DMA Testifies in Opposition of Proposed Expansion of FTC Authority
March 18, 2010

Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, Linda Woolley, testified today before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Subcommittee in opposition to the proposed expansion of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) rulemaking and enforcement authority.

Sears, Macy's Use Social Media to Court Prom-Goers
March 17, 2010

Two of the nation’s biggest department stores — Macy’s and Sears — are using social media to drive prom sales for the first time this year. Sears this month launched the “Ultimate Prom Experience,” a microsite dedicated to helping teens find the perfect dress. The site, accessible at, includes features such as a “Find out your prom [dress] personality” quiz, hair and make-up tips, a list of the 10 hottest trends, and a $1,000 sweepstakes. Quiz takers may also share and post the results on Facebook or Twitter. Macy’s, meanwhile, launched a “Prom 2010” tab on its Facebook fan page. (It currently has more than 377,600 fans.) The Cincinnati-based department store chain will post prom photos submitted by consumers on Facebook. It also has set up a Twitter hashtag, #prom2010, so consumers can tweet about in-store prom events. As part of a partnership with Teen Vogue, Macy’s is throwing “prom parties” at its stores through May. The retailer will give out offers for “VIP treatment” to the first 75 prom shoppers that text a special promotional code at select, in-store events, said Macy’s rep Orlando Veras.

NRF Forecasts Increased Consumer Spending for Easter
March 16, 2010

The NRF (along with BIGresearch, which actually conducted the study by interviewing about 8,300 people) has the average American on record as spending $116.59 to celebrate Easter last year.  Which is a rather impressive amount. This year, though, the NRF believes the average consumer will spend $118.60, or roughly 1.7 percent more.  And most of this money should be spent on food, clothing, gifts, candy, flowers, decorations, and greeting cards (with those categories listed in order of most money spent to least).

Social Media Fans More Likely to Buy
March 16, 2010

Social media marketers looking for an indication that their efforts are helping the bottom line will be encouraged by findings from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate that social friends and followers feel more inclined to purchase from the brands they are fans of. More than one-half of Facebook fans said they are more likely to make a purchase for at least a few brands, and 67% of Twitter followers reported the same.

Swoozie's Inc. to Hold Auction Sale; Buyer Looms
March 15, 2010

Swoozie's, Inc. today announced that it has received court approval to conduct a sale of all of its assets. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge C. Ray Mullins of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order on Wednesday, March 10th, allowing Swoozie's to conduct a sale of its assets. Swoozie's also filed notice with the court that it has received a bid to purchase all of its assets from Hudson Capital Partners for approximately $5.340 million. This bid sets the floor price for the sale and Swoozie's is seeking higher and better bids prior to and at the auction.

Wal-Mart Retains Status as Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brand
March 12, 2010

Retail brand consultants Interbrand Design Forum today released the Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands report, the second ranking of the top 50 retail brands. Walmart claimed top honors as the most valuable retail brand, followed by Target (No. 2), Best Buy (No. 3), The Home Depot (No. 4) and Walgreens (No. 5).

February Retail Sales Increase Despite Inclement Weather
March 12, 2010

At some point in February, almost every single state had snow on the ground, but that wasn’t enough to keep house-bound consumers from a little shopping therapy.  According to the National Retail Federation, February retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 1.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Staples' B-to-B Division Launches New Website
March 11, 2010

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., today announced the launch of its new Web site ( to address customers’ growing demands for supplier consolidation and reduced procurement costs. For the first time, current and prospective customers – from small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to Fortune 1000 corporations – can view the full scale of Staples Advantage’s products and services, including five newly integrated business-to-business service offerings: Business Interiors by Staples, Staples Technology Solutions, Staples Facility Solutions, Staples Print Solutions and Staples Promotional Products. Combined with Staples Advantage’s complete selection of office products, these expanded capabilities represent the industry’s most extensive offering of business products and services from one source.

Google Launches Mobile Product Search Tool
March 11, 2010

Vic Gundotra, VP of Engineering, demonstrated last December a preview version of Product Search for mobile with local inventory, which lets you see right in your search results whether items are in stock at nearby stores. We're happy to announce that as of today, if you're searching for a product that is sold by participating retailers, including Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, or West Elm, you can just look for the blue dots in the search results to see if it's available in a local store. If you see a blue dot, you can tap on the adjacent "In stock nearby" link, and you'll be taken to the seller's page where you'll see whether the item is "In Stock" or has "Limited Availability" near you. You'll also see how far away the stores are from you -- as long as you've enabled My Location or manually specified your location.

Print Catalogs Deliver High-Value Customers
March 11, 2010

Print catalogs have advantages over other marketing tools in creating product awareness, acquiring customers and building brand loyalty. For many retailers, this gives catalogs a key function in multichannel marketing efforts, building interest and engagement among consumers and helping funnel them closer to a purchase — in any channel.