Bass Pro Shops has implemented a Facebook tab for fans to buy gift cards that will be delivered via a text message or an e-mail. The digital messages can include personalized audio for purchasers with microphone functionality, as well as uploaded photos from Facebook. Recipients will see instructions for printing the gift cards, which can be redeemed online, via phone, or at the outdoors gear retailer's 56 locations. The browsing experience occurs within a pop-up shopping cart app without requiring users to navigate away from Facebook.
Victoria's Secret anticipates its inventory levels will be down in the low- to mid-single digits this quarter, and plans to throttle back on its discounting-based promotional activity, as it won’t need to clear merchandise out. As a result, the direct aspect of the company’s semiannual sale will be shortened by five days. Its retail element will not be affected during the semiannual sale, but its Memorial Day sale will be shorter and smaller. This doesn’t mean the company is pulling back on promotions, period. In fact, it's publishing a new catalog exclusively focusing on the Victoria’s Secret Pink line, which will be published to take advantage of back-to-school shopping.
Retailers are priming for a consumer comeback. Shoppers have started to show they're willing and able to spend more, and stores are tweaking their merchandise to accommodate them. Cashmere is making a comeback and sellers of everything from wine to toys are seeing shoppers move away from the very lowest price ranges. The moves signal optimism that the recovery from the Great Recession is picking up steam, but there's a downside for shoppers: the return of higher prices.