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June 10, 2014 - Celebrating 50 years, Pop-Tarts toaster pastries has announced the return of Crazy Good Summer. The third annual concert series is bigger than ever features an all-star line-up, produced by Live Nation Entertainment, that includes multi-platinum selling recording artist Demi Lovato, Jasmine V and Emblem3 in three separate cities.

Lovato and Emblem3 will perform in yet-to-be-named cities while Jasmine V is set to headline a free concert in Los Angeles. The Crazy Good Summer Bash will also feature a private concert by Austin Mahone for one lucky winner.

Read more: Pop-Tarts Celebrates 50th Birthday

June 9, 2014 - The ASPCA's (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) licensing program will showcase new products for pets and their people at the Licensing Expo 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev. from June 17-19.

Read more: ASPCA at Licensing Expo 2014

Instant Gratification May Spell Trouble for your Personalized Marketing Efforts

They say that “good things come to those who wait”, and when it comes to managing a personalized marketing program, these simple words of wisdom ring loud and true.

Retailers that achieve the most impactful results from their marketing programs don’t base their success on the performance of an individual campaign, as a significant amount of the value created through such vehicles can only be realized longer-term, after a minimum of nine to twelve months of operation. Instead, they’re using consistent and meaningful communications to bolster their relationship with customers, increasing the likelihood that they will shop with them not just during campaigns, but are also maintaining loyalty every day.

Read the full post on the Retail Merchandiser blog

Decoding the Science Behind Consumer Motivations

After battling to stay afloat during the economic downturn, retailers are finally feeling optimistic again. According to The Commerce Department, Retail sales (which account for a third of consumer spending) are on the rise with March seeing the sharpest increase in nearly 2 years.

However, while spending is up consumers haven’t forgotten the recession and they are still being cautious with their purchase decisions. As the summer shopping season approaches, retailers who are aggressive with their promotional offers will be the ones to drive traffic both online and in stores.

Read the full post on the Retail Merchandiser Blog

June 3rd, 2014 - Hello Kitty is kicking off a year of festivities to celebrate her 40th Anniversary. In honor of this occasion, parent company Sanrio Inc. will present a world premiere Hello Kitty fan convention in partnership with Target, a first-of-its-kind museum exhibition, unique collaborations and limited edition commemorative products.  Hello Kitty will celebrate her anniversary throughout the year and continue to spread the message of friendship through the global ‘Share a Hug with Hello Kitty’ campaign.

Read more: Hello Kitty Turns 40

May 29, 2014 - The retail sector has been targeted and damaged by high-profile cyber security incursions, resulting in a loss of customer confidence and a move by retailers to upgrade security measures in the constant battle against criminal hackers. Security threats exist at multiple points in the retail chain, from point-of-sale systems and online purchasing to employee access to sensitive information. It's part of a dizzying trend including research by the Ponemon Institute showing that hackers have exposed personal information of nearly half of all Americans in the past year.

One important tool retailers must implement is penetration testing, conducting ongoing self-evaluation of systems, processes and policies in an effort to stay ahead of the curve. However, penetration testing is not enough to identify new threats ahead of time, as proactive threat intelligence is needed to fill the gaps in penetration testing and implement a truly dynamic and aggressive cyber security protocol. It's often the case that companies do not notice retail hacks until weeks or months after the intrusion, creating far more damage.

Read the full story at the Retail Merchandiser Blog

May 28, 2014 - The boom globally in online shopping combined with the explosive growth of consumer data collection and analytics is reshaping retailer practices and consumer attitudes and behavior around the world. But as consumers adapt to the new technologies associated with shopping, they are also expressing concern about these same trends. They say they value shopping as an experience and not just as a transaction, and are concerned about the expanding role of data in shaping and limiting this experience.

The new "Truth About Shopping" study explored global consumer attitudes and behavior related to all areas of shopping today, including online, mobile and in-store purchasing, views about data and privacy, and preferences about the shopping environment and experience. Conducted by McCann Truth Central, McCann Worldgroup's consumer intelligence unit, the research is based on a survey of over 10,000 people in 11 countries (U.S., U.K., China, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, U.A.E., France, South Africa, Spain, and India) supplemented by additional qualitative research in these and other countries around the world.

Read more: Get More Personal

May 27, 2014 - Building on its longstanding support of Autism Awareness month, MEGA Brands, Inc., a member of the Mattel family of companies, donated a total of $72,000 to Autism Speaks Canada. The donation, presented at the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Montreal, will help fund Autism treatment, education, research and advocacy throughout Canada. MEGA Brands was the Local Presenting Sponsor of Montreal's Walk Now for Autism Speaks event.

Read more: MEGA Brands, Mattel to present more than $70,000 to Autism Speaks Canada

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