Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2013 12:08 PM
American consumers may have a hitch in their gait and feel worn down, but they're still arguably the most reliable engine powering the global economy these days. The latest example comes from Rolls-Royce: U.S. luxury customers returned to their previous status as the world's largest market for one of the ultimate brands in automobiles last year, overtaking China as sales growth cooled there.
Overall, the luxury brand reported great news for 2012: It was a record year for Rolls-Royce Motor Car vehicles, with worldwide sales rising to 3,575 units. It was its third straight year of global growth, with the only negative that sales rose only by one percent, a growth rate much slower than the previous two years.
But considering that Rolls-Royce — like other auto-luxury brands — was battling a cooling of the market in China, a challenging European market and continued pressure on upscale buyers in the United States, the 2012 performance was satisfying enough to Rolls-Royce brass. "We had an outstanding year in spite of the challenges we faced, and Rolls-Royce now leads the ultra luxury market by some considerable margin," CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos said, according to Reuters.
"We are the pinnacle of all luxury brands in the world," he told CNBC. "We are interested in constant growth over the years to come, but sustainable growth." Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 20, 2012 02:16 PM
The ‘Nokia Gift Machine’ is open for business at the Nokia store in Dubai's Mall of the Emirates. How it works: Check-in on Foursquare to find its location and see what the machine offers, with instant prizes so far including movie tickets, chocolates, accessories and Nokia devices, which drop out of the bottom of the machine.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2012 10:10 AM
Plenty of sports teams invite fans to come watch them train, travel with them to away games, or come play ball with some of the players who were second-stringers way back when, but the Real Madrid soccer team in Spain is going way further than that.
The team has announced that it is constructing a $1 billion amusement-filled vacation resort and theme park on a manmade island in the United Arab Emirates that will be shaped like the team’s emblem and is slated to open in January 2015.
The club's management team told the press that they're confident it's "an emotional place for an emotional brand" — and a smart business extension that will satisfy hardcore fans and prove to be a 'real' money-maker. Critics aren't so convinced.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2012 09:58 AM
All you people drinking coffee in India should keep track of your cups. Drink enough of the stuff and you might earn yourself a free flight.
Indian Express reports that the country's top airline, Jet Airways, and #1 coffee chain, Barista Lavazza, have partnered up on a new loyalty program, JetPrivilege, that allows members to earn air miles from coffee purchase. For every 100 rupees spent, members earn five miles.
"Opportunities to engage with premium brands are of huge value to us,” said Jet chief commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan. “It means we can go above and beyond guest expectations, providing them with a number of value-added services. Given Jet's extensive route network and the high propensity of its guests to travel, it is a natural partner for a brand like Barista."
Barista has more than 160 cafes in India and also has locations in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. "Partnering with Jet is part of the larger strategy that Barista wishes to follow with an aim to ensuring customer delight," Barista Lavazza chief operating officer Nilanjan Bhattacharya added. Now bring on the caffeine and start racking up miles!
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2012 04:02 PM
Coke and Pepsi have irked the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Economy to the extend that the country has kicked their soda cans from local store shelves, according to GulfNews.com.
At issue: UAE officials claim that the two cola companies reduced the size of their cans that sell for 1.50 Dirham (41 cents) and continued charging the same amount without informing consumers, which the UAE's consumer watchdogs sees as tantamount to "consumer fraud."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 30, 2011 03:56 PM
There is still plenty of debate over just what is OK to do with an American flag and what’s not. Cutting it when it’s a cake? Putting it in doormat or napkin form where it will get soiled? And, of course, the big whopper of American-flag questions: is it cool to burn the thing?
While those debates may rage for eternity in America’s dorm rooms and statehouses, it is likely becoming extremely clear to the folks at German shoe and sportswear company Puma that one country that doesn’t like to have its flag put anywhere else than on a flagpole is the United Arab Emirates.
CNN reports that Puma has put out a new limited-edition shoe that features the UAE flag in honor of the nation’s 40th birthday on Dec. 2 and citizens are not loving the concept.
“Puma should have borne in mind the cultural sensitivities of the people of the UAE,” Abdullah K, an Emirati professional, told CNN’s Inside the Middle East blog. “The flag is a very sacred symbol for the UAE. It cannot be trivialized, especially not as footwear.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 29, 2011 11:00 AM
Unions and shareholders alike aren't happy with Carrefour, the second-largest retailer in the world behind Walmart.
The Financial Times reports (sub. req.) that shareholders gave the go-ahead to sell Dia, its "hard discount" chain of stores, “at a stormy meeting where directors were grilled about the French group’s plans to transform its operations in Europe, and unions protested outside.”
At the same meeting, the chairman of the company, Amaury de Sèze, announced that he’s turning over his spot at the top of the org chart to chief executive Lars Olofsson.
Dia will go up for sale July 5, the Times reports. Carrefour also announced a rebranding of its branded stores in the United Arab Emirates.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 27, 2011 11:00 AM
Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi, means "The Source" in Arabic. It's also not, technically, a city.
Masdar is a "cleantech cluster," and a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company — itself a division of the Mubadala Development Company, an Abu Dhabi government initiative "that seeks to be a catalyst for the economic diversification of the Emirate."Continue reading...