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Shopkick, citing Nielsen data, stakes claim as leading shopping app

BY Michael Johnsen

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Shopkick, a shopping app, on Wednesday announced that Nielsen ranked Shopkick No. 34 out of approximately 1 million apps in December 2012. While still trailing giants like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter overall, Shopkick dominated the shopping category during the holiday season, with more frequent and prolonged usage than all physical retailers’ own apps including Starbucks, Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger and Safeway, the app developer noted. 

"Mobile is redefining the physical retail world," stated Cyriac Roeding, Shopkick CEO. "It is on its way to become the No. 1 marketing tool for retailers and brands, because it is the only interactive medium consumers have with them in the noninteractive physical world, especially at stores. … It’s the perfect way for retailers and brands to touch shoppers at each point in the purchase cycle — from research through browsing, to purchase."

Shopkick 3.0, released last October, topped the Nielsen shopping app statistics. According to Nielsen, shopkick is the No. 4 most widely used shopping app – behind Amazon, eBay and Groupon — which makes it the most widely used shopping app at physical retailers. In addition, Shopkick ranks No. 1 on most time spent in-app per month (2 hours, 37 minutes), No. 1 on the number of sessions per month (22) and No. 1 in terms of time spent per session (7 minutes).

Shopkick’s users viewed more than 1 billion products in the app within three months, a number that previously took Shopkick one-and-a-half years to reach. Previously, users looked at five to eight products per day in the app. With Shopkick 3.0, each user averages over 100 products viewed per day, the company noted. 

Since launching in August 2010, Shopkick reported it has driven more than $300 million in revenue to its alliance of retail partners and brands, with more than $200 million in 2012. Each engagement on Shopkick is valuable to brand and retail partners, and is a revenue event for Shopkick: every walk-in to a partner store, every product scan and every purchase.  

Shopkick has accumulated 15 national retailers, including Target, Macy’s, Old Navy, American Eagle, Crate & Barrel, Toys"R"Us, ExxonMobil and Simon Malls, and more than 70 brands, such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Disney, Revlon, Unilever, Pepsi, and top financial institutions, Visa and MasterCard, as partners.

To provide high-value rewards to shoppers for actually being present in stores, the Shopkick app detects a Shopkick signal, emitted from a patent-pending device located in each participating store and picked up by a shopper’s phone’s microphone and then delivers "kicks," Shopkick’s cross-retailer reward currency.

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Harris Teeter may be next grocer to explore ‘strategic options’

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Carolina retailer Harris Teeter may be exploring a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday evening

According to the report, Harris Teeter is being advised by JP Morgan. WSJ tabulated Harris Teeter’s market value at $1.8 billion for its 200 supermarkets. 

Harris Teeter recently reported a sales increase of 3.7% for its first quarter ended Jan. 1 to $1.2 billion. The chain reported that sales increase was driven by an increase in comparable store sales of 2.5% and sales from new stores, partially offset by store closings.  

“We continue to focus on driving unit sales and growing our market share," stated Thomas Dickson, Harris Teeter chairman and CEO at the time first quarter results were announced. "During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, our pricing and promotional strategies were effective in this regard, as evidenced by an increase in the number of active households and number of customer visits we experienced over the prior year. However, aggressive pricing by competitors, low inflation during the period and the generally sluggish retail environment experienced during the holiday season combined to put downward pressure on our gross profit."

 

 

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ThinkGeek introduces nostalgia-scented candles

BY Rebecca Haughey

FAIRFAX, Va. — ThinkGeek’s GeekLabs on Wednesday announced the launch of four votive candles scented to evoke special memories, from a pizza arcade to a high school locker room.

"You always see candles that take you on ‘exotic journeys’," staid Ty Liotta, chief of GeekLabs. "We wanted to create something more accessible. Something that every geek will relate to."

The four exclusive candle scents include: "Middle Earth," evoking grass, rolling farmland and bright blue sky; "Retro Arcade," scented like candy, pizza and a pocket full of quarters; "Teen Spirit," reminiscent of high school; and "Space," meant to smell like the ozone and neutral zone.

The GeekLabs department of ThinkGeek has been responsible for creations like the Annoy-a-tron and Mega Stomp Panic. This is their first work with the wax candles. ThinkGeek, a subsidiary of Geeknet, is a retailer for the global geek community.


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