brands under fire
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 17, 2013 05:47 PM
It turns out that angry consumers aren't the only ones that American retailers need to worry about. In a joint statement published Thursday, a group of investors sought out to express their dissatisfaction with US retailers that have refused to sign the Bangladesh fire and safety agreement.
The release, undersigned by Amalgamated Bank Longview Funds and 14 others said, "We expect companies in our portfolios to ensure the integrity of their supply chains." The group, which reportedly holds a combined $1.35 trillion in assets, called out both Walmart and Gap, two major US retailers who spoke out against the accord, advising them to act swiftly and effectively in agreeance with the legally-binding proposal, which was signed by over 30 international companies by its May 15 deadline.
The response is a reaction to the late-April factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh that has now claimed over 1,120 lives. The accord, which is a version of a previously proposed agreement that was in effect turned down by several US retailers in 2011, hopes to protect the millions of Bangladeshi people that work in the country's 5,000 garment factories, for as little as $38 per month. The industry, now the second largest garment producer next to China, has seen a surge in recent years, resulting in the creation of faulty building sites and poor labor conditions. The circumstances surrounding the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory highlight the shortcomings of an industry built on loose ethics and fast, inexpensive turnaround. While the agreement looks to enforce independent building inspections and fire and safety training, it also hopes to create a more open administrative atmosphere for workers to present their concerns.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 10, 2013 11:42 AM
Sears hasn’t had an easy time of it in recent years, but neither has its customers. The retailer has been trying out any way it can to create revenue and customer traffic, and its latest plan is a lease-to-own program.
The Associated Press reports that Sears tried out allowing customers to pay in installments for big purchases such as mattresses, home appliances, furniture and electronics in 10 stores last fall and is now introducing the option at all of its 900 locations, making it the first major retailer to have such a program.
Sears began offering layaway only a few years ago during the worst of the recession, but lease-to-own would provide a way to move inventory and bring in revenue simultaneously. For customers in a bind, the lease-to-own programs allows quick access to products, unlike layaway, which needs to be paid off before pick-up. Products need to be worth $280 or more and customers aren’t allowed to sign on unless they are at least 18, can show that they make $1,000 or more a month, and have a Social Security or tax ID number.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2013 06:26 PM
Target Corp’s Cartwheel, released in public beta today, combines social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals.
As brick and mortar retailers struggle for relevance, fighting the growing trend of “showrooming,” they’re turning to social media to attact consumers with unique deals. Target worked with Facebook for about a year on Cartwheel, whose tagline reads, "A whole new spin on saving," where shoppers can choose from hundreds of deal items such as Target's own Threshold home goods as well as brand goodies like M&Ms candy and Coca-Cola soft drinks.
The Cartwheel launch includes 700 new offers, and claiming any one generates automatic News Feed posts on Facebook unless the user turns them off.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2013 09:08 AM
Apple loses throne to Exxon as world's biggest company as its slowdown threatens a $30-billion global supplier web.
Twitter launches music app for iOs devices today.
Burberry sales rise as China growth recovers.
BlackBerry says Alicia Keyes delivers its PowerPoint presentations.
CNN deals with aftermath of erroneous reporting in Boston Marathon investigation.
Carnival plans to spend up to $700 million to upgrade fleet.
Chevrolet says its new Cruze diesel outdoes Volkswagen Jetta diesel in mileage.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 16, 2013 05:56 PM
An unlikely viral superstar has emerged: Kmart.
The retailer's latest ad, "Ship My Pants," has become a hit, reaching over 9.8 million views and more than 33,000 Facebook 'likes,' granting the here-to-fore unfunny brand a noticeable sense of humor and pique. Besides the well-played crude humor, the ad touches on an important and growing trend in the retail sector: free shipping.
The campaign highlights Kmart’s partnership with Shop Your Way and seizes the shipping trend sweeping major e-retailers Amazon, Google and Walmart. Shipping is the lastest battleground for retail expansion as companies try to figure out how to make shopping experiences more seamless.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 06:36 PM
One more day of Martha Stewart on the stand in the Macy's-JCPenney trial over her brand and wares, and neither retailer may not want her anymore.
Testimony by the 71-year-old Diva of Domesticity on Tuesday at times sounded like something from Les Miserables or A Tale of Two Cities, leaving her views of the differences between Penney's and Macy's customers abundantly clear.
Penney customers "have 30 percent less income than Macy's shoppers," she said near the end of her testimony, according to the Twitter coverage from the courtroom by Ashley Lutz, who covers retail for Business Insider. "They're going to buy different things."
Not long after, a Macy's attorney in the landmark court case called her out for saying that JCP has different customers than Macy's, the lawyer noting that the Macy's contract prohibited her brand from collaborating with "downscale" partners, presumably because it would tarnish the value of the Stewart marque for Macy's.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2013 09:01 AM
AIG considers suing U.S. government despite federal bailout aid.
J&J sells Roloaids brand to Sanofi.
Samsung caps best year ever.
ABC spurs questions for marketers with move of Jimmy Kimmel's show.
Apple sees CEO Tim Cook make second visit to China as mainland footprint doubles.
Bacardi snaps up St-Germain liqueur brand.
Bank of America extends retreat from mortgages.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 09:02 AM
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! Businesses prepare for Black Friday rush as record number of US retailers (including strike-threatened Walmart, Kmart, Target and Toys R Us opening on Thanksgiving) and consumer sentiment remains "shaky." Google notes American Thanksgiving with homepage logo nod to Macy's parade (above) and a round-up of holiday links.
Apple must disclose HTC deal to Samsung.
BBC praised for appointing outsider — Royal Opera House CEO Tony Hall — as director general.
BlackBerry 10 prep revs up RIM outlook.
Coca-Cola enters F1 with Burn energy drink brand sponsoring the Lotus racing team.
GE retired CEO Jack Welch "unretirement" makes cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.Continue reading...