Posted by Stephanie Startz on December 15, 2009 05:23 PM
The airline that stole Christmas!
British Airways' 13,500 cabin crew members voted in an overwhelming majority yesterday to stop work on Tuesday December 22, until January 2, as a part of a dispute over working conditions.
The vote was supported by 92.5 percent of British Airways' cabin crew employees and members of the trade union Unite, who are protesting the airline’s cost cutting measures. British Airways is trimming the number of staff on board flights, instituting pay freezes, and issuing unfavorable contracts for new staff.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on December 10, 2009 02:27 PM
In an attempt to extend their reach during the holiday season, many brands have created holiday pop-up shops -- eBay and Wired, for example.
And now, JetBlue. Sort of.
The brand has been relatively quiet since their partnership with Lufthansa, but the reality of a down economy and the looming holiday travel season have compelled the budget airline to take a more aggressive -- and humorous -- approach to reaching customers.
The JetBlue pop-up store features the brand's new "Flyer's Collection," which is comprised of an inane array of products and gadgets that are not for sale but do serve the valuable purpose of highlighting the amenities JetBlue offers flyers.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 9, 2009 09:50 AM
Zales, the mall-based jewelry stalwart, is in trouble.
The brand just reported that same-store sales slipped more than 18 percent in November. Since a quarter of all Zales revenue comes from November holiday sales, this presents a daunting reality for the brand. So... what happened?
Nothing. And that's the problem.
The jewelry brand is doing what it's always done; that is to say, inundate man-type programming like football with Zales ads that instruct men on what to get the better half for the holidays. Yet that strategy doesn't seem to be working in these tough economic times where both men and women are finding more affordable ways to express themselves. Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on December 4, 2009 11:56 AM
Consumers are wondering just how much damage was done during last week's Black Friday, but it's important to put all that shopping into perspective.
Retailers and luxury brands hoped shoppers would feel more comfortable in stores this season, as business seemed to be poised to pick up. But though Macy's and Saks have reported improvement, new statistics suggest that more is needed to show that this recession can be beat. November's luxury sales declined 7.3%, their first drop since August after gains in September and October, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on December 3, 2009 01:56 PM
Target has been upping its own ante for the past few holiday seasons. This year is no different: the store is now testing new two-in-one gift cards with remote control functionality. It won't do your laundry, but it will make your kids as excited as getting a McDonald's Happy Meal toy. And who doesn't love those?
Besides storing money, each card is shaped like a piece of cheese, and wirelessly controls a Christmas mouse inside a miniature Target shopping cart. How adorable, right? The mouse, free with each gift card, moves back and forth via the antenna and button-equipped remote.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on December 2, 2009 11:38 AM
What happens when two branding titans collide? In the case of Saks and Microsoft, a precipitation of fashion and technology.
Companies are going all-out this holiday season. We can see proof of that in the collaboration between Saks Fifth Avenue and Microsoft, which will take place in honor of the sixth annual Snowflake Spectacular display at the department store's New York flagship, and will display shoppers' holiday Twitter updates right in the store's windows.
The Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows will be powered by Windows 7, helping to bring life to the children’s book “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Flake.” The windows show the story of a snowflake named Twinkle and includes 3-D animations and interactive displays. More than 20 video monitors were provided by Microsoft, powered by Windows 7 to animate some of the book’s key scenes.
The windows will also feature ice-skating penguins and a voiceover of the book that is audible to passersby.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 25, 2009 07:18 PM
Retailers continue their drive to take all the fun out of Black Friday. Or as they call it, a drive to "make a profit." Reports this year are saying many more stores than ever will be open on Thanksgiving Day itself, providing amble opportunity for shoppers to work off some of that indigestion by buying a $140 laptop.
For years now, the tradition of Black Friday has been seeping into all the other surrounding days, creating a sort of Black November. Cyber Monday now accounts for a huge portion of holiday season sales. And retailers such as Best Buy now hold "early doorbuster" sales in the days leading up to Friday. Now, in the logical conclusion, many stores are staying open and hosting sales on Thanksgiving itself. ("Gravy Thursday?")
Old Navy, Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us and RadioShack are all retailers experimenting with holiday hours. Even TGI Friday's, rebelling against its brand name's very promise, is testing out Thanksgiving Thursday openings.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on November 24, 2009 06:34 PM
Shoppers are hoping Black Friday discounts will salve their black mood about the economy. Thanks to leaked Black Friday ads, they can comparison shop well before Thanksgiving and plan a proper assault on retailers, some of which will open at 5 am or earlier.
Almost every retailer is looking for a piece of Black Friday pie, but the New York Times reports that the rivalry between Wal-Mart and Amazon is escalating beyond cost-cutting and price matching.
There was a time when you surfed Amazon for books, and waded through Wal-Mart for just about everything else. But thanks to Amazon’s more than two dozen departments, from automotive to watches, consumers increasingly see shopping from the comfort of their living rooms as a welcome alternative to braving the cold and the crowds -- not to mention risking serious injury or death at a post-Thanksgiving Wal-Mart.Continue reading...