ECRM compared retail circular advertising in October 2012 versus October 2013 and noted trends occurring across top retail chains. Although Home Depot and Lowe’s continued to see large year-over-year changes, these shifts have been consistent throughout the past few months: the new sizes and densities of circulars within the home improvement channel have solidified. Lowe’s now features lengthy circulars with few ads per page, while Home Depot typically runs shorter, denser circulars.
Outside of the home improvement channel, the largest changes occurred primarily at Staples and Toys “R” Us. Staples saw a huge increase of 325% in circular page counts for October 2013 versus last year, putting it in the neighborhood of the levels seen in August during back-to-school season (72 pages in August 2012 and 62 pages in August 2013). This is due to five circulars running during the month of October 2013, while last year only two ran. In both cases, front pages of these circulars focused on tablets and touch-screen laptops, in contrast to the traditional school supplies present in the August circulars. Toys “R” Us cut back across the board versus last October, dropping its page count and ads per circular count by 70% and 66.3%, respectively. While this year’s circulars were similar in number and theme, front-page mentions of holiday season layaway were notably absent, whereas last year three of the four October circulars featured a front-page layaway spot.
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.