielded double-digit sales growth while we saw increased penetration of proprietary credit card sales due to concentrated efforts to drive this business. Our gross margin rate benefited from a better balanced merchandise mix and a more effective markdown strategy.”

The company’s gross margin for the quarter was $225 million, an increase of 2.6% from $220 million in the first quarter of the year prior. The gross margin rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 increased to 34.8% of net sales from 34.3% of net sales in the prior year period. The company attributes the increase in its gross margin rate for the current period to a reduced net markdown percentage and an increase in the cumulative markup percentage.

The Bon-Ton Stores operates 272 department stores, which includes 11 furniture galleries, in 24 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.

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Study: More Hispanic shoppers use mobile than general market shoppers

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Denver — A study released Thursday by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research found that 16% of Hispanic shoppers are using their mobile devices to make purchases, compared to 12% of general market shoppers.

The Checkout ongoing shopper behavior study polls consumers nationally about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors and economic outlook.

"Since mobile and online tools are important to Hispanics, there is opportunity to leverage technology to better engage this audience. It’s not just about replicating general market strategies and making them bilingual, it’s taking those key elements that Hispanic shoppers seek and incorporating them into the shopper experience," said Martin Ferro, senior account planner for Velocidad, a Hispanic promotional, retail and shopper marketing capability of The Integer Group.

Use of private label has grown significantly in recent years as shoppers start to perceive them as quality alternatives to name brand products. Only 28% of Hispanic shoppers (compared to 22% of general market shoppers) say they immediately go for name brand items while 68% (compared to 60% of general market shoppers) find their usual brand but then consider a store brand as an alternative. The study also shows that private label is making it into Hispanics’ consideration sets, with 78% of all Hispanic shoppers regularly comparing prices between name brands and store brands.

Additional findings on Hispanic shoppers from The Checkout:

  • Hispanics place greater emphasis on their personal networks, with 40% saying recommendations from their friends and family influence their shopping list compared to 29% of the general market.
  • Hispanic shoppers are more experiential, with 25% of Hispanics saying that having an enjoyable shopping experience was most important to them compared to 18% of general market shoppers.
  • When considering value, 53% of Hispanic shoppers say finding the highest quality items is the most important factor compared to 40% of the general market. Price is also an important factor, with 45% of Hispanics saying this is most important to them compared to 43% of general market shoppers.
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