Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 03:52 PM
America has successfully exported its Black Friday retail frenzy the UK and Canada, despite the fact that neither celebrates Thanksgiving. Apple, Amazon, and Asda (owned by Walmart) are offering their US Black Friday deals to UK consumers at 20 percent off this weekend, while native retailers like Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges are getting in on the Black Friday action with what they call "Christmas comes early" sales.
"This shows how online is driving the retail agenda. Apple and Amazon offer deals in the US and they don't want their UK customers to feel cheated," Donald Shields, multichannel strategy director at SapientNitro, explained to Ad Age. "This has obviously come from online—there's no Thanksgiving and no Friday off to go out shopping—but it's picking up momentum in stores as well, and translating into a physical retail event."
With online spending in the UK expected to jump 20 percent to $8 billion between now and Christmas, according to Deloitte, retailers are happy to adopt another US concept: Cyber Monday.
But Kevin Gill, managing creative director of Start JG, thinks the shopping events lose a little luster outside the US, where they just seem like another sale. "It seems a little bit cynical to plug into a US event when we don't have the event that precedes it—are they going to import Thanksgiving next?" he told Ad Age. "It's a more natural extension for U.S. retailers like Amazon and Apple, but Debenhams feels a bit of a stretch. If retailers embraced it and did something special it might work, but just offering 20 percent off is a bit shallow."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 26, 2013 02:52 PM
Most of the buzz around Target has been positive in recent years. The value-based retailer has always managed to rise above the ordinary, combining modest prices with a chic image engendering a fierce loyalty that cut across demographic lines. Chances are the bigwigs at Target smiled benevolently when consumers and the media referred to the brand as "Tar-jay" in an effort to highlight its designer-focused trendiness.
Well even a star can get tarnished—and right about now, Target is looking quite a bit less shiny than usual.
Take Target's stumble in Canada. When the chain made a big splash in the Canadian market earlier this year, the payoff for Canadian consumers who anticipated the chain's arrival was less than expected. Target seemingly did the right kinds of things, like partnering with Canadian brand Roots and Canadian entertainer Michael Buble, but the retailer's opening was beset by product shortages. What's more, while prices were competitive with other retailers operating in Canada, Target couldn't match the lower prices it set in the US—reinforcing the perception that Canadians would have to cross the border to save money in a Target store.
And if pricier duds weren't enough of a buzz-kill, a recent survey found that , "Some customers likened Canada's version to 'Target Lite,' with lackluster prices and an atmosphere that, despite renovations, still had the feel of the Zellers outlets that occupied the same spaces for years before."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2013 03:03 PM
Supporters of embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appropriated the Ford Motor Co. logo to back their man. But the keeper of the Blue Oval had a better idea.
Ford, the company, said that it will protect its script and oval logo from use by backers of Ford, the admitted drug-buying, crack-using, publicly drunk politician. "Ford did not grant permission for use of its logo" on "Ford Nation" t-shirts that were worn at a United Way charity event in Toronto this week, said company spokesman Jay Cooney, according to the Toronto Star. "We view it as an unauthorized use of our trademark and have asked it to be stopped." The t-shirts were sold after Rob Ford bobbleheads sold out.
Ford got this very same logo out of hock last year after using it as collateral to help borrow $23.4 billion in 2006 that helped the company weather the global financial crisis and Great Recession without having to resort to bailouts by US and Canadian taxpayers as General Motors and Chrysler did.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2013 05:37 PM
J.Crew has crossed the pond to bring its own brand of preppy duds to London's Regent Street, opening its first flagship outside North America today. The 17,000-square-foot store houses separate men's and women's shops, as well as Crewcuts, the retailer's children's boutique. The London expansion will also include two other retail locations, one women's and one men's store.
Combatting an increasingly "promotional" retail environment in the US, the retailer hopes that greater brand awareness through physical locations in the UK will provide a needed boost. J.Crew has also opened 3 new retail locations in Canada recently, as well.
"London was an easy decision,” said chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler. “It is a place where people understand and respect the integrity of great style and design."
Indeed, finding a place among London's High Street stores may be a better fit for the increasingly upscale J.Crew brand, whose prices are in stark contrast to its fellow shopping mall tenants in the US, such as growing fast fashion brands like H&M. But with some product prices in the UK bumped up almost 40 percent, the retailer runs the risk of creating sticker-shock in Europe. "I've heard rumblings about it," Creative Director Jenna Lyons said, regarding additional taxes and duties associated with having an international location, "and we're doing everything we possibly can to keep the quality of the product as good as it can be and maintain the tightest possible price."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 05:27 PM
It doesn't feel like that long ago that Sears and Kmart stood astride American retailing like twin Goliaths, and Walmart and Target were the pipsqueaks Davids. Now comes yet another reminder of how far the two erstwhile leaders—since sadly intertwined in one fading company—have fallen and how close they are to disappearing into the dustbin of US brand greatness.
Sears is now weighing spinning off its Lands’ End brand and auto-center units from the company to raise cash amid dwindling revenue and to focus more on its Sears and Kmart stores. The company already has sold leases for its flagship stores in Canada and is continuing to evaluate all US retail locations.
“How much more muscle can you cut?” Paul Swinand, an analyst for Morningstar in Sears’ hometown of Chicago, said to Bloomberg, about the unprofitable retailer controlled by Edward Lampert. Sears’ survival tale has been obscured lately only by the relative roller-coaster ride taken by long-time rival JCPenney.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 05:12 PM
Nestle has been tussling with locals and environmentalists in Canada for a while over the water it draws out of the ground for its bottled products during drought conditions. But now the company has dropped its appeal of permit conditions that would restrict how much water it could draw.
Nestle Waters cited costs—to it and the Ontarian taxpayer—as its reasons for dropping the appeal, according to BeverageDaily.com. Meanwhile, the unit of Nestle Group also has been getting flack for the water it bottles in British Columbia, although the issue there seems to be the fact that the water is free to Nestle Waters.
In a statement to brandchannel, Nestle Waters Canada spokesman John Challinor said:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2013 06:39 PM
Grateful Dead Beer Gets Crunchy
Millions of tie-dyed Deadheads in parking lots and campsites across North America have ingested tons of granola (among other things) over the decades of the band’s existence, so it was only natural for granola to become the mystery ingredient in the new American Beauty bold pale ale, a brew made in partnership between the band and Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery. This marks the first time the band has had its own beer, BrewHound reports.
The idea for including granola during the brewing process came from one of the more than 1,500 fans of the band who offered up ideas. Along with granola, the beer will be made only with ingredients grown in the US.
The brew will debut in the next few weeks across Dogfish’s 27-state distribution network.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2013 03:51 PM
New Tim Hortons CEO Marc Caira may not have figured out how to sell enough Canadian-developed coffee in the United States yet. But he sure knows how to peddle interest in what Canada's brightest native star of the QSR industry might end up doing.
In multiple interviews and an analysts' meeting this month, Caira—a former Nestle SA executive who came out of retirement in July to run Tim Hortons—has made a few things clear: Growth in Canada depends on more variety in new outlets and better execution everywhere; dinner is an appealing day part; and Tim Hortons must, must, must succeed in the US market despite investor unrest at the brand's poor performance south of the border so far.
Somewhat curiously, Caira discounted the importance of typical pillars in improving Tim Hortons' performance. "Future battles are not going to be won, in my view, with who has the best strategy or who has the best innovation," he said, according to The Canadian Press.Continue reading...