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Apparel retailer Stage Stores offers back-to-school mobile coupons

August 18, 2009

stageApparel and accessories retailer Stage Stores Inc. will promote back-to-school savings with a mobile coupon campaign at three of its regional retail brands — Bealls, Palais Royal and Stage.

Using mobile discount offer service Cellfire Inc.’s mobile coupons, shoppers can get exclusive deals on fashion and footwear at 398 Stage Stores retail locations in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Stage Stores will deliver unique discounts to Cellfire users every two weeks through Sept. 1 as part of an integrated marketing campaign during the back-to-school season.

“We teamed up with Cellfire to target our junior and young men’s customers, mostly teen guys and girls who aren’t being exposed to our traditional ad channels: television, radio and newspapers,” said Tom Kail, vice president of marketing at Stage Stores, San Jose, CA. “They represent significant cash business, and because it’s cash we don’t know a lot about them, so how do you reach them?

“We do know that teens are big users of mobile phones, and they’re already engaged with the medium,” he said. “So if we can deliver our marketing message through a platform they’re already engaged with, that’s half the battle right there.”

Consumers will be alerted to various sales and opportunities to get mobile coupons via in-store signage and online advertising.

Stage Stores will also tag all of its existing print, television and radio advertising with a call-to-action urging consumers to sign up to get additional discounts through Cellfire.

In addition, Cellfire has a significant database of opted-in customers who will receive Stage Stores’ call-to-action.

Consumers can get the mobile coupons by subscribing to Cellfire’s service at or they can send a text message with a keyword for the appropriate retail brand to short code 22888 to receive instructions on how to access the offers on their phone. For Bealls the keyword is BEL, for Palais Royal it is PAL and for Stage it is STG.

Stage Stores is a retail chain that sells brand-name apparel, accessories, footwear and cosmetics in small and midsize towns and communities via 707 stores in 35 states.

The company operates under the Bealls, Palais Royal and Stage names throughout the South Central and Southwestern states, and under the Peebles name throughout the Midwestern, Southeastern, Mid-Atlantic and New England states.

Cellfire is a free coupon service, although standard data or usage charges may apply depending on the carrier or data plan. Consumers can access the Cellfire service through a mobile application or through a mobile Web browser. It is compatible with any Web-enabled phone.

New offers are added frequently to the Cellfire database. Users can access the Cellfire service to discover and use discounts specific to their geographic area. Consumers can navigate through coupons by category, save the offers they want to use later or select the offer they want to use immediately.

Cellfire users are provided with a unique redemption code that is shown at the time of a transaction. Users click on the coupon they want to use and show it to the sales clerk for redemption at the point of purchase.

Cellfire’s client base includes Hollywood Video, Enterprise Rent A Car, Sears Portrait Studio, Taco Bueno, Hardee’s, Wiener Schnitzel and Extreme Pita. The company has also run campaigns for Supercuts (see story), McDonald’s (see story) and Valvoline (see story).

This list of customers convinced Stage Stores.

“We’re excited about this partnership with Cellfire, which provided us with an existing mobile platform,” Mr. Kail said. “It made it convenient for us to have a mobile promotion pretty much in place and ready to go.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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