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Hallmark joins (Product) Red

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Hallmark announced last week that it has joined (Product) Red campaign, Adweek reported.

Hallmark became the seventh company to take part in the (Product) Red endeavor. The venture, founded in 2006 by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver, was developed as a way to raise awareness and donations for The Global Fund (which combats AIDS in Africa). The effort has raised more than $45 million from corporate partners.

Hallmark’s involvement with the organization will include outdoor advertising in major markets, a Web video placed on social networking sites and an e-mail campaign. Although he family-owned, private company would not disclose spending on the promotion, it said 8 percent of sales from the line would go to The Global Fund.

“We found a great matchup with our consumers,” Jill Rosen, Hallmark’s vice president of licensing, told Adweek. “People who shop at Hallmark are innately caring, remembering birthdays and special occasions. They want to buy products and help.”

(Product) Red merchandise will be identified with in-store signage, as well as identifying marks on the envelopes. The company has initially developed a line of greeting cards, sound cards, gift wrap and gift items such as ornaments and flower arrangements. In January, the line will be expanded to more than 150 products.

Despite the Internet campaign, Hallmark said it has not forsaken its core consumers. An outdoor effort will include billboards—going up on Nov. 1—in several major markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. The boards feature the line, “See how far a card can go” and a photo of a person either mailing or receiving the card, with the card highlighted by the alliance’s signature red parentheses.

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H-E-B develops a food emporium

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON H.E. Butt Grocery Co. is launching a first-of-its-kind grocery store concept in Texas on Oct. 24, the company said Tuesday.

H-E-B’s Cypress Market, located in Cypress, Texas, is designed to fuse together the company’s food, drug, and central markets in a 112,000-square-foot store that is larger than most area retailers.

H-E-B Cypress Market will contain more expansive food categories, the company said. The new store is said to feature a bakery, a cheese shop (which will stock more than 400 specialty and imported cheeses), the largest meat market and one of the largest seafood departments in the area.

Additionally, its produce department will offer more than 900 different fruits and vegetables. Customers can get their hands on 2,000 varieties of wine.

Central Market’s Cafe on the Run will offer take-out and catering services featuring a large assortment of Central Market products including a sushi bar, a coffee roast area, a healthy living department and a tortilleria.

Cyndy Garza-Roberts, director of public affairs for H-E-B’s Houston Region, said plans for the Cypress Market have been in the works for several years now.

“Our future customers helped us create their ideal destination grocery store,” said Garza-Roberts.

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Chain Store Guide to publish profiles of top 16 retailers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Chain Store Guide, a sister publication of Drug Store News, recently introduced comprehensive profiles, including both up-to-date analysis and in-depth data, on 16 of the top-most retailers operating across food, drug and mass.

By January 2008, Chain Store Guide will field Top Company Profiles of the top 31 retailers, including Walgreens, CVS Caremark and Wal-Mart.

Each report, ranging in size from more than 30 pages to almost 80 pages, offers a unique blend of current operational data on each retailer combined with editorial analysis, historical and statistical data, market share performance and store location analysis, including maps and demographics.

“Manufacturers and suppliers who either have these top companies as accounts and are looking to gain additional insights into their [customers’] strategic initiatives and strategies,” would most benefit from these new reports commented Michael Jarvis, director of product development at Chain Store Guide. The reports may also be of benefit to suppliers and their brokers looking to get a product on the retail shelf.

The reports include several visuals—including sales charts and graphs and store density maps—that will appeal to both senior level executives looking for a concise executive summary as well as action officers who need to crunch and analyze the various data points. “A lot of the marketshare information, that’s pulled from our proprietary database,” Jarvis said. “We collect information on store locations … through our in-house teleresearch department.”

The Top Company Profiles also detail the brands and models of technology used at the corporate and store levels. Additional editorial commentary delivers insight on key marketing and advertising strategies, including market overviews and competitive factors challenging each chain. Listings of executives and merchandising personnel for each company are also key features of the profiles. The profiles are updated annually, Jarvis said, or as necessary on a case-by-case basis so as to field the latest information. “We will be providing personnel updates, sales information and [any] key major changes will be reflected in the profiles.”

Included with the profiles is an Excel spreadsheet containing all of the company’s individual store locations with name, address, phone number, store number and CBSA (Core Based Statistical Area).

Chain Store Guide’s Top Company Profiles are now available as a pdf download for $1,295 each. Visit www.TopCompanyProfiles.com or call 800-465-7661.

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