Walmart targets rival with relaunch
Walmart is looking to expand its share of the lucrative market for baby products.
The discounter announced it is relaunching its Parent’s Choice line of baby essentials with an expanded line of products and a new logo. Parent’s Choice, which began 20 years ago with just baby formula, will grow to 275 items. The relaunch comes as Target Corp. has been focusing on baby with new Cloud Island baby brand, which recently added has bedding and nursery decor to its assortment.
The centerpiece of the Walmart launch, which is ongoing and will continue through January, is the brand’s first-ever premium diaper product and a 53-piece bedding line. Both are now available in stores, and will be on the chain’s website starting in October. All items in the bedding collection are $40 or less, with many items priced less than $13.
Baby is a category of focus for rival Target Corp. which has launched lines like PillowFort and Cloud Island in recent months. Wal-Mart shares are nearly flat in premarket trading and up almost 15% for the year so far.
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Macy’s revamps loyalty program
Macy's is overhauling its loyalty program, putting a new focus on its best customers.
The department store retailer is revamping its Star Rewards program with a tiered rewards system that gives its very best shoppers (those who spend $1,200 or more annually) such perks as free shipping, additional savings and earned points on every purchase.
Based on annual spend, customers with a Macy’s credit card will be automatically enrolled into one of three levels: silver, gold or platinum, with rewards based on level. (Cardholders are automatically upgraded to the next tier when annual spend reaches the new level.) The program, which goes into effect Oct. 2, was developed with the customer in mind, based on a careful analysis of evolving shopping behaviors and consumer preferences, according to Macy's.
“We listened to our customers – and with the reinvention of Macy’s Star Rewards, we are delivering a loyalty program that will strengthen our relationships and better engage, reward and grow our best customers,” said Jeff Gennette, CEO, Macy’s. "We are providing what matters most to her – an enhanced experience both in store and online, edited and elevated products, compelling value and an excellent loyalty offering.”
Here's a review of the three levels:
&bull Platinum: Customers who spend $1,200 or more annually at Macy's with their Macy's credit card will receive 25% off any day they choose with Star Pass coupons and free shipping on any purchase with no minimum spend. Customers will also earn 5% back in rewards on every purchase and, once they spend $200, will be issued $10 in Star Money that can be used immediately with no merchandise exclusions. Platinum cardholders will also receive an exclusive platinum-colored Macy’s credit card.
&bull Gold: Customers who spend between $500 to $1,199 annually at Macy's with their Macy's credit card will receive 25% off any day they choose with Star Pass coupons and free shipping on any purchase with no minimum spend.
&bull Silver: Customers who spend up to $499 annually at Macy's with their Macy's credit card will receive 25% off any day they choose with Star Pass coupons.
Macy's said it plans to rollout enhancements to the new Star Rewards program throughout 2018, including more experiential benefits where members can win access to unique experiences and rewards elements.
Great new program, it rewards customers not shoppers. Retailers have the difference for years, a shopper largely takes advantage of bargains (low price) wherever they are found. A customer has some store brand loyalty (value). Margin comes from customers.
Shoppertrak: December 2017 calendar to influence shopper behavior
This holiday season offers retailers something they haven’t experienced in five years.
For the first since 2012, there will be four Saturdays in December prior to Christmas Day, according to Shoppertrak, which noted that the busiest shopping day of the year will fall on Black Friday, Nov. 24. Saturday, Dec. 23 and Saturday, Dec. 16 are expected to be the second and third busiest shopping days, respectively. (The full list is at the end of the article.)
Physical retailers will need to pay close attention to the 2017 calendar, in particular the four Saturdays in December that lead up to Christmas Day. The timing will redistribute shopping visits and elevate the importance of Dec. 23 (i.e., Super Saturday) and Dec. 16, according to Shoppertrak.
Dec. 30 did not rank among the top ten shopping days last year as it fell on week day. This year, however it will be on a Saturday and represent a full shopping day before New Year’s Eve. Consequently, retailers will need to remain stocked and staffed beyond Dec. 26 in order to capitalize on shopper interest, Shoppertrak advised.
The 10 busiest days are estimated to account for 40% to 45% of total shopping visits made during the entire 2017 holiday season, according to Shoppertrak, and “it will be essential for brick-and-mortar retailers to have their staffing, inventory and merchandising efforts aligned,” the company stated.
The full list of predicted busiest shopping days from Shoppertrak is as follows:
1. Friday, Nov. 24
2. Saturday, Dec. 23
3. Saturday, Dec. 16
4. Tuesday, Dec. 26
5. Saturday, Nov. 25
6. Friday, Dec. 22
7. Saturday, Dec. 9
8. Saturday, Dec. 2
9. Saturday, Dec. 30
10. Thursday, Dec. 21
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