retail

Target CEO Vows Return to "Tarjay" While Home Depot Battles Data Breach

Posted by Dale Buss on September 10, 2014 03:17 PM

Target's new CEO, Brian Cornell, has decided to go back to the future to retool the retailing brand while Home Depot CEO Frank Blake has to hope that he can see something other than Target in the crystal ball for his own brand, as Home Depot deals with a potentially mammoth data breach.

Target suffered a debilitating customer-data breach nearly a year ago, but the brand clearly was having problems before that. The biggest: Former CEO Gregg Steinhafel had allowed Target to drift away from a distinct identity as the au courant mass merchandiser whose chic apparel and homewear designs elevated it above price-first rivals such as Walmart and dollar stores. Steinhafel instead added a greater variety of goods and focused on grocery expansion.

Now, with Steinhafel gone, PepsiCo veteran Cornell is only a month into his job but told the Wall Street Journal that he has one major strategy planned: return to the narrower range of categories where the chain originally made its reputation as "Tarjay," including fashion and furniture, as well as expand fast-growing other segments including organic foods and children's wear.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

One Million Strong: At Warby Parker, CSR and the Bottom Line See Eye to Eye

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 25, 2014 04:38 PM

Warby Parker announced today that it has sold—and distributed—1 million pairs of glasses through its one-for-one model, a mode of conscious retail that has since spread like wildfire after startups like TOMS Shoes and Warby made it mainstream.  

But the brand's CSR-driven business strategy is only one part of its extraordinary success in the retail eyewear market that's dominated by large-scale, big name distributors. Warby instead redesigned the online retail experience to be a seamless bridge between in-store interaction and online convenience, allowing in-home try-ons free of charge and bargain prices for trendy frames. 

"It's sort of those moments that we find just win people over and generate good will, so that they're likely to tell their friends about us," co-founder Neil Blumenthal told Fast Company. "... Our business model is designed to make people happy. Whether it's selling a $500 product for $95 or having a human being answer the phone within six seconds when you call."Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Warby Parker Gives Transparent Look Through Its Lenses with Interactive Annual Report

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2014 11:47 AM

Online eyewear retailer Warby Parker is keeping up its reputation for disruptive innovation—first in eyewear e-commerce and now in its annual report, whose third rendition recounts every single day at the company in the last year.  

Like a virtual advent calendar, the interactive report lets users choose any day in 2013 and see what was accomplished that day, such as: Aug. 12, the release of its first commercial; May 24, when half the inventory for a new collection was delivered to the wrong address; and July 9, when the company counted that it has given away 500,000 pairs of glasses since its launch in 2010.

The entire report was put together in-house and originally inspired by one of the company’s junior designers. "He put together an infographic of his personal life in the past year and we thought, wow, that's really interesting,” co-founder Neil Blumenthal told Ad Age.Continue reading...

retail

Lululemon Turns a New Page with Wilson Out of the Captain's Chair

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2013 10:14 AM

Despite a firestorm of criticism over a product recall, management shake-ups, and inappropriate comments from its eccentric founder, upscale athletic fashion retailer Lululemon Athletica recently reported increased profits and revenue in the third quarter. 

The Vancouver-based company most known for its yoga apparel said profits rose 15 percent to $66.1 million, or 45 cents per share, for the three-month period ending Nov. 3. Revenues climbed to $379.9 million from $316.5 million for the quarter, beating expectations of $374.6 million. But the company's recovery may come to a halt next quarter, with projections for same-store sales coming in flat—collateral from a year of struggle for the company. 

Perhaps a holiday blessing for Lululemon will be the pending departure of outspoken, controversial founder Dennis J. Wilson, known as Chip, who will be stepping down as chairman of the board, though he'll remain a member.

Wilson most recently ignited a firestorm after telling Bloomberg TV in November that "some women's bodies just actually don't work," for the company's famed yoga pants, the focus of a March recall that shed a spotlight on the company's flawed supply chain and quality control issues. Wilson's comments irritated an already inflamed sentiment that the company neglected plus-size women—an issue that it has yet to address.Continue reading...

contrabrand

With the Holiday Shopping Season Comes Crackdowns on Counterfeit Goods

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 5, 2013 10:52 AM

Cyber Monday is an opportunity for legitimate online merchants to capitalize on the holiday shopping season—but it's also a time when a slew of websites look to sell consumers counterfeit goods. Online and offline scammers sell about $250 billion of fake brand name items annually in the US alone, with the design and fashion industries particularly hard hit. 

This past Cyber Monday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worked together with European and Hong Kong authorities to seize some 700 websites, 297 of them based in the US, that were selling counterfeit goods. It is the fourth year that such sites have been targeted on Cyber Monday.

ICE Acting Director John Sandweg said, "Working with our international partners on operations like this shows the true global impact of IP [Intellectual Property] crime," in a press release. "Counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday season and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere. Consumers need to protect themselves, their families, and their personal financial information from the criminal networks operating these bogus sites."Continue reading...

doing good

Shoe Business: TOMS Raises Awareness in Europe

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 12:32 PM

TOMS Europe is raising money for the Get It Done charity with a customized shoe auction. Become a fan of TOMS Europe on Facebook to learn more: www.facebook.com/TOMSeurope

doing good

FEED Bags Clarins Partnership

Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 5, 2011 12:30 PM

Lauren Bush's FEED USA campaign, which raises money to improve school food programs across America, last crossed our transom when it produced "Made in USA" bags for Gap that turned out to be made in China, and Gap duly apologized for the gaffe.

Now another retailer, Nordstrom, is offering an exclusive FEED bag, to support the activist's (that's her at right) global FEED Projects program, with French beauty brand Clarins on board.

This bag, dubbed FEED 15, is a makeup bag rather than a tote bag, however. It contains Clarins body lotion, hand cream and lip gloss and will be available for $30 starting July 15th at Nordstrom and on the FEED web store and starting August 1st at Clarins.com.

To extend the exclusivity even further, in October, Bloomingdale's will offer a similar FEED 25 bag. The "15" and "25" on the bags indicate the number of children fed around the world with the purchase of each bag, according to WWD.Continue reading...

doing good

TOMS Sees Hope by Expanding Brand to Eyewear

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 7, 2011 05:00 PM

As we previewed yesterday, the TOMS Shoes brand is shirking off "Shoes" to become just TOMS. Blake Mycoskie and his employees, featured in the big reveal video above, will continue to sell their simple but distinctive cloth shoes, but now they're expanding into a second product line: eyewear.

Similar to its "one for one" BOGO (buy one, give one) model that saw its millionth pair of shoes donated to a child in a developing country late last year, TOMS is expanding its brand to give the gift of sight to those in need, as TOMS transforms from "just a shoe brand" to a truly one-for-one brand.Continue reading...

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