Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 12:41 PM
Blockbuster U.K. is rising from the ashes after plunging into administration—a form of bankruptcy in Britain—in January when accountancy firm Deloitte assumed day-to-day operations while looking for a buyer.
"We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors," said Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s restructuring services at the time.
The pioneering DVD and video rental company that entered the U.K. market in 1989 is struggling to survive in a burgeoning and highly competitive world where digital real estate trumps physical and streaming is de rigueur. Since January, a number of the brand's 528 stores have been bought up by Morrison's supermarket, and now, Gordon Brothers, a private equity group, has stepped in to buy 264 stores for an unspecified amount, subsequently saving nearly 2,000 jobs.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 13, 2013 03:07 PM
Reader’s Digest’s two trips to bankruptcy court in under four years seem to be paying off.
The magazine’s parent, RDA Holding, filed for Chapter 11 last month, (the first round was in 2009) hoping to convert nearly $465 million of debt into equity held by creditors as the 91-year-old publisher struggles to survive.
"After considering a wide range of alternatives, we believe this course of action will most effectively enable us to maintain our momentum in transforming the business and allow us to capitalize on the growing strength and presence of our outstanding brands and products," said CEO Robert E. Guth.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 11, 2013 06:03 PM
Whether you like them soft and gooey fresh out of the box or chewy and a few days old, Peeps are an Easter-time essential. But what the 60-year-old brand discovered was that the sugary treat wasn't just being eaten, but was also a staple in holiday arts and crafts.
In fact, 30 percent of the marshmallow treats are bought solely for crafting, according to AdWeek. The brand, owned by Just Born Inc., who are also the makers of Mike and Ike's, Hot Tamales and Peanut Chews, decided to capitalize on their sales data and focus this Easter season's campaign on the many possibilities of Peeps.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2013 05:36 PM
The Polaroid brand name has long been married to a seemingly ancient past that had cameras that actually printed physical manifestations of each image soon after they were taken. These days, photographers of all stripes, whether casually clicking on their phones or pulling out their high-end single-lens reflexes, have gone all-digital.
Now Polaroid—which hasn’t produced its iconic cameras or film since 2008 after going bankrupt and being sold off in 2001—is rebranding itself for the digital age and opening up branded stores that aid consumers in printing out their favorite digital works. Its first branded store, Polaroid Fotobar, has now opened in Delray Beach, Fla., just north of Boca Raton. The stores, announced at CES in January, aim to help folks “liberate” images from the “confines of their digital devices.”
Photography as a hobby has gained a lot of interest now that it has gotten much easier for people to tote around cameras and capture images in all sorts of locations, however it remains unclear how many consumers want to print out those images rather than just keep them all in purely digitized forms.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2013 02:43 PM
Not long ago, Coach was the name to have on your handbag. Plenty of celebrities were walking around with them. Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer Garner all had one, as did many other American women, whether the real thing or at least a knockoff.
Things changed fast. Now Coach is feeling pressure from competitors like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Tory Burch. It announced that sales dropped in the 2012’s final quarter despite the busy holiday shopping season and an overall 10 percent growth in the handbag market, marking the first time since it went public in 2000 that “North American sales grew more slowly than the broader market for women's handbags and accessories,” according to The Wall Street Journal. And North America accounts for two-thirds of the company’s sales.
So Coach says it's branching out, attempting to turn itself into a lifestyle brand — and turn itself around in the process. It will grow its footwear line this year before focusing on women's apparel, jewelry and watches, British Vogue reports. And its stores will also get a new look, Women's Wear Daily reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 4, 2013 05:06 PM
You may have read (or red — see above) Ford's attempts so far to reposition Lincoln as a saddle without a horse. But at least one key indicator of brand equity shows that Lincoln already has been able to boost perceptions with a branding and advertising campaign even before much is available in the way of new vehicles that are planned under its revival.
Reintroducing the brand with its full-page "Hello Again" newspaper ads, a series of five TV spots, the renaming of the brand as "Lincoln Motor Company," and persuading talk show host Jimmy Fallon to rally his 7.3 million Twitter followers to crowdsource Super Bowl ad ideas has helped Lincoln quintuple its impression levels since early November, YouGov BrandIndex research indicates.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 4, 2013 11:05 AM
Remember when Polaroid brought Lady Gaga to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as the brand's new creative director? This upcoming CES, Polaroid will unveil branded retail stores that will enable “liberating” photos from the “confines of their digital devices.”
The grandfather of photography is opening 10 Polaroid Fotobars, experiential retail stores that promise to help consumers manage the photography deluge triggered by digital devices, so images can be printed and edited and the whole process assisted in-store by expert “Phototenders.”
“It’s painful to hear an old photography company that is attempting to revitalize itself call photo printing stores 'cool and hip,' but the premise actually sounds both cool and hip,” notes Venturebeat.
The first Fotobar will open in a 2,000 SF store in Delray Beach, Florida in February, with subsequent openings including New York, Las Vegas and Boston. The Delray Beach location includes “The Studio,” a multi-purpose room hosting photo classes, private parties and a space for portrait photos.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 2, 2013 11:11 AM
Thomas the Tank Engine has been steaming along on the fictional island of Sodor since 1945, but he is finally catching up to the times. Still, the news that Mattel is ready to revamp the little British engine that could for new markets has some parents of Thomas-obsessed kids worried.
Thomas started out as the creation of British clergyman Rev. Wilbert Audry, whose goal was to come up with a story to entertain his measles-ridden son. Today, Thomas is a global kids powerhosue brand, from toys and licensed goods that expand on his popular TV series.
The Thomas brand brings in about $1 billion in retail sales annually and was a big part of the reason Mattel shelled out $680 million last year for the engine’s former owner, HIT Entertainment, which also parted ways with such beloved kid characters as Barney, Angelina Ballerina, and Bob the Builder as part of the deal.
Finally, Mattel is ready to boost the Thomas brand.Continue reading...