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Retail is a major advertising sector, covering marketing investment by companies such as department stores, supermarkets and food retailers. The retail sector is evolving rapidly due to the rise of online and mobile shopping. As a result, retailers with strong online offers or loyalty schemes are now highly data-driven. Marketing investment by retailers often spikes around key shopping occasions, such as Christmas or major holidays.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

Findings from a global Nielsen survey into grocery shopping habits. The survey suggests ways to understand how digital technology is changing the retail landscape.
A focus on marketing retail, digitisation and the transition to omnichannel.
Why Macy's is embracing a range of new channels and media partnerships to engage shoppers.
How Walmart, the retail giant, is drawing on the start-up driven idea of "growth hacking".

Case Study

This case study shows how Ikea, a furniture brand, successfully launched its new catalogue by filming a renowned German literary critic reviewing it.

Case Study

This case study shows how Intersport, a sports retailer, successfully launched its new running collection by enticing Czech consumers to run and share their routes in order to win growing discounts in-store.

Case Study

This case study explains how the UK electronics retailer Currys PC World increased sales around Christmas by being honest about the stresses and difficulties of the period and positioning itself as the solution in a humorous TV ad and social media campaign.

Case Study

This case study explains how John Lewis, the British department store, used social media and content to make an emotional TV ad famous and increase sales during the Christmas period.

Case Study

This case study shows how Intermarché, a supermarket brand, successfully helped its French customers reduce their daily sugar intake be creating a six-step sugar-detox yoghurt pack.

Case Study

This case study explains how Target, the retailer, used a live-broadcast TV ad during the GRAMMYs and social media to engage millions of people at once.
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This article provides marketers with information and guidance about connecting marketing communications directly with the opportunity to purchase and facilitating seamless online purchases.


This event report looks at how UK retailer Marks & Spencer is using location-based marketing to boost footfall and sales at its stores.


This report offers a global outlook for the apparel and footwear market, examining the performance of its various categories comparatively, against other consumer industries and across regions and markets.


This Company Profile from Euromonitor provides key details and analysis of Carrefour SA, the owner of brands such as Dia and Champion.


This Company Profile from Euromonitor provides key details and analysis of Seven & I Holdings Co, Ltd, the owner of brands such as 7-Eleven and Ito-Yokado.


This report discusses the luxury goods industry in a global context, including changes in key markets, consumer attitudes and technology’s influence on luxury goods.
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  1. Article

    This report analyses five trends that will impact the packaged foods market, including mobile technology, increased urbanisation, single-person households and price polarisation.

  2. Article

    This annual report by J Walter Thompson Intelligence investigates the trends and emerging consumer behaviours set to shape marketing globally in 2017.

  3. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, looks at the growing number of brands that are exploring direct-to-consumer (DTC) opportunities with the help of apps, buy buttons and subscription services.

  4. Article

    This case study shows how John Lewis, a UK retailer, successfully launched four Christmas campaigns that consolidated its advertising's status as an iconic Christmas event.

  5. Article

    This report analyses the evolution of online shopping, covering changes in pricing, consumer trust, personalisation and how popular marketplaces are serving their regions' needs.

  6. Article

    This report discusses the future of the global luxury goods industry, including changes in key markets, the impact of luxury wearables and how brands are looking for more meaningful 'luxury experiences'.

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