diversity watch

American Express Brings LGBT Pride to Small Business Saturday

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 8, 2014 03:29 PM

As one of the largest corporations in the world, American Express has consistently been a leading model of an inclusive brand by engaging its diverse employee network and augmenting its outreach to LGBT stakeholders, including card members and merchants, with well-executed, diversity-focused marketing moves.

Case in point: For the past three years, Amex’s PRIDE network—its internal community of LGBT employees—organized and produced local PRIDE events across the U.S. on Small Business Saturday, the annual post-Black Friday indie retailer event that American Express started five years ago.Continue reading...

retail

Black Friday Dims on Earlier Deals, Online Sales—and Weary Shoppers

Posted by Dale Buss on December 1, 2014 01:43 PM

Cyber Monday isn't what it used to be—and neither was this year's Black Friday shopping weekend.

Reports and analyses of U.S. shopping over the Thursday-through-Sunday Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend offered varying numbers and widely-ranging interpretations of the actual sales results. But the bottom line for all was the same: The five-day (including Cyber Monday) tentpole weekend that has long driven consumer and retailer behavior in the run-up to Christmas has relaxed its grip on the American pocketbook and shopper psyche.

The biggest indicator was an estimate by the National Retail Federation that sales both in stores and online from Thanksgiving through the weekend dropped 11 percent from last year, even though both the retailer group and many other prognosticators have been predicting a healthy gain overall for sales this holiday period.

Even online purchases by individuals were down by more than 10 percent, NRF said. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Cyber Monday, World AIDS Day and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 1, 2014 09:05 AM

TOP STORIES

Cyber Monday expectations drop on fading Black Friday for U.S. retailers, as early and online sales ate into four-day weekend sales tally.

It's World AIDS DayUNAIDS goes local with city focus as Apple turns its store logos (RED) and Prince Harry launches #FeelNoShame campaign. 

Sony sees new movies leak online in wake of hack attack as exec heralds virtual reality revolution.

Intel replaces Texas Instruments to power Google Glass as it acquires PasswordBox to boost digital security.

Lufthansa cancels half its flights as pilots strike over retirement benefits.Continue reading...

retail

AMEX's Small Business Saturday Turns 5 With Etsy, Shinola, Simon and Garfunkel

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 03:05 PM

After five years of luring post-Black Friday shoppers to think small (and independent), Small Business Saturday is catching on.

But the annual U.S. shopping event to drive business to independent retailers, launched in 2009 by American Express, has a long way to go before it's on a par with Black Friday or even Cyber Monday.

AmEx has managed to attract a lot of partners to Small Business Saturday over the years, including other small-biz advocates such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

This year, nearly 3,000 neighborhoods in every state and DC have signed on to host events and in-store promotions for shoppers. A handful of markets are featuring related events, such as Etsy Trunk Shows co-sponsored by American Express.

"It works because Small Business Saturday connects the small-business owner, the customer and the community, and each year that increases," Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, a spokeswoman for the event and owner of Denver-based RetailMinded.com, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

retail

Black Friday Spurs Global Brawls, U.S. Protests and Mobile Shopping (Updated)

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 12:28 PM

The Black Friday bandwagon is creaking a little bit. Yes, it's a worldwide sales event, with Black Friday fever also overtaking the U.K., Canada and parts beyond today.

Back in its homeland, U.S. political protests are using today to gain attention for their particular causes by attaching them to America's post-turkey trot to the stores, online or in person. But the object of all that attention—the US shopper—may not be along for the ride.

Annual controversies about whether retail chains should open on Thanksgiving  and the ensuing retail melee have been obviated by the fact that many of them opened "early" for Black Friday at some point on Thursday, and shoppers, predictably, poured in—and fights ensued, earning the moniker (yet again) of Black Eye Friday.

Overall, however, economists found U.S. consumers hestitant, even as hardcore bargain-lovers executed their own personal Black Friday plans.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, Black Friday spending was down 11 percent this year, while the number of people shopping in-store and online was down 5.2 percent over th four-day weekend.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Black Friday Goes Global and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 09:43 AM

TOP STORIES

Walmart is in the spotlight, and on the hot seat, as mega-retailer talks up its U.S. Thanksgiving Day sales, U.S. workers strike and Ferguson protests morph into Black Friday boycott that also hits Target.

Apple and Beats also release Black Friday ads (including #SoloSelfie spot with Kendall and Kylie Jenner) as shoppers worldwide hunt (and fight) for Black Friday deals. 

Amazon is reportedly in talks to buy India's Jabong fashion portal for $1.2 billion.

Takata air bag crisis addressed by Japanese government.

Philosophy launches PSA promoting mental illness awareness.Continue reading...

retail

Digital Pop-Ups Bring Black Friday Shopping Into the Subway

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2014 05:02 PM

As Black Friday continues going global, the quest to make shoppers embrace online/offline omnichannel shopping this holiday is moving underground.

British retailer Argos, the UK's biggest High Street retailer online, has opened its first Underground store at London's Cannon Street Tube station as a click-and-collect depot during the holiday season in partnership with Transport for London (TfL).

The underground Argos Collect store offers access to 20,000 products, pitching convenience to time-pressed commuters, who make an average of 4.2 million journeys on the London Underground every day, with the enticing prospect that all products ordered by 1pm can be picked up on the go within hours.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

PETA Hits Macy's Thanksgiving Parade as Part of Cruelty-Free Holiday Push

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2014 01:33 PM

Making good on its promise to protest SeaWorld's involvment in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the animal rights group brought signs to the parade route in New York in the wake of Macy's decision to include the amusement park's float, despite PETA's claims of mistreatment of animals there.

While Macy's ignored PETA's pre-parade protest (with women in a bathtub painted to resemble orcas) and the organization's parade protest was sidelined by the arrests of Ferguson protesters, the campaign was just one part of a slate of holiday campaigns by the tireless animal rights activists:Continue reading...

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