in the spotlight

Cat Cafés Offer Cuddling, Experiential Marketing to Feline-Loving Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2014 11:11 AM

The latest in adorable obsessions (and experiential marketing)? Cat cafés are spreading like wildfire.

The "paws marketing" concept began in Asia in the '90s as an antidote to small apartments with no-pet restrictions: Cafés that let customers interact with cats without making the long-term commitment of getting their own. Currently, the model has extended beyond Japan, South Korea and China to Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. The country's first permanent (vs. pop-up) cat cafés opened in New York City and the San Francisco, CA, area this fall.

At the just-opened Meow Parlour in New York's Lower East Side, cat lovers can schedule visits (advanced booking is required) in half-hour increments starting at $4. “You can rent time to access to our space, where we have adoptable free roaming cats. You can come for as little as half an hour so you can just pet the cats or stay for up to five hours where you can use our free wi-fi while a cat naps next to you,” the website says.

Co-founded by Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand, the café's cats are from KittyKind, an all-volunteer, no kill rescue group located in NYC. Human food can be purchased next door at Meow Parlour Patisserie.Continue reading...

doors of perception

Little Caesars Bakes Up Plans for New Headquarters In Detroit

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2014 03:06 PM

On the day that the city of Detroit climbed out of bankruptcy, one of the city's biggest backers gave Motown yet another vote of confidence. On Dec. 10, Little Caesars founder and CEO Mike Ilitch announced that his company, one of America's major pizza brands, would be building a brand-new, 205,000-square-foot, eight-story world headquarters on iconic Woodward Avenue in the entertainment district of downtown Detroit.

In fact, the new Little Caesars Global Resource Center will become Detroit's first newly constructed corporate headquarters building in more than a decade—and only the seventh since 1950.

The announcement was a welcome bit of news for Detroiters who have been gnashing their teeth in recent weeks over the news that Cadillac is leaving town to set up a new administrative and marketing headquarters in New York City. Cadillac also broke up with its Detroit-based ad agency, Lowe Campbell Ewald, whose offices are in the Ford Field complex and within hailing distance from where Little Caesars new headquarters will be.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Watch: Kevin Bacon Will Pitch Your Brand Thanks to Shop for Good

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 11, 2014 11:25 AM

If you haven't yet designed your own commercial with Kevin Bacon, give it a whirl—it's brought to you (and small business owners) by Shop for Good, in the spirit of supporting independent retailers this holiday season.

As FastCo Create notes, "Shop for Good facilitates stores sending a portion of customer purchases to a charity of their choosing, and in order to convince businesses to sign up" partnered with the actor (who's also pitching NYC's Food Bank) in a fun holiday campaign—because who doesn't love Bacon?

More details (and outtakes) below.Continue reading...

automotive

Cadillac CMO Takes On Detroit Critics In Charting New York Path for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2014 11:01 AM

Cadillac grill logo

Coming up on his first anniversary as chief marketing officer for Cadillac, Uwe Ellinghaus has faced some big challenges in his first year.

The latest is that self-described Cadillac purists and defenders of Detroit are taking offense at some of his comments about the brand, its future direction and the reasons Cadillac's brain trust is departing Motown for New York City's tony Soho neighborhood.

Ellinghaus fought through a lot to get even to this point. While sales for the make were sliding this year, GM management was distracted by its recall scandal, and Cadillac was essentially without an overall chief until the company poached Johan de Nysschen from Infiniti last summer.Continue reading...

retail

Amazon Pushes Deliveries From Bike to Home, From Restaurants to Drones

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 9, 2014 04:46 PM

Amazon is scaling the digital ramparts and making more inroads into the physical world in an effort to become the go-to delivery service—everywhere, any time, for everything.

Case in point: the e-commerce giant is testing bike messenger deliveries in New York City this holiday season, with the goal of delivering customers' orders within an hour. Dubbed Amazon Prime Now, trials are underway with at least three courier services to ascertain the speediest and most careful delivery to Amazon Prime customers. 

“During the trials, messengers are given an address and told to bike there within the allotted time," The Wall Street Journal reports. “Once they arrive, they are required to take a photograph of the building’s address and return to the ground floor of the Amazon building, which is referred to by bike messengers as “the base.””

Working out of the company's new 34th Street HQ in New York, the couriers are paid around $15 an hour and work eight-hour shifts.Continue reading...

retail

Digital Pop-Ups Bring Black Friday Shopping Into the Subway

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2014 05:02 PM

As Black Friday continues going global, the quest to make shoppers embrace online/offline omnichannel shopping this holiday is moving underground.

British retailer Argos, the UK's biggest High Street retailer online, has opened its first Underground store at London's Cannon Street Tube station as a click-and-collect depot during the holiday season in partnership with Transport for London (TfL).

The underground Argos Collect store offers access to 20,000 products, pitching convenience to time-pressed commuters, who make an average of 4.2 million journeys on the London Underground every day, with the enticing prospect that all products ordered by 1pm can be picked up on the go within hours.Continue reading...

retail

Nike Opens First Store for Women as Lululemon Readies First Men's Store

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 20, 2014 05:05 PM

Nike today opened its first women's-only store—in Newport Beach, Calif.—a week ahead of lululemon athletica opening its first men's-only store—on the opposite coast, in New York—on Black Friday.

The move makes sense given that Nike expects its women's business to grow to $7 billion annually by 2017, from about $5 billion currently.

Its second women’s-only store will follow quickly, opening on Nov. 29—not in the U.S. but in Shanghai, China, the only women's stores it has announced so far.Continue reading...

retail

Brands Anticipate 11/11 Singles Day Bonanza Thanks to Alibaba

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2014 03:59 PM

China's relatively new Singles Day e-commerce promotion on 11/11 has become the biggest shopping day worldwide, breaking more sales records each year since its inception.

Beginning in 2009 with 27 brands, the event was so big last year that banks were overwhelmed with transactions from Chinese retailers like Alibaba's Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com, which logged $5.75 billion in sales—more than twice what U.S. retailers made on Cyber Monday in 2013.

Now forecasters are calling for a sales haul that could surpass $8 billion worldwide, and 11/11 mania is spreading worldwide. Continue reading...

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