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Retail Briefs

JCPenney Back-to-School Adds Digital Media to the Mix

JCPenney's new "Schooled in Style: Smart Looks for Less" back-to-school campaign is tapping digital, social and mobile media as well as traditional outlets to reach teens.

With an emphasis on new exclusive and private label apparel brands, JCP has customized its Facebook page with an array of mobile and interactive features as well as concerts and promotions. The retailer also set up a dedicated web site as www.jcp.com/teen.

JCPenney is featuring Hispanic-targeted back-to-school television ads, which premiered July 16 on Univision during Premio Juventud — the largest Hispanic music awards show in the United States.

Kmart goes Bluelight for BTS

Kmart brought back the Bluelight Special last weekend for a back-to-school promotion following a favorable response to a similar event earlier this month.

"Bluelight Specials traditionally were a way for us to show appreciation to our valued customers by cutting prices on the most sought after items. This Saturday's event is yet another way Kmart offers customers a chance to capture great values for summer and back-to-school in this tough economy," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer, prior to the promotion.

New Chief Marketer at Neiman Marcus

The Neiman Marcus Group has named Wanda Gierhart senior vp, chief marketing officer, effective Aug. 10.

Gierhart will oversee marketing, market research, advertising, sales promotion, and customer insight activities for Neiman Marcus Stores, Neiman Marcus Direct and Bergdorf Goodman. She will report to Karen Katz, president, ceo of Neiman Marcus Stores and executive vp of The Neiman Marcus Group.

Gierhart was previously president, ceo of TravelSmith, a travel apparel and accessory retailer. Prior to that, she served as executive vp, chief marketing and merchandising officer of Design Within Reach, and spent eight years with Limited Stores, where she advanced to executive vp, chief marketing officer.

WSL: Women Ready to Spend on Home — if Goods are 'Different'

WSL Strategic Retail's recent consumer survey found women are itching to spend again, if carefully. The top four items on their list: apparel, vacation, a night out and decorative home items.

But they're not seeing the kind of merchandise that would stimulate a purchase, according to the consultancy.

WSL's "How America Shops/Pulse of Shopping Life" found 48% of women surveyed could afford to shop but want to spend on items that are "different and special." Among girls age 13 to 17, 50% would be willing to cut back on small purchase for something more expensive "if they really wanted it."

One in four women said they were tired of penny-pinching and "ready to splurge," according to the survey.

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