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Mars Retail Group and Zalemark Holding Company, Inc. have announced completion of a jewelry licensing agreement enabling Zalemark to design, market and distribute a line of M&M’S Brand fashion jewelry. Currently under development, the collection may include earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings incorporating the colorful fun of the iconic candy brand and the whimsical M&M’S Characters.

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Back-to-school shopping has yet to overtake holiday shopping, but it’s working hard to make its mark in sales. According to a report by Cardlytics, mid-July through August is the second largest shopping season in the United States. This data was collected from in-store and online purchase data from 70 percent of U.S. households. The study found three specific trends in back-to-school shopping.

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One of the worst things that can happen to online retailers is a transaction not going through because of something wrong on their end. If a customer can’t make a purchase because of a declined card, even though they have the funds to pay and the card is not fraudulent, it’s likely they’ll give up and the retailer will lose that sale. It’s a bigger issue than most merchants realize and can account for a substantial loss of sales every year.

Smaller merchants that sell globally tend to have this issue more than big-box retailers. They tend to use one bank for all sales, but if a transaction is declined, they have no fallback bank to try again. And usually it’s not the retailers’ fault, but the bank not allowing a transaction to go through for many different reasons.

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By Bruce Levinson, Vice President, Client Engagement, SGK

 

Back in grade school, we all learned about Venn diagrams. Those intersecting circles are used to demonstrate visually which portions of multiple sets are shared and which are not. I never quite knew when in my future life I would find them useful, if at all, but [many, many] years later I think I’ve finally got it: Venn diagrams are incredibly helpful tools for brand marketers to create and evaluate truly meaningful innovation that drives market performance. Or at least, that’s one way to use them.

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Having a new, stylish pair of glasses for the latest school year is almost as important as that new backpack or set of notebooks. As someone who has had glasses since age six, I understand the significance to having a cool pair of glasses on the first day back. Fortunately, for kids, pre-teens and teens, Visionworks has a vast selection of stylish frames from top designers to ensure a great back-to-school look.

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Because of its position in the e-commerce market, Polyvore announced this week that it will be acquired by Yahoo. With this acquisition, Yahoo hopes to enhance its consumer and advertiser offerings by utilizing Polyvore’s platform of combined community and commerce. Polyvore already dominates social, mobile and native content, so Yahoo hopes the company will accelerate its own growth in those arenas.

 

By now we’ve all watched the trailer for the next Star Wars installment a million times. Or at least I have. Now retailers around the world are preparing for the influx of new Star Wars merchandise. But none more than Toys “R” Us.

Toys “R” Us is kicking off the hype for the new film with Force Friday on Sept. 5, a special event where its stores around the world will open their doors at midnight to give fans a chance to purchase exclusive, new Star Wars toys. Those who attend the midnight event will also have a chance to receive special giveaways, such as a limited edition LEGO Star Wars Commemorative Brick and an exclusive Star Wars poster.

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Whether your kiddo is heading to pre-school, grade school or middle school, you can send them off in superhero style with Warner Bros.’ line of DC Comics-inspired backpacks, pencil boxes and more. But if your kids are still too young for school or you need something to entertain them before school starts, Crayola offers a variety of different products to help them hone their creativity at home.

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