RILA hires former AMA lobbyist
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has hired Christine Pollack as its new VP government relations, focusing on healthcare policy and serving as one of RILA’s lead advocates on core retail industry priorities.
Pollack previously served as assistant director of congressional affairs for the American Medical Association (AMA), where she was a central figure in the debate on healthcare reform. Prior to joining the AMA in 2007, Pollack served as legislative director for Congressman Clay Shaw (R-FL), overseeing healthcare, tax and social security policy for the senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. Earlier in her career, Pollack served as a health insurance specialist with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and as senior legislative assistant for Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA).
Based in Arlington, Va., RILA is a trade association representing more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
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Valspar paint giveaway: a ‘sell out’
There’s nothing like “free paint” to catch consumers’ attention, as Valspar learned during its recent “Power in Color” campaign. According to an article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, the manufacturer handed out 100,000 free paint-sample kits during the first 100 days of 2011, or 1,000 kits per day.
"There wasn’t a single day during the promotion that we didn’t sell out," said Howard Heckes, senior VP global consumer for the Minneapolis-based company. "Some days, it was amazing — we’d sell out in literally minutes from the time the website would open up."
The offer allowed consumers to order one free paint sample per household from Valspar’s website. The kits included a 7.2-fluid-ounce sample of Valspar paint chosen from about 3,000 options, a small plastic paint roller and a coupon for $5 off a gallon of its paint at Lowe’s.
The company also promoted the program on its Facebook page, where it was picked up by bloggers. Valspar added 40,000 Facebook fans during the promotion.
Although Valspar declined to reveal the cost of the campaign, one estimate put the giveaway at between $1 million and $2 million, based on the retail value of what the company is now charging for samples on its website.
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HCN Consumer Calculator: Garage storage and organization
Other than totes and bins, floor-standing shelving is the most popular kind of garage storage product, according to the NPD Group’s 30,000-strong consumer panel. And in a tough economy, the business skews toward the wealthy. Those are some of the conclusions of the latest HCN Consumer Calculator.
Analysis: Garage storage and organization accounted for $450.9 million in total spending in 2010, according to the NPD Group — that’s down 11.4% from 2009. Mass merchants appear to be chipping away at the warehouse home centers (WHC), which dominate the market.
Analysis: As a reason for purchase, “trusted brand” remains a top-three motivator. And as home centers embrace “back-to-school,” totes and bins benefit.
Analysis: The 65-plus age group showed by far the biggest increase in 2010 — up a full 5 percentage points over 2009. Meanwhile, the wealthiest consumers are driving this category.
Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers. The 2010 data above come from the 12 months ended Feb. 28, 2011.
While moving to another place
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