Neiman Marcus, Sprint PCS, REI Snare Online Awards

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Luxury chain Neiman Marcus, wireless marketer Sprint PCS and gear seller Recreational Equipment Inc. won prizes from the retail industry for their online marketing campaigns, it was announced yesterday.


Neiman Marcus' "Prada Handbags & Shoes" campaign and Sprint PCS' "Vision Launch" bagged the gold trophy at the Retail Advertising Conference Awards. REI's "Park Pass to America: Celebrate our National Parks" campaign walked home with the silver trophy. The category was online marketing campaign.


Prizes were handed out by the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association and online retail trade body Shop.org at the RAC's conference in Chicago. The National Retail Federation owns both associations.


"It was the mix of creative and results that really stood out for the judges," said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, Washington.


A panel pulled from the board of directors of Shop.org judged the contest. Shop.org developed the criteria, including a clear start and finish to an online effort. Entries incorporated information on the creative theme, marketing media mix and results.


Meanwhile, the NRF announced yesterday that January retail sales saw their highest increase since September 2000, according to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Retail sales were 0.9 percent lower when seasonally adjusted month-to-month, but up 3.9 percent from the year-ago period. Automobile sales were sluggish in January, but strong in December. Excluding that category, retail sales rose 1.3 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, the biggest gain since September 2000.


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