Posted by Shirley Brady on August 14, 2012 04:02 PM
Spanx founder Sara Blakely is now a household name, appearing in People magazine and on the cover of Forbes as the youngest self-made female billionaire in its history of ranking billionaires — all thanks to the stunning success of her cheeky brand of body-contouring shapewear.
Currently sold online and "within bigger department stores and boutiques" in 40 countries, the Atlanta-based Spanx brand that she founded with $5,000 of her life savings is gearing up to expand into standalone branded stores, starting with the U.S., in the fourth quarter.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 7, 2012 12:13 PM
Walmart launched its Walmart Express mini-store concept in Chicago in July of 2011. As the Chicago Tribune noted at the time, "The world's largest retailer, best known for its football field-size supercenters, plans to roll out 15 Walmart Express stores this year in three U.S. test markets: Chicago, Richfield, N.C., and the discount chain's home state of Arkansas."
A year later, the closure of its small-format store — "typically 10,000 to 15,000 square feet (or) one-tenth the size of a standard Walmart supercenter" which carried "fresh groceries, pharmacy and health and beauty aids" — on the South Side of Chicago indicates that the retailing behemoth still is trying to figure out its urban strategy.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 25, 2012 01:59 PM
When big retailers crash and burn, it seems they do so with style. The trials and tribulations of Sears/Kmart, despite its stylish moves into the fashion world, have been chronic and ongoing. Equally precarious these days is the fate of JCPenney.
In June, JCPenney brand president Michael Francis exited the troubled retailer after less than a year, in a shakeup that was seen as his taking the fall for CEO Ron Johnson. Francis, a former Target exec, along with Johnson, who formerly ran Apple's stores, couldn't combine their top shelf retail experience to effect a turnaround. On the contrary, the company's "fair and square pricing" (with the new logo at right to support the concept) essentially ditched sales and moved to Walmart-like "everyday low" pricing and twice-monthly clearance events. It was anything but successful. In fact, this lead balloon is now being replaced with a return to the more common retail strategy of a "sale."
Is it too little too late? The strapped J. C. Penney Company is cutting 350 jobs in its headquarters and selling part of its stake in Simon Property Group, a major mall developer, to raise $248 million in cash. Even so, the company is trying its darndest to crawl its way back into being a legitimate retail competitor, and that's where fashion comes in.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 20, 2012 03:23 PM
It's hardly Christmas in July — not with record heat over most of the United States. But nevertheless Target is trying to spread the deep-discount feel of some of its winter-holiday events into the dog days of summer, which are now. In the process, Target also appears to be making a direct run at JCPenney (which just announced it has hired Project Runway judge Nina Garcia, who has been moonlighting as a "Target fashion expert" in addition to her day job at Marie Claire magazine).
The Minneapolis-based Target is expanding its popular summer-exclusive "Bonus Black Friday" sale to two full days, this Friday and Saturday, with the discounts and the positioning meant to be reminiscent, of course, of the biggest day on the calendar of American retailers, the day after Thanksgiving. It's one way to attempt to generate some store traffic during the traditional lull before the back-to-school storm, which pours down in August.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 18, 2012 10:09 AM
Nike's in-store pop-up boutique at the London flagship branch of Selfridges promotes the Nike FuelBand, its latest range of hyperlight Flyknit shoes, its "Find Your Greatness" "summer of sport" tagline and generally creates an interactive experience that makes engaging with the brand fun, judging by the launch party:
We're marking a summer of sport with the NIKE House of Innovation at Selfridges, a stunning experiential retail space designed for today's style savvy, digitally connected athlete. See what happened at the launch party as guests enjoyed a DJ set from Nero, explored the interactive zones and got physical with the Nike+ challenges."
You'd think Nike was a sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but it's not — that honor goes to Adidas. It's open from July 6-Aug 12; see more in the video below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 5, 2012 11:02 AM
It turns out Walmart and Tom Cruise have something in common. They both turned 50 this week. And the odd pairing share something else: Both quinquagenarians have set a lot of tongues wagging.
Cruise, of course, set the gossip world aflame in the summer heat for the announced split with his wife of five and a half years, Katie Holmes. Walmart, on the other hand, had a problem that affected a lot more people: some very unhappy folks who want the retailing powerhouse to treat their workers better and be more considerate to small businesses and not steamroll into new neighborhoods.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 3, 2012 02:07 PM
UK supermarket giant Tesco is trying to stake a claim in the U.S. market with its Fresh & Easy grocery chain on the west coast, but it hasn’t done well, even after a “major revamp.” Now the company may just give up on making it in America, according to the Telegraph.
“If we see there is no chance of success, we’ll do as we’ve just done in Japan” and pull out, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told shareholders, the Telegraph reports. “It is not about ego. We are businessmen.”
It's been a money-losing brand extension for some time. Fresh & Easy had losses last year of £153m ($239 million) and lost £186m ($291.5 million) the year before that.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 28, 2012 05:22 PM
Walmart's critics have beaten up on the company for a lot of things over the years — its environmental policies, the treatment of its female employees, corporate donations to conservative political groups. But now Walmart, apparently, has gone too far by advertising that it sells good steaks.
The chain was critiqued recently by a Phoenix-based blogger, for example, for "mak[ing] it appear" that diners of an upscale local restaurant, El Chorro, "were saying things about Walmart steaks like, 'It was one of the best filets I've ever had.'"
Such grilling aside, from Walmart's point of view, the marketing campaign to spread the work for its upgraded USDA Choice steaks has worked well. "It's been pretty amazing," Walmart CMO Stephen Quinn told Ad Age. "This one has really had a big impact so far."Continue reading...