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Macy’s launching online video ads on Facebook

BY CSA STAFF

New York –Macy's continues its aggressive social media push with the launch of online video ads on Facebook starting on Thanksgiving evening. The ads are part of the retailer’s Black Friday weekend campaign.

The ads will feature cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, who will also appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. They will target women age 21 and over.

"As new vehicles emerge that provide us with enhanced opportunities to engage with our customers, we look to trial and understand the capabilities of the product to deliver compelling communications to shoppers,” said Orlando Veras, director of national media relations at Macy's.

Since June, Facebook, which has about 1.3 billion monthly users worldwide, has served up an average of a billion video views a day, two-thirds of them on mobile devices.

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Ailing Wet Seal in financial review

BY Marianne Wilson

Foothill Ranch. Calif. –Struggling teen apparel retailer Wet Seal has hired an investment banker and a senior adviser to analyze potential financial alternatives. Similar to other retailers in the teen sector, Wet Seal has faced up stepped-up competition from fast-fashion leaders such as Forever 21 and H&M.

The company said it has hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey and former Tilly's Inc. CFO William Langsdorf to aid in a strategic review. Wet Seal said it has not set a deadline for completion of the process and that “there can be no assurance that the exploration of the potential alternatives will result in a transaction.”

“I'm proud of the progress we have made to date in light of the ongoing difficult macro environment and state of affairs at the company when I joined in September,” CEO Ed Thomas stated. “Given our struggles and challenges, it is prudent for us to continue the review of alternatives. We welcome the addition of these advisors to our team."

In its last reported quarter, Wet Seal’s same-store sales fell 12.4%. Wet Seal operates 528 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico.

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Positive sign: Holiday desktop online spending up 11% in first 23 days of November

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. –For the holiday season-to-date, $17.5 billion has been spent online using desktop computers, an 11% increase versus the corresponding days last year, according to comScore. Friday, November 21 has been the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $914 million in desktop spending. Two other individual shopping days (Wednesday, Nov. 12 and Wednesday, Nov. 19) have also surpassed the $900 million threshold.

Several of the key online shopping days are set to occur within the next two weeks, beginning with Thanksgiving and Black Friday (Nov. 27-28), followed closely by Cyber Monday (Dec. 1) and finally Green Monday (Dec. 8). Although Cyber Monday and Green Monday have historically been the most important days of the online holiday shopping season, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday have rapidly gained in importance in the past few years.

In fact, among the key shopping days, Thanksgiving has had the highest five-year growth rate at 166%, while Black Friday has grown 124% during that time – both significantly outpacing the growth of Cyber Monday and Green Monday.

“The 2014 online holiday shopping season is off to a very good start with $17.5 billion in desktop e-commerce sales, an increase of 11 percent versus last year and still very much on pace to meet our forecast of 14 percent desktop growth for the full season," said Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman emeritus. "Although current growth rates are trailing slightly the anticipated full season growth rate, it is important to note that this gap should be essentially made up with the extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year compared to last year. In addition, given the recent strength on certain individual spending days it is likely we'll see our first ever billion dollar spending day occur prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, before the heaviest part of the season even kicks off."

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