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4 new advertising trends push limits of tech, privacy

Four new ad trends push limits of tech, privacy
By Oregon Small Business Association

New marketing strategies in Japan allow a vending machine to capture an image of the consumers, track gender and age and even offer a suggested drink.  NEC Corporation, the third largest computer display models, says it can accurately guess the consumers’ age by 10 years, 70% of the time and the correct gender 90%.  Cameras with facial recognition software view how many people walk by, their attentiveness and their gender.

Signs that monitor customers:
Digital signage in Japan is growing in popularity and is expected to more than double this year. Japan has no specific laws that require notifying the onlookers that they are being photographed and their images could be stored.  A vending machine at East Japan Railway includes a camera but NEC Corp. says the digital signs are not capable of storing images, but it records information as text-based data. 

Digitizing in-store shopping
Retailers, faced with declining customer satisfaction and sales declining 15% each year, are increasingly looking for more options to sell, including interactive dressing rooms, virtual sales associates and even digital scanners that offer discounts to customers.  Customers are flocking to online shopping, where they get more information, including product information, customer reviews and items that other customers bought.  Essentially, shoppers have grown accustomed to higher expectations and retailers are looking for ways to make the in-store shopping experience more personal for the consumers.  Read more »

Two corporate giants to blitz malls this season

Shopping Wars Intensify for Holiday Season
By Oregon Small Business Association,

Intensifying the upcoming holiday shopping season is the recent slide in back-to-school sales and the challenge of a tough economic climate. As a result, more retailers are starting to aggressively ramp up their efforts earlier to expand their image on the retail scene. The new battleground is the shopping mall as two giant firms are buying hundreds of spaces for a seasonal campaign.

Costco Wholesale Corp. recently announced that they are taking steps to add their stores to shopping malls, offering a “mini-mall” option to shoppers. The reversal of Costco’s traditional approach, which has been to expand to “off-mall sites” comes at a time when a number of malls are struggling due to the recession and losing their anchor stores, their largest tenants. With malls looking for alternatives, Costco is aggressively pursuing an expansion into spaces once occupied my department stores. With an average store sales of more than $100 million a year, Costco has the potential to help attract new shoppers to traditional malls. One challenge for Costco may be the lack of space, as older and new stores typically range from 143,000 to 205,000 square feet. Read more »

Forbes: Oregon is #1 capital gains tax state

By Oregon Small Business Association,

There are a lot of good things happening in Oregon, but recently we have been making news for all the wrong reasons. Forbes Magazine ran an article on capital gains state tax rates and the chart featured Oregon as having the highest capital gains tax rate in the nation. Such articles act as negative advertising to businesses considering moving to our state. It also shows what many expanding businesses see when they compare tax rates between states. Being #1 stands out and works against our economic interest. As long as Oregon is among the top the negative articles and comparisons will continue to cycle painful news about our state.

Oregon Ad Watch: Wall Mart vs. Officemax, Egg recall

August Oregon Ad Watch
By Oregon Small Business Association,

Two full-page advertisements stood out in the month of August for the state’s largest newspaper.

First, Wal-Mart placed a full-page ad going head-to-head with Officemax by listing 16 school items by price comparison. The key sell was highlighting the 45% savings and trying to nab the coveted back-to-school market.

Second, in response to the nationwide egg recall the egg farming industry put out a full-page ad. The key phrase in their simple letter states, “The potential affected eggs, which make up less than 1% of all US eggs, have been removed from store shelves. You may be wondering if eggs are safe to eat. Yes they are.”

See larger size of ads below. Read more »

Government leads ad spending in most markets


By Oregon Small Business Association,

Kantar Media shows where ad spending has increased and decreased in select industry markets. The time represents from Jan-May 2009 period and compares ti to Jan-May for 2010. Government has been increasing while travel has been decreasing.

(Data source is Kantar Media. Chart by OSBA).

Starbucks Roars Back, Breaks Record

Starbucks Roars Back, Breaks Record. 
By Oregon Small Business Association

In July, Starbucks announced record earnings during the third quarter as U.S. sales rose 9%.  The Seattle Coffee Giant participated in new marketing strategies to spur the record comeback that reduce the elitist view of $4 coffee drinks and offer cheaper alternatives to broaden the market outside Starbucks stores.

“There’s no question that improving customer service, quality of beverage and speed of service has had a big impact on revenues,” CFO Troy Alstead said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Read more »

Flopping Houses leads to Real Estate Fraud

Flopping Houses leads to Real Estate Fraud

By Oregon Small Business Association,

“Buy low, sell fast” is an increasingly popular tool to make quick cash in a slow real estate market. The tactic is called Flopping and it is growing in popularity. It is also considered real estate fraud. The National Association of Realtors estimates that 12 percent of existing home sales are short sales and among those 1% are Floppings, potentially costing lenders $50 million this year. Later this summer two Connecticut real estate agents will be in federal court to be sentenced for “Flopping”. Flopping houses is essentially the opposite of “Flipping”, where the property’s value is deflated and then sold for the true value. Read more »

NIKE missed shoe trend

Shoe trend catches Nike Off Guard, but expect a classic NIKE rebound

Nike, the footwear innovator, originally scoffed at the idea of the new trend in toning shoes. Now it seems they are paying the price for a missed opportunity as business is booming for the popular women’s athletic shoes with sales up 25% for May.  Adidas’s Reebok and Skeckers dominate the toning market, with Reebok’s share of U.S. woman’s athletic footwear jumping to 6.7%, or $90.3 million and Skecher’s share tripled to 17%, or $225.7 million.  Nike, still in the top spot for U.S. woman’s athletic footwear, saw its share dropped 7.2% points to 31%, or $412 million.  Nike continues to see a major lose in market share for Women’s sales, down 30%, to 22%.

A survey by SportsOneSource shows that six of the top 10 athletic shoes are toning.  A year ago none of the top ten shoes included toning shoes.  The explosion in popularity of women’s toning shoes has exceeded their expectations, and adidas’s CEO, Herbert Hainer, believes Reebok could sell 5 million pair of toning shoes this year.  In fact, last fall when Reebok intensified their advertising, Foot Locker couldn’t keep up with the demand. Read more »

San Francisco Home Values Rise 50%, What About Portland?

San Francisco Home Values Rise 50%, What About Portland?
By Oregon Small Business Association

In San Francisco, home and condominium sales jumped 50 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from last year. According to a multiple listings analysis by Terradatum, the median price rose 5.4 percent, to $685,000. The Bay Area home values increased 16 percent in March illustrating the biggest jump of any city in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home-Price Index. The 20-city composite measure climbed 2.3 percent. Experts believe San Francisco’s unique attributes help keep home prices high and that as the tech sector recovers, buyers will pay top dollar.

Despite Portland’s unique attributes, the metro area has not been as fortunate as San Francisco. Although Portland is not a particularly bad market in comparison to the rest of the nation, the city is likely to complete 2010 without too much appreciation or depreciation of home values. Read more »

Portland lost 23,000 jobs

Oregon Small Business Association,

Portland lost 23,000 jobs according to the U.S. Census Bureau. suffering a 2.82% decline. The greatest declines came from Las Vegas, Wichita, Sacramento and Cape Coral (FL) with over a 4% decline in workers. The single biggest raw number declines came from Chicago (-101,500), Los Angeles (-85,200), New York (-73,400) and Detroit (-57,000).

Portland rated high in recession rebound

Not all news is bad. Forbes put Portland in the top 20 cities to ride out the recession. Here is what they said about Portland; Read more »