• Mars Retail Group
  • Overstock.com
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
  • Food City
  • Nicole Miller
  • Brunet

With the prevalence of online shopping and increase in showrooming, one of the biggest challenges facing today’s brick-and-mortar retailers is how to drive in-store traffic and sales. With so many online and in-store options, sensible consumers have an abundance of options when it comes to purchasing the newest consumer electronics.

Five years ago, the average consumer knew little about trading in used electronics for cash or store gift cards. Today, awareness of trade-in is much higher and continuing to grow. Because of this opportunity, many big box and niche retailers are already leveraging in-store electronics trade-in programs. In fact, according to NPD Group, smartphone trade-in is “one of the most dynamic, leading tools that carriers and retailers use to drive new device sales.”

Providing valued customers with the convenience to sell used smartphones, tablets, laptops and video games for store value can result in a huge return for retailers – not only providing increased store traffic, but also an upsurge in customer loyalty and in-store spending. Read more on the RM Blog

Demand volatility is the number one risk for retailers and consumer product manufacturers with 83% stating that is a concern. Visibility to risk is the challenge for 2015.

SCM World’s 2014 CSCO study asked respondents about their companies’ visibility of potential risks across the retail and consumer value chain. Each respondent was asked to rate visibility within its operations and then further into the supply base and demand channel.

Layering visibility for each of these industries together provides insight into where companies in the consumer value chain have good visibility. As the figure below shows, manufacturers across the board say they have better visibility into their operations than retailers do for themselves and, with the exception of food and beverage, better visibility into the retail channel as well.

Read the full story and check out an infographic on the RM Blog

No matter the product or service you offer, engaging customers is key to growing your business. Luckily, with the popularity of social media, reaching out to potential customers has never been easier. But what are the best ways to connect with your customers in such a saturated market? Interact with your customers with freebies, promos and contests to increase your traffic and create loyal customers.

Read more on the RM Blog.

Beauty blogging is a serious business. The space has grown so large and is so powerful many bloggers are now becoming “celebrities” and are receiving their own television shows and ad dollars from beauty companies around the world. The vast number of these bloggers is growing daily and for beauty companies, answering requests from bloggers for product and even sponsorship money has become a job on its own. Many savvy beauty PR contacts say they are becoming overwhelmed with requests. It seems like it would be easy to look up someone’s popularity and audience reach, but it can become a time consuming chore for beauty companies to navigate the heavy onslaught of product and sponsorship requests. We have created a strategy and tips for beauty companies to vet these requests to quickly determine if they will help the beauty brand grow or just be another free product shipped.

Read the full story on the RM Blog

The business environment is constantly changing and entrepreneurs need to be prepared. Although the business world is becoming more globalized, there also is a push for small local businesses and face-to-face interactions. While emails, texts, chats and video conferences are necessary to do business, in-person interactions can make a difference. According to a study by psychologist and professor at National University of Singapore Richard Arvey, 77 percent of people still believe in the value of offsite meetings.

Although in-person meetings help make a connection, another barrier in the past has been that business payment systems were simply not mobile enough to be used outside of the office environment. This meant that you could make a sale in person, but you couldn't close the deal right then and there. Your clients either had to give their credit card information over the phone or arrange an alternative payment method. That gives enough time for the deal to fall apart.

Fortunately, with the various apps and software systems available today, you can carry everything you need to complete the sale from start to finish. Consider the following mobile payment options:

Read the full story on the RM Blog

Check out this post-MAGIC news from The Joester Loria group.

In a deal brokered by The Joester Loria group, PepsiCo has partnered with Body Rags for the Pepsi and Mountain Dew Licenses. Rounding out PepsiCo’s T-shirt program, Body Rags will offer designs for the Upstairs, Specialty and Ecommerce channels of distribution.

Tapped for their creative expertise and retail relationships, PepsiCo is excited for the freshness that Body Rags brings to both the Pepsi and Mt. Dew program. With creative development fully underway, retail placement is expected as early as March 2015.

I Dream of Jeannie, the beloved-classic American television sitcom featuring Barbara Eden as a genie locked up in a bottle and astronaut Major Nelson, is celebrating 50 years since its first release to American households.  The ensuing comedy is TV history and Sony Pictures Consumer Products is celebrating this iconic TV series this year with a program that is truly magical.

 

Read more: Celebrating 50 years of "Jeannie"

New York City focused its spotlights on toys, games and youth entertainment products last week when the 112th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy marketplace ever held in the Western Hemisphere – opened its doors to nearly 25,000 global play professionals. Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), Toy Fair 2015 grew in size and scope, boasting a record-breaking 421,300 net square feet of exhibit space filled with hundreds of thousands of brand-new, skill-building and cutting-edge toys and games.

Toy Fair sizzled despite frigid temperatures and snowstorms across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard. Buyers, exhibitors, entertainment executives, members of the press, and trade guests from across the U.S. and 91 countries made it to Manhattan for the international toy and game extravaganza, which took place from February 14-17 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Due to a new cross-border affiliation agreement between TIA and CTA, Toy Fair was for the first time hosted in partnership with CTA, serving as a single North American marketplace event to provide U.S., Canadian and global attendees with more targeted business development opportunities, greater efficiency, and added cost-savings.

Read more: Wrapping up Toy Fair