Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 18, 2013 01:56 PM
In the marathon called the holiday shopping season, retailers are pulling out all the stops in the final lap.
Already under fire for preempting Black Friday by opening their doors on Thanksgiving, some retailers are now staying open every day, all day and all night, until Christmas. Kohl's, for example, will open at 6 a.m. on Friday, December 20 and operate until 6 p.m. on Christmas eve—111 hours straight of being available to holiday shoppers. Toys R Us will follow a similar pattern, opening at 6 a.m. on Saturday, December 21 and remaining open until 9 p.m. on December 24. The toy chain's Times Square location in New York City has already been open for 24 hours since December 1.
One reason for this madness: The holiday shopping season is protracted, thanks to Thanksgiving being late this year. "There's no question that the shortened holiday season has put both retailers and consumers in a rush to make the most out of the time that's left before the big day," Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, told The Huffington Post. According to the Federation, as of December 9, half of consumers still have their holiday shopping left to do, while a Consumer Reports poll indicated that nearly a third of American shoppers had yet to buy their holiday gifts.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 26, 2013 09:22 AM
Just launched: Interbrand IQ - BRIC and Beyond
Coach moves into 'lifestyle' territory with opening of new flagship store in New York.
H&M aims to pay living wage for garment workers.
23andMe ordered to "discontinue marketing" DNA tests by FDA.
Anschutz Entertainment ousts CEO of concert promoter AEG Live.
Books-A-Million unveils book publishing on demand.
Chivas Regal runs first-ever branded web-video series.
Diageo set to sell most of Whyte & Mackay brand.
El Al launches low-cost airline 'Up.'
Godiva meets Chinese flavor demands.
Google tightens security to prevent government data snooping.
Hyundai's 2015 Genesis aims to burnish brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 22, 2013 09:14 AM
IKEA under investigation in France for snooping on workers.
Walgreens opens nation's first energy-net-zero retail store.
Microsoft heats up gaming-console wars with debut of Xbox One.
Air New Zealand launches "Middle Earth" campaign tied to release of The Hobbit movie.
Acer brings back founder without pay to help struggling PC maker.
Amazon amps up for winning holiday as executive predicts quantum leap in online alcohol sales.
Apple wins a patent retrial against Samsung.
Bauer Media launches digital brand aimed at wealthy young women.
Beam and Cinnabon to introduce co-branded vodka.
Caterpillar is probed for possibly dumping parts in the ocean.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2013 05:07 PM
JCPenney finally reported seeing a silver lining in its financial results. Which is only appropriate, considering that the brand also released its new, glittery holiday advertising campaign, the first national effort under new CMO Debra Berman.
The beleaguered chain reported a wider third-quarter loss than a year ago, but investors cheered the results nonetheless, sending JCPenney stock higher on Wednesday. That was because, while the company nearly quadrupled its quarterly losses, part of it was the toll necessary for JCPenney to continue to reverse many of the huge changes to its marketing, merchandising, product and promotion policies and programs under former CEO Ron Johnson, who was ousted last spring.
Besides, JCPenney's first monthly same-store sales gain in nearly two years came in October. That meant the brand finally may be stanching the bleeding of the last two years. Quarterly revenues still dipped by nearly 5 percent for the retailer, but executives were able to report that the defection of customers and loyalty to the brand may finally have bottomed out during the period.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 19, 2013 11:36 AM
Target is hoping you have a holly, jolly, CIA espionage Christmas.
With the holiday selling season looking to be one of the most cutthroat in memory, is it any surprise that one of the biggest names in retail is turning to an ex-CIA covert specialist?
"I really don’t know a thing about merchandising, but I do have a son. They convinced me that a lot of the skills I acquired over the years could help moms treat Christmas like a covert operation," former CIA operative, Jonna Mendez, said in a recent interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Mendez—a career "Chief of Disguise" for the CIA—will be dispensing advice on Target's sub-site Abullseyeview.com on how her “years spent as a top-secret agent" can benefit parents looking for the perfect Christmas gift.
Target's hiring of Mendez may be a genuine attempt to find new sales tactics amid a grim consumer spending outlook, or it might just be a PR stunt to attract coverage like the Star-Tribune's. After all, the list of shopping tips "from the super sleuth" seem to stem a lot more from Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective than from the bowels of Langley, Va.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2013 09:14 AM
Forbes explores sale of 96-year-old magazine.
GM recalls Chevrolet Malibu for two defects as it plans to end brand confusion between Chevy and Opel in Europe and expects to get a leg up with 4G push.
Sony sells more than 1 million PS4s in first 24 hours.
Lily Allen's fashion brand goes into liquidation.
Apple reportedly acquires PrimeSense for $345 million.
BMW pioneers use of carbon fiber in i3.
Bacardi focuses on its brand resilience in new campaign.
Bloomberg makes newsroom cuts.
Boeing gets $95 billion in orders for new jet from Middle Eastern airllines.
China Airlines of Taiwan joins low-cost aviation market.
Cracker Barrel is too confusing to appear in supermarket for now, judge rules.
Daimler sets to take stake in Beijing Auto.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2013 04:55 PM
What happens when commerce trumps tradition? A lot of angry consumers (and employees).
That's what major retailers Kmart, Macy's, Walmart, Kohl's and others are finding out as they continue to blur the line between the Thanksgiving holiday and the major shopping event that is Black Friday. Kmart has put itself in the line of fire as it recently announced that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open for 41 straight hours through 11 p.m. Friday. Sears, too, will open up at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through Friday, while Macy's bowed under pressure and for the first time, will open its US stores on Thanksgiving evening. Last year, Target fielded a steady stream of backlash after announcing it would open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
The trend is no doubt a reaction to the sluggish retail market as brands fear the lack of spending will continue through the 2013 holiday season. Brands are so worried, in fact, that they are not only launching their holiday campaigns early, but also their special holiday deals. Walmart kicked off its online promotion last week—one month earlier than usual.
But their concerns aren't unfounded. A National Foundation for Credit Counseling poll found that 53 percent of shoppers plan to spend less on holiday gift giving this year than they did in 2012, with one-third planning to spend nothing and only 3 percent intending to spend more.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 04:13 PM
Brands are—forgive the pun—warming to solar power. Retail brands, in particular, according to the latest report from the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association, which names Walmart, Costco, Kohl's, Apple and IKEA as its top five "solar champions" in the U.S., as ranked by installed capacity.
Their respective retail footprints are using stores' huge rooftop spaces to expand into solar. Walmart, as the biggest U.S. retailer, leads the pack in the race for commercial solar power, "converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states," as Bloomberg puts it. The retail giant has partnered with SolarCity to install solar power at 60 stores in California, part of a company-wide goal to equip 130 stores, or 75% of its stores in the state, with the renewable form of energy.
Apple, which recently hired former EPA head Lisa Jackson as its first VP of environment initiatives to spur its goal of 100 percent renewable energy, is building utility-scale solar projects next to its data centers in partnership with SunPower. The sustainability moves advance the companies' environmental, and financial, goals—naturally.Continue reading...