Walmart Digs Deeper to Boost Consumer Spending—and Quell Critics

Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 06:17 PM

With American consumers still proving reluctant to open their pocketbooks too wide, Walmart is trying still harder to make it easier for them to spend by introducing free layaway for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

On the sales floor, Walmart and its competitors could be doing much better as they fret the slow pace of back-to-school sales and the implications for the Christmas-shopping season. The chain's second-quarter comp-store sales slipped by 0.3 percent and it's predicting relatively flat third-quarter comps, even while there are a few other signs of continued but slow economic recovery in the United States.

So heading into the year's most important spending season, Walmart is taking no chances. Its new layaway program eliminates last year's $5 fee for opening a new account, though it restores a $10 cancellation fee that Walmart had dropped last year.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Budweiser, Weather Channel, Hyundai and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2012 09:01 AM

AB InBev sees continuing market-share losses by Budweiser in U.S.

Weather Channel hopes to maintain Sandy ad dollars.

Hyundai and Kia take hits on EPA mileage claims.

Amazon gets major push-back from traditional booksellers.

Best Buy may be facing existential questions soon.

Boeing to get big helicopter order from India.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JPMorgan, Ikea, Nokia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 10, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

Coursera roars into BRIC countries with online classes.

ESPN introduces campaign that focuses on value of Monday Night Football.

Facebook HQ gets a Main Street.

Goldman Sachs escapes U.S. charges in mortgage crisis.

Ikea values its brand at $11 billion.

JCPenney reports loss, raising more questions about strategy.

JPMorgan Chase outlines damages from "London Whale" trading blunder.Continue reading...


Turkey Trot: Retailers Lure Consumers from Turkey Stupor to Stores

Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2011 11:01 AM

Just what America needs: Along with our pumpkin pie and cranberries at Thanksgiving, trystophan-induced naps and too much football, now folks can start shopping before the last leftover stuffing is consumed as a midnight snack. This year, sales-starved merchants hope to lure bargain-hunting shoppers from the boredom induced by too much home, hearth and family by throwing open their doors before the clock strikes midnight.

But there does seem to be increasing resistance to the idea of a Black Thursday and shopping on Thanksgiving as an appetizer to Black Friday, the day after Thanskgiving that is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days in the U.S.

From Target employees to a mini-resistance movement that has been gaining voice in social media, it may be that we're not quite ready to give up Thanksgiving night just to get door-buster deals a few hours earlier than the early-morning openings on Friday that have sufficed until now.

Reportedly, more than 9,000 Target employees have signed a petition asking the chain's headquarters to wait until 5 a.m. on Black Friday to open the stores instead of the currently planned midnight opening. "We don't mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far," the creator of the petition, a Target employee in Nebraska, told CBS.Continue reading...

The ‘K’ Word and Penney’s Future

Posted by Dale Buss on June 21, 2011 02:00 PM

Much of the analysis of J.C. Penney’s announcement of a new CEO has missed the point. Some pundits have wondered aloud whether former Apple retailing chief Ron Johnson can remake Penney’s into a bricks-and-mortar “killer app” as he did with Apple’s stores. Others have expressed hope that a Johnson-led reinvention of Penney’s could help revive American department stores in general. In any event, investors bid up J.C. Penney stock by 18 percent after Penney wooed Johnson from Apple.

Unfortunately for Penney, its real difficulty isn’t competition from the internet, confused leadership, the general decline of the American department store, or even the poor example of “revival” that has been provided by a similar venerable yet troubled retailing brand, Sears.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Kindle, DirecTV, Snackwells and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 21, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Amazon, Costco and Kohls top US brand-loyalty ranking as Amazon’s Kindle expands to offer e-books from libraries.

BP includes Halliburton in round of lawsuits on one-year anniversary of Gulf disaster.

Boeing to fight order to move some 787 production.

Chesapeake Energy suffers blowout on anniversary of BP oil spill.

DirecTV plan for early viewing of new movies at home draws criticism from filmmakers.

Fiat moves to raise Chrysler ownership to near half.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Toyota, Amazon and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Google may be the target of a Us antitrust probe,  as brand's bid for Nortel’s patent assets coincides with Larry Page’s first day back as CEO.

Japan sets new radiation safety level for seafood after nuclear plant spews highly contaminated water into sea as Tepco shares plunge to record low. Also, Toyota reports misunderstanding over US impact and Honda targets rise in US sales but faces supply restrictions.

Amazon, Costco and Kohls are top brands for customer service in a new survey

BAT to develop “safer” nicotine products for long-term use. 

Boeing and Southwest deal with aftermath of fuselage tear.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: A&P, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2010 09:00 AM

In the News

A&P files for bankruptcy.

Amazon reveals holiday boom in Kindle sales.

Apple reveals its top-selling apps of the year.

Buick underwrites travel series on MSN.

BYD seeks to charge up its U.S. business.

Carlsberg innovates global growth.

Coca-Cola and Apple lead global “word-of-mouth” brands.

Coty and L’Oreal snap up prominent local brands in China.Continue reading...

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