Was Easter Responsible for Boosting DIY Sales?

Complete Savings | Visa reports growth in DIY spend following Easter weekend

DIY and household sales up 6%

After Barclaycard’s prediction of a ‘bumper Easter’ for DIY stores and garden centres, Visa Europe has now confirmed that the Easter weekend brought a rise of 6% in sales in the sector.DIY spend up over Easter 2014 weekend - Complete Savings

The Retail Bulletin reports that almost £210 million was spent over the four day weekend compared to around £196 million during Easter 2013. The figure was 17% higher than during Easter 2012.

part of a DIY trend

Visa also reports that DIY spend has grown a whopping 10% over the last year. Is this a sign that people are choosing to improve rather than upgrade their homes? On a related note, the Daily Mail reports that 60% of DIY is now carried out by women, ‘as men’s practical skills go into decline’.

what did you do over Easter?

According to a report by Webloyalty, most of us were planning to relax at home, eat a lot and visit relatives – but what did you do?07-04-2014 what we plan to do this Easter from Webloyalty research - WebloyaltyThomson launches #YourBigDay campaign | Kate Middleton Clothes Sell Out Again


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Thomson Launches #YourBigDay Campaign for Crowd Sourced Wedding

Ever thought about handing over the reins for your wedding day?

Thomson’s latest campaign will give all the decisions for #YourBigDay to Facebook fans

Planning weddings can be a tricky task. Often couples struggle to find weird and wonderful ways they can make their day truly special. A lot of thought goes into getting all of the various elements right, and couples put themselves under a lot of pressure to make all the best decisions. Weddings also usually end up burning a massive hole in the couple’s pocket – or that of their parents! Today, the Complete Savings blog looks at this week’s slightly bizarre announcement from the travel services company, Thomson.A Thomson Wedding - the first crowdsourced big day - Complete Savings

the world’s first crowd sourced wedding?

Thomson is offering a lucky couple the chance of a truly unique wedding. The #YourBigDay campaign has just launched and the idea is for the brand’s Facebook community to arrange the lucky couple’s wedding for them – paid for by Thomson Weddings. The wedding itself would take place at one of Thomson’s hotels in Cyprus and all travel and accommodation, as well as the wedding breakfast, is included in the prize.

all planning done via Facebook votes

The crowd-sourced wedding will mean that Thomson’s Facebook fans will have a say in all wedding details, including music and the bride’s wedding dress, colour schemes and themes for the stag and hens dos. Users send their input via Facebook, ideas are shortlisted and then put to vote. Thomson’s wedding planners will then put plans into action. The couple will then have to share regular updates with the Facebook community.Thomson crowdsourced wedding - your big day - Complete Savings

is this an appealing idea?

Thomson’s idea of a crowd-sourced wedding is definitely the first of its kind in the UK; it’s fun and original and is likely to appeal to many couples, given the amount of stress wedding planning normally causes that many may wish to avoid. So why not get it crowd-sourced!? It also presents the perfect way of combining a wedding with a holiday.

Have you got engaged recently? Would you ever go for a crowd sourced wedding?

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Retail Brand Boosted by Kate Middleton Endorsement

Complete Savings looks at the brand endorsement power of Kate Middleton

Celebrity endorsement is a powerful thing when it comes to retail brands. We are more likely to feel an affinity with a brand when we see a famous person wearing it. This has certainly been the case for maternity clothing brand Seraphine which multiplied its profits fourfold in the space of one year thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge, who chose one of the brand’s dresses as her maternity wear of choice.What Kate Middleton Wore In First Baby George Pictures - Complete Savings

the royal brand of choice

Kate Middleton chose Seraphine as her clothing of choice throughout her pregnancy. Even after Prince George was born, she wore a £46 fuchsia Jolene dress by Seraphine for the first official family photo of her and Prince William with their son. The dress sold out within two hours of the photo’s publication, leaving those not lucky enough to click “buy” in time to be put on a four-week waiting list.Kate Middleton endorses maternity wear from Seraphine - Complete Savings

the numbers speak for themselves

Kate Middleton wears Seraphine retail brand throughout pregnancy - Complete SavingsThe effect that this had on Seraphine’s business has been astronomical. The company reported quadrupled profit and 60% increase in turnover, and has forecast £1.1 million profit for the year ending 31st March. This profit is up from £0.25m last year, and the turnover the company is making has increased from £5.2 million to £8.3 million. These numbers illustrate the power of the Kate Middleton effect!

Chelsey Oliver, Seraphine creative director:

“We were the only specialist maternity retailers that were seen to be dressing her during her pregnancy, which put us on the map. The fuchsia Jolene dress was the really big cherry on the cake but we benefited from the overall message about who we were to the Duchess of Cambridge” ~ The Telegraph Online

a view to the future

Seraphine currently has three stores in London and is planning to open two more in the UK this year. By capitalising on this successful celebrity exposure, their official objective is to grow a further 60% in the next year and revenues are predicted to reach £13m by March 2015. The company also sees particular potential for growth in the US thanks to the publicity from Kate Middleton, and is planning to open a New York store.

The Kate Middleton effect is clearly a marketing force to be reckoned with.

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Who are the Leading Ladies for Marks and Spencer?

Emma Thompson, Rita Ora & Annie Lennox are Leading Ladies in new M&S campaign

Leading Ladies campaign from Marks and Spencer - Complete Savings blog

the Complete Savings blog reports

The Complete Savings team is excited to reveal news of the new Marks & Spencer “Leading Ladies” campaign launched this week to promote the new SS14 collection. They have unveiled a star-studded line-up of influential British women to front the campaign.

  • singer Annie Lennox
  • actor Emma Thompson
  • Baroness Doreen Lawrence
  • singer Rita Ora
  • supermodel Alek Wek
  • designer Lulu Kennedy
  • chef Rachel Khoo
  • engineer Roma Agrawal

You can read all their profiles on the M&S website:

Emma Thompson is Leading Lady in Marks and Spencer campaign - Complete Savings

leading British ladies in British locations

The latest images released by M&S feature the leading ladies, who have been chosen as particularly influential women for the British public from a variety of fields, instead of just models, photographed in quintessentially British locations, including Camber Sands and the Cotswolds. The images have been photographed by iconic fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz:Marks and Spencer Leading Ladies campaign - the Complete Savings blog

An M&S spokesperson was quoted saying:

“Our SS14 campaign is a celebration of style and accomplishment. These dynamic Leading Ladies represent the unique and diverse women of a modern Britain. They are united in their extraordinary achievements but confident in their differences.”

a video featuring the M&S stars

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The Royal Mint Unveils A New One Pound Coin

Complete Savings: A new twelve-sided pound coin will be ready for 2017

The Royal Mint unveils a prototype

The New One Pound Coin - the Complete Savings blog

The Royal Mint has developed world-leading anti-counterfeiting technology which will enable Her Majesty’s Treasury to modernise the United Kingdom’s circulating currency with the production of a brand new £1 coin.

The Retail Bulletin has said that plans are underway to replace the £1 coin with a new twelve-sided version as the Treasury looks to eradicate the problem of forgeries.

the new one pound coin – a 360 degree view

Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive at The Royal Mint

Adam Lawrence - Chief Executive at The Royal Mint“We are very proud to be recognised nationally in terms of providing innovative solutions on an international scale. We are already known as the world’s leading export mint, but iSIS confirms our place as leaders within our industry, as we continue to expand the boundaries of minting technology”

What do you think of the new pound coin? Feel free to comment below!

Read about the Mr Kipling re-branding here | Sainsbury’s Launches Online Book Club

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What do you think of Mr Kipling rebranding? Retail News

Could Mr Kipling ditch famous tagline in an attempt to boost sales?

Is it goodbye for “exceedingly good cakes”?

We’ve known and loved them for 47 years. And the exceedingly good cakes themselves are here to stay, but Premier Foods this week announced a big re-vamp of the Mr Kipling brand – which could include ditching the classic tagline we are so familiar with. Golden Wonder was quick to get in there:

Mr Kipling suggests that the tagline remains

The £20 million makeover will mean new packaging and advertising for the brand. Mr Kipling has refuted these rumours in the Metro, suggesting that the tagline will remain:

Mr Kipling goes through a rebranding - Complete Savings

let them eat cake

Premier Foods also produces Ambrosia rice pudding and custard, Batchelors soups, Bisto gravy and Oxo stock cubes. But the foods giant is planning a big marketing push around cakes in particular, which they say is their focus category for 2014 – a category worth £1 billion.

Britain has been enjoying Mr Kipling’s cakes since 1967, when the brand based on a completely fictional character was launched. The fruit tarts and baked slices have been number one in cakes since 1976, with the products bought by nearly 60% of UK households each year.

Gavin Darby, Premier Foods Chief Executive

Gavin Darby Premier Foods Chief Executive talks about Mr Kipling Rebrand - Complete Savings“We’re going to have new packaging, new advertising and we’ve also announced a £20m doubling of our capacity to produce Mr Kipling snack packs, which is where we’re getting a lot of our growth.” ~ The Telegraph

What do you think? Is this rebrand an exceedingly good plan? Or is Premier Foods risking diluting a well-known favourite?

Sainsbury’s Launches Online Book Club | Uniqlo works with Pharrell Williams

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Sainsbury’s Launches Book Club Online | Retail News

Sainsbury’s launches new e-book club for online readers | Complete Savings Blog

Sainsbury’s has announced an online book club to follow their success in-store.

Sainsbury's Launches Online Book Club - Complete Savings

it’s all about content

The new online club will have featured author pages, customer reviews and interactive content. Readers will be encouraged to write online reviews, and each month the best reviewers will be rewarded with e-book vouchers to spend on the Sainsbury’s site. This content will be great for the supermarket, and will drive traffic to the new book club site: www.sainsburysebooks.co.uk

encouraging engagement from readers

Sainsbury’s is using online reviews to enhance their product offering, and is also dropping prices on e-books that are on the book list for the new e-book club. This scheme is set to be a success for Sainsbury’s as they can suggest and also sell the books that are on the list for the new e-book club, as well as continuing their marketing through emails and social media.

Sainsbury's encourages book reviews online - Complete SavingsThis type of content makes the site easy to use and engage with, and will hopefully encourage readers to share their feelings about the books they read.

Sainsbury's Book Club selection - Complete Savings

What do you think of the new site? Will you be joining the new book club? Comment below on the Complete Savings blog!

Alan Titchmarsh launches Grow-Your-Own | Uniqlo works with Pharrell Williams

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