Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 9, 2013 02:06 PM
Hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert has made enough smart choices to become a billionaire, but one decision has surely been haunting him for some time now. When he decided to combine Kmart and Sears back in 2005 for $11 billion, there was no way he’d know that it would mean a continued downward spiral for his new company.
After all, Sears and Kmart were once retail titans. Now they are slowly being crushed by the likes of Walmart, Target, and online retailers of all stripes.
Sears, of course, has been doing all it can to survive. The company has tested localized personal shopping, taken its in-house brands – Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard – out of house, sold its Canadian real-estate holdings in October for $383 million, and even set up a whole section on its website using “undead” models to appeal to younger consumers. But nothing has turned it around.
Now Sears Holdings will follow through on an idea it floated back in October: spinning off clothing retailer Land’s End. According to the Chicago Tribune, the spinoff “will not raise cash for Sears but will allow Lampert to more efficiently chart a course for the two businesses, which compete for management time and capital within the Sears group.” Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2013 09:19 AM
American Airlines and US Airways set to take off as a new company after final Supreme Court action.
Audi saw 7-percent rise in November sales on China, US demand.
Chick-fil-A has been making "stealthful" health changes.
Compuware prompts joint bid by private-equity firms.
Domino's looks to India to supplant UK as second-largest market.
EADS to cut 6,000 jobs, report says.
Fiat sets to invest $12 billion in brand and plant revival, report says.
Google, Microsoft lead group of tech giants urging limits on government surveillance.
GM pares production in problematic South Korea and Australia markets. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 09:14 AM
Sears files to spin off Lands' End as company's struggles disenchant investors.
Nike features Man-U's Wayne Rooney in ads for new soccer ball as spokesman LeBron James hinders efforts to market his own new shoe.
Spotify introduces free mobile music service.
Dell offers employee buyouts to cut costs.
Electronic Arts refocuses to fix Battlefield bugs.
Ford pulls off lavish global launch of new Mustang and promises a convertible too, while company scion says CEO Alan Mulally isn't leaving next year.
GM may pull production out of Australia soon.
Hershey introduces Jolly Rancher in India.
Honda uses dealer cash incentives to push for better December than last year.
JCPenney discloses SEC peek into its finances.
Jaguar Land Rover plans Brazil output beginning in 2016.
NBC surveys feedback on The Sound of Music live telecast that featured tight integration with Walmart ads.
Nestle continues streamlining with sale of 10-percent stake in Givaudan flavor house.
Nissan crafts promotional car-design experience based on digital goggles.
Quiznos slows into a financial crisis.
Tesla dodges bullet aimed at its plan to sell in Ohio.
Unilever plans to cut SKUs by up to 30 percent and slash marketing headcount by 12 percent.
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 September 23, 2013 09:25 AM
Tesco launches own-brand tablet, Hudl.
Apple sells nine million new iPhones on first weekend, and is named the UK's coolest brand.
Netflix picks up first Emmy.
American Airlines, US Airways extend merger termination date in light of upcoming trial.
BlackBerry explores taking company private and bets future business on services as it haults BBM roll out for iOS and Android.
Bruegger's and Caribou co-brand in growth effort.
Chanel named coolest fashion brand by UK survey.
Darden Restaurant Group makes job cuts.
ESPN launches new ad campaign for SportsCenter.
Fiat plans to buy GM share of their diesel joint venture.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 30, 2012 08:56 AM
Apple grapples with Foxconn labor audit.
BP says Gulf oil spill was smaller than claimed.
Best Buy reboots big-box format.
BlackBerry owner RIM sees former co-CEO depart amid $125 million loss, trims exec staff, and explores strategic options including sale of Canada's troubled smartphone-maker.
Burger King sells 278 restaurants to biggest franchisee; tests new menu items; cedes U.S. crown to Wendy's; and brings lamb burgers to the U.K.
CBS and Turner boost digital ad sales through March Madness.
Chrysler unveils new spots to follow Super Bowl's "Halftime in America" commercial with Clint Eastwood.
Daimler and BYD announce Denza, a new EV auto brand for China.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 24, 2012 02:02 PM
Pinterest, the virtual pin board at the crossroads of social and style, covered here in December when the buzz was reaching fever pitch, has burgeoned into a marketplace for consumer brands, offering a visual and demonstrable platform for engagement.
A wide range of major brands are using Pinterest to engage fans through social curation and as an online focus group to see what clicks with consumers, including:Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 20, 2011 11:13 AM
Brand marketers should be paying attention to Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board with a social layer that lets users 'pin up' their interests, inspirations and what inspires them. It's a community network model emerging from the digital ooze that begets innovation as it's bubbling up from a grassroots embrace.
Tech Crunch wrote, "Pinterest Joins Twitter And Facebook As The Newest Self-Expression Engine," while ReadWriteWeb’s take, "User experience, a clean retro visual design, content curation, social collaboration and subscription: those are the things that Pinterest is leveraging to gain a lot of traction and buzz."
Traffic for the beta invite-only community, which launched in March 2010, reached 421 million page views in October, usurping the territory of that craft sites like Etsy established, and publishers and marketers are taking note. Brands on board include Etsy, Nordstrom, Lands' End and Time Inc.Continue reading...