Archive for October, 2013

A summer-long cool-down in the pace of home value appreciation is helping a handful of markets step back from the edge of bubble territory, according to the third quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. The U.S. Zillow Home Value Index stood at $163,000 as of the end of the third quarter, up 6.4% year-over-year and 1.2% from the end of the second quarter, but unchanged from August. The quarterly pace of appreciation was roughly half that experienced in the second quarter.

For months, a handful of already expensive metro areas that experienced relatively modest declines during the crash but very robust gains during the recovery, particularly in California, have flirted with being in a bubble, said Zillow analysts. In order for homes to remain affordable and to avoid a market bubble, the pace of appreciation in these markets needed to slow down or even fall.

As of the end of the third quarter, though, the national pace of monthly home value appreciation has fallen in each of the past three months, and turned negative in San Diego (-1.2%), Los Angeles (-1.1%) and San Francisco (-0.1%) in September, after reaching into the 3% range in all three metros just a few months ago. Among the top 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, half showed monthly depreciation at the end of the third quarter. As recently as July, all of the top 30 metro areas showed positive monthly appreciation, with none exhibiting a monthly pace slower than 1% month-over-month.


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The 26th semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” consumer insights project for Piper Jaffray & Co. finds evidence that teens are experiencing general spending fatigue across key categories, specifically fashion. That moderation in spending comes despite over two-thirds signaling confidence the economy is stable to improving.

“We are also observing trends that imply teens are browsing regularly on their mobile devices, shopping less frequently and engaging with brands ‘on demand’ on their own time,” said Steph Wissink, co-director of research and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. Those findings obviously present challenges to retailers who are focused on teen buyers.

The fashion category accounts for roughly 39% of teen budgets, consistent with prior survey cycles. However, spending declined mid-single digits to the prior year and prior season. Shopping frequency declined and trip measures are down nearly 25% from prior peak. Within the fashion category specifically, footwear is outperforming apparel and accessories.

Teens are shopping less in single brand, vertically integrated stores and more in multi-branded, multi-category and online retail environment. Approximately 78% of females and 82% of males shop online, and respondents indicated that a mid-teens percentage of their spending is online. Roughly 60-70% of teens indicate they prefer to shop the Websites of their favorite store-based retailers. In addition, teens prefer labels to logos and seek value in their purchases, owing to the rise of spending in the outlet and off-price channels. Approximately 71% of teen girls and 57% of teen boys shop at off-price stores and 52% and 45%, respectively, indicated it is popular to do so. The shift toward digital is obvious. DVD by mail and streaming account for 52% of movie rentals.

Teens have cited “friends” as the strongest influence over their purchase decisions for the duration of Piper Jaffray’s survey history, but “Internet” is quickly rising in profile. More than half of teens indicate that social media impacts their purchases.


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KFC is using new :15s to promote its $10 Weekend Buckets. A related sweepstakes on Facebook offers a grand prize of meeting FOX Sports Rules Analyst Mike Pereira on a trip to Los Angeles and taking home an official “Couchgating” couch from the NFL on FOX set……New :30s from Triptent are pitching Kohl’s Biggest Home Sale, featuring Keurig and Samsonite products……Gap Inc. reported that September sales were flat at $1.46 billion, with comparable store sales down 3%. For the month the Gap brand was down 3%, Banana Republic down 5% and Old Navy down 2%……Family Dollar has opened its 8,000th store in Lancaster, SC. The chain opened its first store in Charlotte, NC in 1959…….Sexy sells burgers for Carl’s Jr. in a new :30 from 72andSunny featuring Katherine Webb……A Columbus Day Sale :15 for Sears from McGarry Bowen is pitching a “mattress spectacular”……Chrysler is “raising the bar” for safety in a new :30 from Wieden + Kennedy for several 2013 Chrysler models…… PetSmart is using Halloween-themed :15s for a “Treat Your Pet Sale” campaign.

Advertising News!

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Two months after signing international soccer star Pelé as a brand ambassador, Subway has introduced its first :30 with the 72-year-old retired athlete sitting on a chair……Advil is now the “Official Pain Reliever of the NFL.” The Pfizer brand will have custom integration throughout all NHL-controlled media properties, including, NHL Network and NHL Social, in addition to the league’s U.S. national broadcast partner, NBC Sports Group……Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization as a move to facilitate a pending sale by U.K. supermarket chain Tesco to Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies. Fresh & Easy operates more than 150 supermarkets in California, Arizona and Nevada……Walgreens reports that sales increased 5.1% to $17.9 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter ended August 31. Front-end comparable store sales were up 1.6% and prescription sales were up 6.1%……Following the success of its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, Wendy’s is now rolling out a Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwich, calling it “another component of Wendy’s ongoing brand transformation efforts”……Dick’s Sporting Goods is the sponsor of Outdoor Channel’s seventh annual Get Up and Go sweepstakes to award a hunting adventure grand prize and other prizes for the new hunting season……Dunkin’ Donuts is ramping up its competition with fast-food outlets by introducing Steak & Cheese Wraps in addition to the chicken salad and tuna salad wraps it introduced earlier this year……Media Post reports that Taco Bueno, which operates 177 restaurants in eight states, has launched a new TV campaign from Slingshot LLC, Dallas, which pokes fun at rival Taco Bell……GEICO is into heavy airplay with a new :30 from The Martin Agency featuring its “GEICO Gecko,” this time with the CGI figure being less than impressed by a cartoon image of himself.