ECRM compared retail circular advertising in July 2013 versus July 2014 and noted trends occurring across top retail chains. The start of the back-to-school season saw large decreases in these metrics for both Staples and Walmart across the board. Walmart continued its trend of smaller, less dense, highly-targeted and themed circulars. It barely touched on BTS on the front pages of its July 2013 circulars, with only a small laptop ad and some apparel promotions. 2014 saw a more concentrated effort as early as 7/13, prominently featuring notebooks, glue sticks, and crayons. Additional BTS-focused circulars included lunchtime grocery items and college dorm furniture/appliances, as well as an apparel-focused circular similar to the year prior.
Staples followed a similar trend in downsizing, with less-cluttered pages and better imagery. Additionally, it switched tactics this year by featuring its “110% Price Match Guarantee” and incentivizing a large stock-up trip with an offer for 25% all school supplies with purchase of a backpack. Last year, it instead focused on low-budget price points, prominently featuring 1¢ and 25¢ items.
About ECRM’s Business Intelligence:
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.