January 29, 2018

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Jim McComb, McComb Group, Ltd., celebrated 27 years on the Minnesota Retailers Association Board of Directors last Thursday. The Board thanked Jim for his service to the retail industry and presented him with a letter of support from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. The McComb Group is headquartered in Minneapolis and enters its 45th year in business in 2018.

Consumer Spending      
Big Year For The Big Game: Consumers To Spend $15.3 Billion On 2018 Super Bowl
From the National Retail Federation, January 25, 2018 
"American adults are expected to spend an average $81.17 for a total of $15.3 billion as an estimated 188.5 million people watch the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl next month, according to the annual survey released today by National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Projected viewership is the same as last year but total spending is up 8.5% from $14.1 billion in 2017.

"Whether throwing their own party, heading to a friend's house or gathering at their favorite bar or restaurant, consumers are ready to spend on the big game," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Super Bowl shoppers will find retailers well-stocked on decorations, apparel, food and all other necessities to cheer on their favorite team."

Of the 76 percent of those surveyed who plan to watch the game, 82 percent say they will purchase food and beverages - up slightly from 80 percent last year - and the highest in the survey's history. Another 11 percent will buy team apparel or accessories, unchanged from 2017. New televisions and decorations hold a similar draw for those planning to watch at home, with 8 percent planning to purchase each, also unchanged. Those 25-34 will spend the most of any age group at an average of $118.43.

According to the survey, 18 percent (45 million) will host a Super Bowl party, with 28 percent (69 million) planning to attend one. Bars and restaurants will entice 5 percent (11 million) planning to watch at their favorite local spot."

The Big Game      
Governor Dayton Proclaims "Super Bowl Week" in Minnesota
From Governor Mark Dayton, January 29, 2018 
"With thousands of visitors from around the country expected to visit Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed January 29 through February 4 to be "Super Bowl Week" in Minnesota. Governor Dayton's proclamation celebrates a week of festivities culminating with Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, February 4, 2018.
"Minnesotans are excited to welcome football fans to the Bold North," said Governor Dayton. "Super Bowl LII will showcase our fabulous U.S. Bank Stadium and everything else that makes Minnesota so exceptional."
The State of Minnesota last hosted Super Bowl XXVI, twenty-six years ago on January 26, 1992 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
Celebrations throughout the state have been planned to commemorate the 2018 Super Bowl. A full list of events can be found here."

Consumer Spending      
How Local Businesses Can Get Their Share Of The $15.3B Super Bowl Pie
From Forbes, , January 29, 2018 
"The National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will spend upwards of $15.3 billion associated with the upcoming Super Bowl, which will air February 4 with the Philadelphia Eagles battling the New England Patriots in US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. While planned viewership will remain stable at 118.5 million people this year, adults are expected to increase spending by 8.5% over last, or an average of $81.17 per adult.

"Consumers are carrying strong spending momentum from the holiday season into their Super Bowl festivities," said Phil Rist, evp of Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the survey of over 7,000 Americans.

While food and beverage businesses will benefit most from this year's Super Bowl spending, team apparel and accessories brands and businesses that sell televisions and decorations will also attract new customers leading up to game day.

In an effort to explore ways that businesses, not just in the team and host cities but across the country, can make the most of the marketing opportunities the Super Bowl represents, I researched and found some cool ideas for cross-promoting local businesses with a Super Bowl theme.

Over 40% of the consumers NRF/Prosper surveyed plan to host (18%) or attend (28%) a Super Bowl party and another 5% will watch the game on-premise at bars and restaurants. That means food and beverage purchases will be top of mind on game day and leading up to it.

Valassis, the "intelligent media delivery" company known for its Sunday newspaper coupon supplements, dug more deeply into people's party plans. What they found is that local small businesses have an outsized marketing opportunity to capture the more than $50 on food and beverage purchases the consumers surveyed have planned. Valassis is owned by Harland Clarke Holdings, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated.

"Shopping around Sunday's Big Game presents a valuable opportunity for restaurants and retailers of all sizes to boost sales and start the New Year strong," said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer, Valassis. "Based on our findings, small, local businesses should expect to see the biggest gains as consumers value convenience and proximity above all else when it comes to hosting parties for this event."

They advise local businesses to be top of mind in advance of game day, with nearly one-third of party hosts planning to shop up to a week before, with the majority making purchases a day or two before. In planning their party menus, Valassis finds that one-third of shoppers will be guided by in-store circulars looking to save up to $15 on their party purchases through deals, coupons and other offers.

"This is an important time for small businesses - particularly restaurants and pizza shops - to be top of mind with local consumers," said Steve Hauber, president, Valassis Local Solutions. "Those making a concerted effort to reach shoppers with hyper-local marketing can expect to see a greater impact on sales as game-day consumers prefer to order out and pick up food close to home."

Shoppers Shifting From Apps, Websites To Voice Assistants

From the Retail Dive, Dan O'Shea, January 22, 2018

"Within three years, about 40% of consumers will use a voice assistant as an alternative to a mobile app or website, according to the results of the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute Conversational Commerce Survey, which questioned more than 5,000 consumers in the U.S. U.K., France and Germany.

The survey also found that 81% of users of voice assistants have used them via smartphones, while about 32% have used them on a smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo, and 21% have done so on a screen-based device like Echo Show or Fire TV.

Meanwhile, 35% of voice assistant users admit to having purchased products such as clothes through their voice assistants, and said they may spend as much as 500% more through voice assistants in the coming users as they do now, according to the Capgemini study"

Minnesota's Governors Race: Ready, Set, Go

From the Star Tribune, Patrick Coolican, January 27, 2018

"A big week is coming up in the governor's race, as campaigns will report what money they raised and spent in 2017 - a key signal of which candidates are exciting the passions of donors large and small.

Candidates with significant fundraising hauls have already sent out news releases: U.S. Rep. Tim Walz reported raising $1.1 million during his nine months in the race last year, with nearly $500,000 cash on hand. Former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman reported raising $800,000, though it's not clear how much of that was raised in 2017 or how much cash he's sitting on.

This week's reports will give us more detail about where these two DFL heavyweights are getting their money and where they're spending it.

A glitch on the state's campaign finance website allowed us a peek at another DFL candidate: Rebecca Otto for governor showed total donations of $320,000 and expenditures of $158,000, an ending cash balance of $182,000 and $23,000 in unpaid bills. State Rep. Tina Liebling took in $101,000 and spent $80,000.

Just as intriguing will be the fundraising numbers for Republican candidates to be released this week. State Rep. Matt Dean was clearly having a rough go of it before he dropped out of the race last week, endorsing Jeff Johnson, the GOP's 2014 nominee.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is thought to be mulling a return to Minnesota politics, will be watching. If the Republicans in the race, including Johnson as well as Keith Downey and Mary Giuliani Stephens, haven't raised respectable sums, Pawlenty would be well-positioned to jump in the race and use his statewide name recognition to secure the GOP nomination.

But money isn't everything.

The actual voting begins Feb. 6, when Minnesotans attending their precinct caucuses will have a chance to cast a ballot in a nonbinding straw poll. Johnson finished a distant third in 2014 and was the eventual nominee, so be wary of putting too much stock in the outcome."

Public Affairs Breakfast This Friday

Join us for February's Public Affairs Breakfast featuring representatives from Dakota County's legislative delegation on Friday, February 2 from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the Commons on Marice in Eagan.

Join us as we host members from the Dakota County legislative delegation in a discussion about the priorities of the business community.  
Invited members:

Representative Sandra Masin-District 51A    
Representative Pat Garofalo-District 58B
Representative Rick Hansen-District 52A
Senator Matt Little-District 58     

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Minnesota Retailers Associaiton
400 Robert Street North, suite 1540
St. Paul, MN 55101
Tel. (651) 227-6631 - mnretail.org - mnra@mnretail.org