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Five Questions: Staples Co-Founder Myra Hart on the Retail Opportunity

Posted by brandchannel on February 6, 2015 02:45 PM

Dr. Myra Hart is a pioneer and a leader in retail, having co-founded Staples in 1985.

Prior to creating Staples, which made news this week by acquiring Office Depot, she was Director of Marketing for Star Market, a division of Jewel Companies. She also has written several books, taught MBA and executive programs, and leads initiatives focusing on female entrepreneurship. She has served as Entrepreneurship Chair at the Harvard Business School, where she is a faculty member, and is a director of several public and private companies including Kraft Foods Inc. and Nina McLemore, Inc.

She recently spoke at Interbrand’s New York office and chatted with Josh Feldmeth, CEO of Interbrand North America, about the creation of the Staples brand, the opportunity for retailers and the role of physical brick-and-mortar stores in the post-Amazon world. Here is an excerpt from their conversation:Continue reading...


Staples and Office Depot Join Forces, But Will Their Merger Be 'Easy'?

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2015 04:04 PM

You're no doubt familiar with the red "easy" button that Staples used as a branding device a few years ago? It might as well be a panic button, now that Staples is buying Office Depot, joining forces to avoid being overwhelmed by changes in the office products industry—and competition from online retailers.

"This is a transformational acquisition which enables Staples to provide more value to customers, and more effectively compete in a rapidly evolving competitive environment," stated Staples CEO Ron Sargent, about the $6.3 billion deal.

Mass market retailers such as Walmart and Target have been aggressively pursuing their business, while the loss of foot traffic at brick-and-mortar office supply stores has been steep. And although both Staples (America's biggest stationery seller) and Office Depot (which acquired OfficeMax in 2013) have mounted huge and highly credible efforts to capture as much online business as possible, Amazon is making a strong run at them.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Staples, Amazon, Alibaba and More

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2015 09:45 AM


Staples buys Office Depot for $6 billion (pending regulatory approval) as Amazon opens first physical store at Purdue, gets knocked off #1 spot on Harris corporate reputation ranker (by Wegmans), launches Kindle app to convert paper books into digital and speculation continues about RadioShack interest.

Alibaba flies drones over Beijing as Amazon pleads for US tests and Yahoo includes small business unit in Alibaba spinoff. 

Apple sees first Apple Watch app for Tesla Model S, as speculation flies about electric-car ambitions and interest in street-mapping technology.

Pepsi will launch 100-day "Out of the Blue" campaign at the Grammy Awards.

Under Armour acquires fitness apps to launch "world's largest" digital health community.Continue reading...


RadioShack Teeters, Setting Stage for Amazon Battle With Staples and Office Depot

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 3, 2015 04:45 PM

Amazon has long been a disruptor of the business world. First it was the books business and then, well, it was nearly everything else. The Seattle-based retail site has been dismantling brick-and-mortar retailers for years. Now it may be actually getting into the brick-and-mortar business itself.

That move has been rumored for some time but now Bloomberg reports that Amazon may buy some of the stores from RadioShack, now that that long-suffering business is said to be close to filing for bankruptcy.

The struggling brand's massive footprint of stores, while not all in ideal locations, would be a place to show off Amazon hardware such as its Fire smartphone and be a drop-off and pickup spot for folks who order from Amazon.com—who may be notified by app when ready.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Amazon, RadioShack, Staples, Netflix and More

Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2015 09:26 AM


Amazon reportedly negotiating to buy select RadioShack store locations (while Sprint may take over other RadioShack locations in co-branding deal) as Staples and Office Depot are also reported to be in advanced talks to merge.

Netflix prices $1.5 billion in debt to fund original content and programming.

Google is developing its own ride-sharing competitor to Uber, Bloomberg reports, as Uber moves to open research center for self-driving cars.

NBC saw Super Bowl shatter viewing record as online streaming also proved popular and Big Game ad sales soared

Apple localizes its advertising for Chinese New Year.Continue reading...


As Target and Fellow Retailers Shrink, their Challenges Grow

Posted by Bill Chidley on February 2, 2015 04:15 PM

Of the 15 new stores Target plans to open in 2015, the majority will be the smaller format TargetExpress and CityTarget stores. Meanwhile, Walmart, Office Depot and Best Buy are also adding smaller format stores to their fleets.

This makes a lot of sense for retailers that have maxed out their suburban presence and are looking to urban areas to add stores. Expanding into underserved markets is a business basic, even if those opportunities can seem few and far between.

But the challenges of being small are not small. Unlike Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, which can build stores within throwing distances of current locations without cannibalization, these larger retailers face a different “zero sum” marketplace. More locations do not translate to more consumption—or sales.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: #JeSuisCharlie, Samsung, Tesco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2015 09:14 AM

Je Suis Charlie


Charlie Hebdo continues publishing in wake of terror attack as #JeSuisCharlie nears 3 million Tweets in global protest.

Samsung reveals first annual profit fall in three years, as brand pivots at CES to embrace Internet of Things to recharge its growth.

Sony delays sale of PlayStation 4 in China as CEO speaks at CES to affirm strategy and hack more firmly linked to North Korea by FBI.

Cadillac to stage brand comeback during the Oscars, which is launching its own $5.5 million social media campaign.

Tesco's turnaround plan: halting store openings and slashing branded products.Continue reading...


Macy's Boosts Holiday Shoppers' Mobile Savvy with Google and Apple

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2014 02:56 PM

Nothing says holiday shopping like "immediate gratification." That's why Macy's is ready to roll out a proximity-marketing platform in partnership with Google that will lead shoppers to the specific item they're seeking—and also will offer suggestions about merchandise in their local Macy's that consumers may not be thinking about, Ad Age reports.

"We have seen encouraging results" from the program that Google and Macy's began testing about a year ago in San Francisco, Jennifer Kasper, group vice president of digital media and multicultural marketing at Macy's, told Ad Age. Shoppers "can go into a physical store and have immediate gratification."

Google's expanding roll-out of its proximity-marketing platform, Nearby, echoes Apple's iBeacon rollout and the Continuity platform for Android devices. The basic idea is to tap into the marketing and sales possibilities of using GPS, in-store "beacons" and other devices to give consumers promotional stimuli at times that it can be most effective: While they're in or near retail stores.Continue reading...

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