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Kmart promotes fun, fitness, loyalty

BY Dan Berthiaume

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is launching a new social media campaign called “Fit in the Fun” that promotes the enjoyment of healthy activities while also engaging members of its Shop Your Way loyalty program.

The program includes a dedicated Fit in the Fun website as well as a #FitintheFun hashtag campaign. In addition, celebrity fitness instructor Jillian Michaels (who has an established relationship with Kmart) offers online tips and also sells branded merchandise on the new site.
 
To promote social engagement, Kmart will reward the first 200 Shop Your Way members who post their wellness-inspired photos or videos to official Kmart social channels (tagging #FitInTheFun #ad and @Kmart) with a $25 gift card. Kmart is also tying the promotion to the brick-and-mortar channel with special Fit in the Fun discounts and Bluelight Specials, as well as free health/wellness giveaways, in stores.
 
Fit in the Fun reflects two growing ominchannel trends. First, retailers of health and wellness products are trying to become more involved in consumers’ daily lives with engagement programs tied to social media and even personal fitness and mobile devices.
 
Second, retailers of all types are increasingly realizing there are many “soft” benefits from social campaigns, such as increased brand awareness and visibility, worth pursuing. And of course driving store traffic and sales is a nice bonus if you can get it.

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Latest Osteo Bi-Flex ads improve joint comfort and tickle funny bone

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
RONKONKOMA, N.Y. – NBTY will be promoting its recently-launched Osteo Bi-Flex Ease supplement with a pair of humorous ad spots during the Golden Globes presentation on Jan. 10, the company announced Friday. 
 
Watch baby boomers benefit from newfound joint comfort at the expense of their kid’s discomfort – such as dad attempting the Macarena at his son’s wedding because he no longer has joint pain; or a daughter's worst nightmare playing out as her mom attempts to set her up with the yoga instructor – during yoga class. 
 
"In just seven days your joint comfort can be your kids' discomfort," the ads boast. 
 
The Golden Globes pulled in 19.3 million viewers last year. And viewers tweeted about the show 2.6 million times, up 24% from the year prior, according to NBC. 
 
The new Osteo Bi-Flex Ease supplements are easier to swallow – 80% smaller than the originals. One mini-tab a day supplies Joint Shield, an herbal ingredient that helps with occasional joint flare-ups, and a natural source of collagen called UC-II that has been shown to improve joint comfort. People who take Osteo Bi-Flex notice improved joint comfort in as little as seven days. 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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Wegmans to install induction hearing loops near the pharmacy counter

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Wegmans Food Markets on Friday has begun installing induction hearing loop stations in its stores at pharmacy counters, customer service desks and designated checkout lanes to help its customers with hearing loss.
 
As many as 16 Wegmans stores currently have these hearing assistance systems – at least one store in each of the six states where Wegmans operates. More will be added in 2016, working toward a goal of having hearing loop systems in all Wegmans stores by the end of the year.
 
Induction hearing loop systems work seamlessly to help people wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant equipped with a telecoil (T-coil), to hear speech more clearly. The hearing loop takes sound straight from the source and delivers it right into the listener's ear. These systems are in wide use in European countries and are becoming more common in the U.S., where about 70% of new hearing aids and all new cochlear implants have T-coils, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. 
 
“The beauty of induction loops is that they’re so unobtrusive,” said Matt Sawyer, whose information technology team at Wegmans is working on the installation project. “They help those who can benefit, while others in the area are usually unaware of the hearing loop’s presence. Those with hearing loss don’t have to ask others to speak up because the system helps them hear speech more clearly.”
 
Over the last year, Wegmans piloted this technology at several stores near its headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., working with audio-visual specialist Joseph Barone to design and install the hearing loop stations.
 
Here’s how hearing loop systems work – a condenser microphone built into a service counter or checkout lane captures the sound of an employee speaking. A “smart” amplifier removes background noise and sends the clarified sound to an induction loop, which converts it into a wireless electromagnetic field. The T-coil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant acts like an antenna, picking up the signal and delivering the sound directly from the source to the ear.
 
“We began planning this project in earnest with the help of folks from the Rochester N.Y. chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America,” said Jo Natale, VP media relations. “They helped us understand what a difference these systems can make to those with hearing loss. We set up a pilot project, and the HLAA members were our ‘test pilots.’ They gave us great feedback about what worked well and what didn’t. This year, our plan is to bring hearing loops to pharmacy counters, service desks and one or more checkout lanes in every store.”
 
The standard sign that indicates the presence of a hearing loop (a line drawing of an ear with the letter T in the bottom right hand corner) will be posted in areas where loops are active.
 
 
 
 
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