ECRM compared retail circular advertising in September 2012 versus September 2013 and noted trends occurring across top retail chains. Home Depot continued to cut circular pages, down 80% year-over-year to only four for September. Despite this, it has continued to dramatically increase the density of its circular, with a 180% increase in ad blocks per page. On the other hand, Lowe’s saw only minor year-over-year changes, with 25% increases in ad blocks per page and per circular. It appears that the home improvement promotional arms race observed last month has subsided somewhat, with each retailer falling into a rhythm of its own. Lowe’s has stabilized with high page count circulars featuring few ads per page, while Home Depot features shorter, denser circulars each month: note that they feature nearly the same number of ads per circular (57 versus 55,) yet the Lowe’s circular has six times as many pages.
H.E.B. and Kohl’s each featured notable decreases in circular page count and ads per circular, alongside increases in ad blocks per page. This smaller, denser approach to the circular appeared to be the overall pattern for September. Only Walmart displayed significant year-over-year changes to the contrary, with a 41.9% increase in page count and a 45.5% increase in ad blocks per circular, while keeping ad blocks per page constant.
ECRM’s Ad Comparisons technology captures promotional data from the top U.S. and Canadian retailers in all major markets. Ad Comparisons captures more than 40 metrics for each ad block and provides hundreds of analytic reports to put the advertising data in context. Ad Comparisons takes an individual approach to ensure all data and reports fit the needs of each user.