Costco

Retailers Report September Same-Store Sales

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/september-same-store-sales-roundup-2012-10

kristen bell target

Same store sales at a few major retailers like Target and Costco came in better than expected today, but a few retailers, like Kohl’s and Macy’s, lagged behind estimates.

The winners:

  • TJX Cos. (TJX): +6 percent (+4.4 expected)
  • Limited Brands (LTD): +5 percent (+4.3 expected)
  • Ross Stores (ROST): +5 percent (+4.3 expected)
  • Gap (GPS): +6 percent (5.3 expected)
  • Costco (COST): +6 percent (+5.7 expected)
  • Target (TGT): +2.1 percent (+2 expected)

The losers:

  • Kohl’s (KSS): -2.7 percent (+0.1 expected)
  • The Buckle (BKE): -0.8 percent (+1.1 expected)
  • Rite-Aid (RAD): -0.7 percent (-0.1 expected)
  • Macy’s (M): +2.5 percent (+3.3 expected)
  • Wet Seal (WTSLA): -12.7 percent
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Thursday, October 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Why Loyalty Credit Cards May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-retailers-loyalty-programs-2011-12


loyalty credit card

Credit cards have been a staple for retail rewards programs for decades (you know, like that Visa card they try to make you sign up for every time you go to Gap). They’ve been an effective way to reward customers, and for retailers to get additional funding.

But a new report by analysts Michael Exstein, Chrisopher Su and Trey Schorgi at Credit Suisse says that it’s time for retailers to abandon the credit card. Why are credit-based rewards programs not the right way to go anymore?

1. The cost of rewards programs keeps rising for banks. As rewards competition ramps up, issuer margins are pressured.

2. As the programs get more expensive, banks will offset costs in other areas. This will result in either less beneficial terms for retailers, or higher fees for consumers. Retailers may have to increase their own rewards programs to remain competitive

3. Retailers’ relationships with their customers could be hurt, because banks (who are now in control of many retailers’ credit businesses) could squeeze consumers. Since the programs are branded for retailers, not the banks, consumers would deem them responsible.

Credit Suisse instead suggests that the answer to these woes is simple. Switch over to programs based around membership fees or other upfront investments. “Going forward, we think the emerging trend will be the need for consumers to “invest” in loyalty programs, thereby creating a “vested interest,” says the report.

So what brands are doing it right so far?

Amazon — The Amazon Prime membership program has been vastly successful. Consumers pay an annual membership fee of $79, and get shipping benefits, free use of Amazon Instant Video and perks for their Kindle.

Costco — The largest membership warehouse club in the world has three levels of membership. There’s a $55 annual fee for businesses, a $55 ‘Gold’ card for individuals and a $55 executive member upgrade, which gives folks a 2% discount on most purchases.

Sam’s Club — Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary has a similar system, with a $40 per year Advantage card for individuals ($100 for Advantage Plus which offers extra savings) and a $35 per year Business membership ($100 for Business Plus).

Macy’s — “Thanks for Sharing” is a program that’s working for Macy’s to generate loyalty. It requires a $25 upfront investment (which is actually a donation to charity), in exchange for rewards.

Target — The REDcard is a ‘hybrid’ method which has been working well since the retailer started it up in 2010. It offers 5% savings on everything and includes shipping benefits.

These programs all capitalize on the concept of creating that “vested interest.” Customers, having already paid a set of promised benefits, will be more likely to keep spending to use those benefits that they’ve already paid for. They’ll keep coming back.

NOW SEE: The 20 Brands With The Most Loyal Customers >

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 news No Comments

Switching to Private Label Products is Accelerating and Irreversible

See the charts below from comScore, Nielsen and Symphony/IRI.  The percent buying branded products of past has dropped to 43%.  The percentage switching (2nd graph) is most in OTC drugs and apparel. And even if the economy improves, consumers would continue to buy private label. Whole Foods has been offering their 365 “house brand” for many years and Trader Joe’s also has great private label products that are often equal to or arguably higher quality than branded alternatives.

Brand Loyalty is Declining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

willingness to switch to generic or private label versus branded product

 

 

 

 

consumers will continue buying private label even when economy improves

 

 

 

Related Article:  Spend Polarization – consumers save money in the down economy by buying more from Costco, Sam’s Wholesale, and BJ’s but when they splurge, they buy ultra-high-end.

 

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Monday, November 28th, 2011 Branding No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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