This despite the Iconix stated intent to find an new celebrity spokesperson to replace Spears after her year with Candie's ended, as per usual brand practices.
Details of the marketing initiatives that Spears will headline come out next month, however last year's program included distribution though Us Weekly Magazine of a pullout poster of Spears wearing Candie's fashions. As part of an ad campaign entitled Britney Spears for Candie's Only at Kohl's, the singer was featured in a collage of color and black and white snapshots from a photo shoot where she modeled Candie's apparel, footwear, swimwear, intimates and accessories. Candie's and Kohl's also signed on as associate sponsors of Spears' Circus tour in support of her CD by the same name.
The Spears campaign was integrated into Kohl's own marketing, including circulars, in-store graphics, online, direct mail, email blasts, radio integration and outdoor billboards. The retailer also participated in a targeted television and print push for the back-to-school season revolving around Spears.
At its announcement, Julie Gardner, Kohl's executive VP and chief marketing officer, characterized the Spears-headlining Candie's campaign as "authentic, relevant and designed to resonate with our junior shopper. At a time when Britney Spears is on top of her career, we believe the campaign will drive excitement for the brand, sold exclusively at Kohl's."
Clearly, Kohl's sees Spears as remaining on top. Spears replaced actress Hayden Panettiere as Candie's spokesperson in 2009, which looks to be good timing as her television show, Heroes, hasn't faired as well as once and her film I Love You Beth Cooper has been showing up on worst movies lists.
Kohl's has made young people a priority. As part of its holiday promotions, Kohl's keyed on its exclusive teen-oriented labels Candie's, MUDD and Abbey Dawn by Avril Lavigne in part by using its Stardoll sponsorship, which launched for the back-to-school time frame. Stardoll, an online community, allows members to create a MeDoll avatar and to shop for fashions to dress their online character. Kohl's also redoubled its social network initiatives including efforts on its Facebook page. Currently, Lavigne and Abbey Dawn are featured in the Style & Savings section of the that page.
All things considered, particularly the response from customers around the holidays, Kohl's can't be blamed for staying the course with its recent initiatives directed at young and old. For the five-week period ended Jan. 2 that constituted the fiscal month of December, its sales increased nine percent while comparable store sales, those at locations open for at least a year, gained five percent. Even if January produces just a flat comp, performance earlier in the quarter was good enough to coax the company to raise earnings guidance on Jan. 7 from $1.14 to $1.24 per diluted share to $1.28 to $1.30 per diluted share.