Posted by Dale Buss on June 17, 2013 06:46 PM
Just when things seemed hunky-dory in the US auto industry, Nissan wants to threaten the situation by sharpening its price edge.
At least that's how other car brands look at Nissan's aggressive move to grab US market share by cutting prices on seven models and boosting incentives, taking maximum financial advantage of the weakening yen that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a central plank of his "Abenomics" strategy to boost the island nation's economy.
Nissan's marketing moves "strike me as a scorched-earth policy of going for market share and sales volume at seemingly all costs," Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Edmunds.com, told Bloomberg.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 17, 2013 06:02 PM
If there's one thing that American CPG brands and retailers have learned over the last three years, it's that there definitely is a new normal when it comes to the attitudes of US consumers about their pocketbooks. The economy may be slowly coming back, but there doesn't appear to be much change in the recession-borne dedication of grocery shoppers to getting the absolute most out of their supermarket dollars.
That's the bottom line being addressed by food-industry brands in various ways these days. Kroger's latest move has been to open a stream of stores, mostly around the Midwest, under a new discount brand called Ruler Foods.
Part of JayC Food Stores, which Kroger purchased in 1999, Ruler Foods now has 18 locations under a test concept for the Cincinnati-based grocery giant, according to the Commercial News in Danville, Ill. Rulers sells Kroger brand food and a limited assortment of other national-brand items.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2013 05:12 PM
Gilt, the innovative fashion flash-sale site is opening a physical outlet in Louisville, Ky. for one month beginning June 28th.
The pop-up shop, dubbed Designer Outlet, will house thousands of products for men, women and children as well as accessories and housewares from Zac Posen, Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka and Missoni, among others, for up to 90 percent off.
"The exciting new concept store is a unique addition to our local retail market. We're fortunate that Gilt's presence in Louisville affords us the opportunity to dress high-style at great prices and I'm sure it will be well-received by consumers," said Craig J. Richard, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2013 04:08 PM
The streaming race between Netflix and Amazon is neck and neck again as both service providers have inked new streaming deals for in-demand programming.
The news comes just a week after Netflix suffered a blow as it relinquished its deal with Viacom and saw Amazon quickly scoop up its rights to popular kids programming like Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues and others. But now, Netflix is back on the horse thanks to a new deal with DreamWorks.
The long-in-the-making deal with DreamWorks Animation will supply Netflix with 300 hours of original programming inspired by much-loved DreamWorks characters like Shrek and The Croods, as well as series featuring Casper the Friendly Ghost and Lassie, which DreamWorks has rights to through its purchase of Classic Media.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 17, 2013 02:57 PM
Ford has finally given in to the primordial leanings of its customers and decided to put more old-fashioned knobs and buttons on its infotainment controls. But the move—arguably, belated by two years—still might not be enough to save Ford this week from another poor third-party evaluation that got the brand into trouble in the first place.
Ford will reprise tuning and volume knobs for the radio as it redesigns existing models and introduces new ones, Raj Nair, Ford's global product-development chief, told the Wall Street Journal. That's because the company finally gave in to two years of complaints about the initial version of its touch-screen multimedia system, MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch, which essentially were a Version 2.0 of its popular Sync technology.
In 2011, reports by both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports—two of the most authoritative sources of independent evaluation in the business—slammed Ford for MyFord Touch because the touch-screen interface, voice-activiated controls and other aspects of the system confounded users. Power even labeled it a "quality" issue and dropped Ford from one of the top auto brands in its annual Initial Quality Survey to a below-average brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2013 02:03 PM
Amazon’s home grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, is expanding slowly—on purpose. Ther service's first roll-out beyond its home base in Seattle hit Los Angeles last week as Amazon starts in on a strategic plan to focus on high-density urban areas and warehousing robotics, according to a report from Reuters.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos has shown a lot of restraint in rolling out the grocery product as a handful of competitors like PeaPod, Fresh Direct and a host of more local, store-based systems have entered the space. But Bezos has slowed the process in order to learn from previous mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others. After all, with less than one percent of online activity responsible for the $586 billion in grocery retail sales, the addition of online grocery to Amazon's portfolio makes it virtually unsurpassable. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 17, 2013 12:48 PM
The good denizens of Myanmar surely wouldn't mind if Coca-Cola opened a little "happiness" for them as the brand has been doing around the world lately. But for the time being, Myanmar—where only 13 percent of residents even have electricity—probably would settle for the jobs that Coke now is providing there, and maybe for a bottle of the stuff at the end of the shift.
Yes, Coca-Cola is joining Unilever, General Electric, Philips, Visa and just a handful of other big global multinationals in finally doing business in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, the poorest and least-accessible nation remaining in Asia. Now, North Korea and Cuba are the only two countries in which Coke still doesn't do business.
After more than 60 years away, Coke plans to spend $200 million in Myanmar over the next five years. Earlier this month, it opened a new bottling plant outside the commercial capital of Yangon, which is creating thousands of jobs in its bottling and distribution operation, a much-needed infusion of investment for a country where 40 percent of the population remains unemployed.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2013 11:53 AM
Jay-Z has already sold one million copies of his yet-to-be-released new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which isn't available to the public until July 7th.
The canny entrepreneur has spun a deal with Samsung so that the first million owners of Samsung’s Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 can download the free MagnaCarta app from the Google Play store which will give them exclusive access to the new album for free starting July 4th. The unique pair up was announced during a commercial break at game 5 of the NBA Finals that included a player watching the announcement video in real-time on his Samsung device.
"This is a smart strategy on Samsung’s part. Big fans of Jay-Z’s might be tempted to make the Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 2 their next phone due to the promotion, while Samsung fans get a free new album to rock on their phones," notes VentureBeat.Continue reading...