Industry Eye: Prospecting - Target, Staples, Wizards of the Coast
Pop-up Stores Attract New Shoppers for Target
Looking to acquire customers in urban areas where it lacked retail presences, U.S. discount chain Target opened temporary pop-up stores in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco amid the holiday rush.
Open for three days only (Dec. 11-13), the temporary locations offered scaled-down merchandise assortments of just 50 products, but the assortments included limited-edition items and holiday fare. The pop-up stores were staffed by employees from the company's headquarters in Minneapolis and local stores from around the three regions.
The pop-up stores helped Target penetrate underserved markets while at the same time drum up holiday sales. And in the case of the New York store, it provided a glimpse into a future marketplace: Target plans to open its first Manhattan location this year.
"The pop-up store has been an overwhelmingly successful marketing strategy," said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman, in a company release. "It's not uncommon at all for products that we feature in our pop-up stores to sell out entirely." —Joe Keenan
Staples' Goal-Setting Program Brings Retailer Prospects
Prospects are a byproduct of a program Staples launched in January to help small businesses set, track and achieve professional goals in 2010.
The Staples stickK to it! program, which is scheduled to run until April 12, was launched in partnership with stickK.com, a website that offers members the opportunity, through "commitment contracts," to show themselves and others the value they put on achieving their goals.
Small business pros can log on to www.staples.com/goals and sign up for the program. Then, they can select professional goals they'd like to achieve; track progress; and earn EasyPoints redeemable for Staples merchandise ?and services.
Staples is promoting the campaign via a union with America's Small Business Development Centers, a network of 1,000 business centers that help 1 million small businesses each year.
Staples hopes to encourage many small businesses to sign up with stickK. "If this helps get new customers to try us out, we're glad to show them how Staples makes it easy," says Amy Shanler, a spokeswoman for Staples. —Melissa Campanelli
While we're talking about Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, there are two social networks with millions of captive users that get no attention: Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network, hubs for users of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 home video game consoles. One company, in fact, has been able to use Xbox LIVE to drive players to 88 percent of retail stores that carry its products.
Wizards of the Coast publishes the trading card game "Magic: The Gathering," which is sold in local specialty stores around the world. In June 2009, a video game, "Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers," was released on Xbox LIVE. Users who downloaded it could get a voucher for a free introductory product at any participating retail store.
The video game was downloaded 252,000 times by November 2009, and 86 percent of participating retailers fulfilled vouchers, according to the hobby retail news site ICV2.com. Sixty-two percent of those retailers reported that new customers returned to their stores, and 45 percent saw those new customers become repeat buyers. —Thorin McGee