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.

Super Saturday Storm Could Dash Retailers Holiday Hopes
December 18, 2009

The biggest snowstorm of the season to date is scheduled to arrive along major population centers on the East Coast on Sat. Dec. 19, the final Saturday before Christmas, also known as Super Saturday, which is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

How Little Is Too Little?
October 1, 2009

With a most challenging holiday shopping season looming, one of the trickiest tightropes this year will be inventory planning and management. That's an ongoing catch-22 in good times or bad. But this year will be more challenging than most in recent memory. How much inventory will be enough? How much will be too much, leading to potential overstocks? How tight can you get without frustrating online or catalog shoppers 
with back orders, or store shoppers due to slim pickings on the racks?

74% of Holiday Shoppers Went Green in ’07
January 9, 2008

Going “green” will become increasingly important for multichannel merchants as consumers’ spending habits continue to be influenced by environmental concerns. According to the 2007 Annual National Shopping Behavior Survey by KPMG, a vast majority of holiday shoppers expressed a willingness to pay more for ecofriendly gifts and took note of the countries where items were made. The recent survey of 815 shoppers was conducted randomly by telephone. Here are some highlights of the survey: * 88 percent of respondents said they were very concerned about the environment, with 74 percent saying they buy environmentally friendly products; * 60 percent of those respondents were willing

Why Not a Catalogers’ Black Friday? (Or, How I Developed a Major Inferiority Complex on Your Behalf)
November 30, 2007

Did anybody else get an inferiority complex over the Thanksgiving weekend? I’m referring to the hoopla that surrounded Black Friday on Nov. 23. Like just about anything else in America, Black Friday gets bigger every year, and this year really went over the top. It got me thinking about the future: Does this “holiday” have to be a retail-only one? I certainly read enough about it. I saw plenty of TV news clips of those crazy, sleep-deprived shoppers lining up outside the stores in the wee hours of that Friday morning. I sifted through enough Circuit City, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Wal-Mart circulars about their

How the ‘New’ Fingerhut Refurbished its Customer Database
October 23, 2007

When general merchandise cataloger Fingerhut was re-formed in December 2002 after being liquidated earlier that year by former owner Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s), the company’s foundation was its legacy file of customers who were active with the company prior to its closing. Over time, however, as the company grew to more than $300 million in sales as of the end of 2006, Fingerhut had to replenish those names with new ones. Realizing its housefile would dry up fairly quickly, over the next few years Fingerhut actively prospected building predictive models off its legacy file. “Fingerhut had a wealth of information available on

Variety a Driving Factor in Shoppers’ Favorite Online Merchants
October 9, 2007

According to STORES magazine’s inaugural Favorite 50 survey, conducted by BIGresearch, consumers are drawn most to Web sites that offer a variety of choices. Topping the publication’s rankings for customers’ favorite online retail companies was, whose broad product array connects with consumers. Following Amazon’s site was another site full of possibilities, The rest of the top 10 is below, followed by a list of all catalog companies ranked in the top 50. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The following catalogers were also on the list (followed by actual rank): (13),

Editor’s Take: Improve Customers’ Experience
August 1, 2007

Certainly over the years, the retail shopping experience has endured many peaks and valleys — plenty more valleys than peaks. But the changes I’ve noticed more recently have gone in the other direction, and catalogers need to adapt quickly. Retail shopping ain’t so bad these days. More stores look better. Even the Lands’ End department in a Kmart I visited in July didn’t look so bad. Service has improved, too. So the gap may be tightening on the edge catalogers/multichannel marketers have long enjoyed with regard to service and shopping ease. Certainly, there always have been exceptions to the notion that retail shopping is a

Industry Eye: Catalogers’ Updates, People on the Move & Tech Talk
May 1, 2007

Catalogers’ Updates Metrostyle: This unit of New York-based Redcats USA, is emblazoning the cycle two winner of “America’s Next Top Model” TV show, Yoanna House, on the cover of its spring catalog in an attempt to showcase the catalog as a women’s apparel fashion authority. Selecting the contest winner comes after Redcats changed the name of this value-priced book from Lerner. Harry & David Holdings: In April, this multichannel marketer agreed to sell its Jackson & Perkins catalog/ wholesale plants and gardening tools business to an investment group led by Donald and Glenda Hachenberger for $49 million. In a separate deal, Harry & David also agreed to