Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2013 07:48 PM
While the United States Postal Service is floundering, it apparently still has plenty of cash to fund a hefty contract that ensures mail is transferred between US airports. FedEx announced that it had won the bid to fly Express and Priority mail for the next seven years to the tune of $10.5 billion, despite some competition from UPS.
The new contract, which will begin in October, continues the previous relationship between the USPS and FedEx, and ultimately saves FedEx from another dip in profit and stocks.
“This contract win is a sorely needed shot in the arm for FedEx,” Justin Yagerman, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York told Bloomberg. FedEx shares have fallen 15 percent since its 2013 high on March 15. If that business had gone to UPS, the stock would have surely seen continued decline. Last year, FedEx received about $1.62 billion a year from USPS, while this new deal will see it receiving $1.5 billion. While the margins are lower, things could have been much worse.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 10, 2013 05:33 PM
Posting mail has traditionally been part of most national governments' service to citizens. But in an era when digital communication is out-pacing print, it is increasingly difficult to justify the cost of mail delivery service. The problems of the U.S. Postal Service are, of course, well known. Recently, the USPS said it would end Saturday delivery to save money, but just this week, it reversed that decision, saying a new Congressional budget would prevent the move—so its struggles continue unabated.
If you think the mail delivery problem is restricted to the U.S. Postal Service, take a look at Great Britain's hallowed institution, Royal Mail.
Royal Mail's origins pre-date the American Revolution. Royal Mail has been part of the fabric of British life, as visible and respected as, well, the Queen of England. The Royal Mail has always had an ironclad guarantee of reliability, value and mail delivery at the same price, regardless of where in the UK a person resides.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2013 01:33 PM
The same-day delivery battle just turned towards all-out war as Amazon, eBay and now Google enter the fray. Google is preparing to take on Amazon Prime, eBay Now and Postmates’ “Get It Now” with its own “Google Shopping Express.”
“In our competitive retail space, retailers that transform the shopping experience to hit on convenience, economics, exclusivity, and overall experience, will win over nearly every type of consumer—one exclusive product, deal, or delivery at a time.”
Google Shopping Express, which has yet to be launched, will be offered for a rumored $10 or $15 cheaper ($69 or $64 a year) than Amazon's Prime, with same-day delivery from brick-and-mortar stores including Target, Walmart, Walgreens and Safeway. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 02:02 PM
LIVESTRONG is still very much alive as it strives to move out from under the enormous shadow cast by its founder, disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.
A new brand refresh involving a new logo and addition of the word “Foundation” was revealed during the State of the Foundation address at the Livestrong Assembly last week in Chicago, expanding the “visual brand to show that the LIVESTRONG ethos—the belief in survivorship—is not abstract. Thousands of people and many critical programs are the “Foundation” beneath that ethos.”
“After its founder Lance Armstrong was publicly revealed to be a cheater, a liar, and a complete and utter d**khead,” comments Mediabistro, “it was hard to believe the LIVESTRONG foundation would survive the fall-out. After all the charity, which aims to provide free cancer support services for those battling the disease, had its brand so tied to Armstrong’s own story that when Armstrong lost all credibility, it seemed like he would take LIVESTRONG down with him.”
The disgraced cyclist had his seven Tour de France victories wiped from the record books, may be stripped of the Legion d'Honneur and faces being deposed in several pending cases which altogether leave him liable for more than $100 million.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2013 12:41 PM
The old adage about mail being delivered whether there is rain, sleet or snow doesn't cover whether the letter carrier makes appointed rounds if the Postal Service is losing billions of dollars.
The USPS, of course, has announced that as of August, Americans won’t be getting deliveries on Saturdays, due to the service losing $1.3 billion in the final quarter of 2012. (Holiday mailings were expected to stave off such massive losses.) and $16 billion in its previous fiscal year. (Esquire has an expansive piece out this month looking at the service's wide-ranging woes.)
No hint of the service's troubles seems apparent on its Facebook page, which announces "6-Day Package/5-Day Mail Delivery" in a manner that almost seems to suggest it's an improvement. It also calls itself "the largest, most efficient postal company in the world" (with a retail network that is "larger than McDonald's, Starbucks and Wal-mart combined") and reminds Americans that a stamp that costs 46 cents in the U.S. is priced at an average of 93 cents elsewhere in the world.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2013 04:40 PM
The Lance Armstrong saga is turning into a miniseries.
The OWN Network announced Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey's interview with the tarnished cyclist, taped on Monday in Austin, Tex., will air over two nights — Thursday and Friday — instead of one.
Winfrey calls her "no-holds barred" interview the biggest of her career "in terms of its exposure."
During the interview, Armstrong is said to confess to Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. Both he and Winfrey have not spoken publicly about the specific details revealed, but Winfrey told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday: "By the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it."Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 22, 2012 10:01 AM
It took years of work and sacrifice to win seven straight Tours de France, but it only took a minute for all seven to be taken off the record of the now-disgraced Lance Armstrong.
The announcement finally came Monday morning that cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union (which couldn't catch Armstrong red-handed through 218 tests) was erasing the famed rider’s slate since there was plenty of evidence that Armstrong himself hadn’t exactly been clean during his cycling days, and was banning him for life from competing in the sport.
The man who made the Nike anti-doping commercial above has denied it vehemently, of course, but his fellow riders have one by one decided to talk about what they saw him do and how they were, well, Strongarmed into cooperating, as the New York Times reported in a damning recap of their testimony.In the wake of the ICU decision, one of Armstrong's last remaining sponsors — Oakley — announced it's severing ties with the cyclist.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2012 10:29 AM
A week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency let loose a thousand pages of painful details about how Lance Armstrong and pretty much every other top American bicycle pro of the last decade doped, Nike has finally released its own news on the matter.
Following a protest at its Beaverton, Ore., HQ yesterday, Nike this morning confirmed it's dropping the athlete with two terse paragraphs, serving up a serious financial blow to Armstrong even though still continuing to support the Livestrong philanthropic brand he founded. The sports giant just released a limited-edition collection to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Livestrong, which promotes cancer awareness and healthy living, as part of a licensing deal that will continue.
Just as Joe Paterno's name was scrubbed from the Nike campus, Armstrong will also see his name removed from the fitness center on the Nike campus in Oregon, as CNN is reporting that Nike will remove his name from the building. In tandem with Nike's news, the disgraced cyclist also announced this morning that he was stepping down from his role as chairman of Livestrong.
The news prompted a mass exodus from Team Armstrong. On the heels of Nike's announcement, sponsor Anheuser-Busch announced it's dropping the cyclist when his deal as a Michelob Ultra brand ambassador ends on Dec. 31st. The Giro brand, which produced a custom $15,000 bike helmet for Armstong's 2010 Tour de France race and a branded line of helmets, also quit Team Armstrong, along with the Honey Stinger brand and, as the Wall Street Journal reports, RadioShack .
In all, Bloomberg estimates that Armstrong stands to lose $30 million as his sponsors flee.Continue reading...