STORE SPACES

Walmart launches online destination profiling green innovations, pioneers

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Mother Nature Network and Walmart are teaming up to launch an online destination (mnn.com/leaderboard) that profiles the biggest innovations in sustainability – and the pioneers who are creating them.

“There are an incredible number of new ideas, programs, products, and services being created, which will have a very positive impact on sustainability,” said Joel Babbit, CEO of Mother Nature Network. “And most interestingly – they aren’t all from large corporations. Many are developed by very small companies, schools, non-profit organizations – some even by single individuals.”

“Thanks to the ingenuity, passion and innovative thinking of s so many people, we’ve seen an increase in sustainable technologies, processes and options in the past decade," said Andrea Thomas, SVP sustainability at Walmart. “These new ideas have helped companies, like Walmart, make significant progress toward our sustainability goals. Walmart has a responsibility to use its size and scale to influence positive change, and we believe ‘The Leaderboard’ will be a place to showcase cutting edge ideas and spark further adoption.”

The Leaderboard will profile dozens of forward-thinking innovators, with new stories published every week.

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williamson says:
Mar-30-2013 09:33 am

“These new ideas have helped
“These new ideas have helped companies, like Walmart, make significant progress Travel Here toward our sustainability goals. Walmart has a responsibility to use its size and scale to influence positive change, and we believe ‘The Leaderboard’ will be a place to showcase cutting edge ideas and spark further adoption.”

williamson says:
Mar-30-2013 09:33 am

“These new ideas have helped companies, like Walmart, make significant progress Travel Here toward our sustainability goals. Walmart has a responsibility to use its size and scale to influence positive change, and we believe ‘The Leaderboard’ will be a place to showcase cutting edge ideas and spark further adoption.”

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FINANCE

Valentine’s Day spending expected to rise this year

BY Staff Writer

New York — Consumers expect to spend slightly more on Valentine’s Day merchandise this year than last year, according to a report by market research firm IBISWorld.

The report forecasts spending of $134.08 per person, compared with last year’s $133.99. Total revenue for the holiday is expected to grow by 3.2%, to $20.8 billion, despite incomes and consumer sentiments remaining below what they were before the recession.

"Although overall spending will increase slightly, consumers are still watching their wallets, and spending on expensive items will suffer as a consequence," IBISWorld industry analyst Lauren Setar said. "Due to these trends, Valentine’s Day purchases are expected to trend toward conventional gifts, giving candy and flowers an edge this year."

In terms of specific product categories, spending on greeting cards is expected to increase 0.4% from 2012 to $866 million; candy sales are expected to increase by 4.3% to $2.89 billion; jewelry sales will increase by 2.2% to $1.61 billion; flower sales will increase by 5.7% to $1.78 billion; dining out will increase by 2.9% to $9.95 billion; clothing and lingerie sales will increase by 1.8% to $1.26 billion.

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FINANCE

Sales events to make a comeback at J.C. Penney

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penney is changing course on its no-sales policy. It was just one year ago that the retailer, amid much fanfare, announced it was nearly eliminating sales events from its stores in favor of a three-tier pricing strategy and everyday low pricing. But on Monday the Associated Press reported that J.C. Penney is not only bringing back sales promotions to its stores, but will also add price tags or signs for approximately half of its merchandise that will show the "manufacturer’s suggested retail price" next to J.C. Penney’s "everyday" price.

For store branded items, J.C. Penney will show comparison prices for similar merchandise from competitors. Comparison prices, however, will not be shown for merchandise that is part of the exclusive partnerships J.C. Penney has entered into with brands such as Mango.

J.C. Penney’s decision to strictly limit promotional events, one part of CEO Ron Johnson’s ambitious reinvention plan for the company, has not gone over well with consumers. The company has struggled, reporting three consecutive quarters of drops in sales and profits. Industry analysts expect more of the same for the fourth quarter. J.C. Penney will announce its results in February.

J.C. Penney is not revealing how many sales events it will offer. But the company said the number will be well below the nearly 600 that it used to offer prior to Johnson’s new strategy, according to the report.

Johnson told the Associated Press that the decision to bring back sales was an "evolution" of his strategy.

"Our sales have gone backward a little more than we expected, but that doesn’t change the vision or the strategy," said Johnson in the report. "We made changes and we learned an incredible amount. That is what’s informing our tactics as we go forward."

To promote the price comparison strategy, J.C. Penney will air TV, print and digital ads, the report said.

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P.Kaye says:
Jan-29-2013 04:13 pm

Johnson is not a strategist
All it would have taken was for him to examine the traditions and habits of shoppers to realize the EDLP is not a viable option. What he may have gained in saved marketing dollars he lost to declining revenues. JCP will now compound that blunder by destroying its pricing integrity all together. The board needs to take action, bring on a mass merchant or department store pro to take the reigns and hire some decent strategists to get them back on track. The one plus to all this was the visual updates in the stores.

J.Shaughness says:
Jan-29-2013 11:37 am

JCP promotion strategy
Johnson could have done a little research and discovered other retailers' attempts at "everyday low prices" with little or no sales promotions has never worked in JCP's price points or below. Americans have become conditioned to expect "sales" on everything from apparel to cars. And expect a conflict on "MSRP" or "compare at" signs. That won't last long as they will be sued to prove the claims which can't be proven. It's hard to imagine how Johnson has kept his job this long after such a huge blunder.

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