Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 05:38 PM
It was one thing for Best Buy and other big box, commodity chains to suffer from “showrooming,” but the practice now appears to be afflicting haute cuisine enabler Williams-Sonoma. And its new CEO Janet Hayes, who was named in March, is trying to do something about it.
The chain—a sibling brand to the Pottery Barn and West Elm housewares chains—has posted same-store sales declines for five of the last seven quarters as Williams-Sonoma copes with the growing scourge of showrooming—an action that the high-end retailer once didn't have to worry about because of its exclusive inventory. But now a host of brick-and-mortar and online rivals are presenting much of the same stuff, including upstarts Cutlery & More and Sur Le Table as well as Macy’s and Amazon, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2013 12:27 PM
Target keeps stretching the footprint of its brand, which now includes efforts to fuel innovation in health care—and a new digital-movie and -TV service.
Joining the growing ranks of big companies that are attempting to spark new enterprises—and re-stock the corporate cupboard of new ideas—by incentivizing and nurturing startups, Target launched the Target Simplicity Challenge to foster ideas for helping Americans make helpful lifestyle choices and to assist in living with chronic conditions. In 2012, Walmart launched a similar effort with its "Get On The Shelf" competition, and has continued to invest in startups for its @WalmartLabs project. Nike has an accelerator to develop mobile and green technologies, and Target already has a retail accelerator.
The healthcare initiative will help further the already existing retail medical clinics, pharmacies and optical departments in many Target stores. "The growing dialogue about the need to transform health care is near and dear to our hearts," Jose Barra, Target's senior vice president for health and beauty, said in a press release. "We believe there is value in surfacing simple, intuitive ideas to drive a lot of impact.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2013 09:19 AM
Apple gets license to run phones on China Mobile network.
Aramark files for $100 million IPO.
Target launches digital movie and TV service.
BMW fights SUV lead by Mercedes-Benz with new "Boss" version of X5.
Best Buy CEO sells shares to help pay for his divorce.
Four Seasons Hotels starts a food truck.
GM sees Canada sell part of its stake in automaker and perceives opportunity in Europe to push Chevy as value brand.
Gevalia launches frothy K-cups.
Google Play gets a new logo.
Home Depot is accused of shaking down suspected shoplifters.
Intel unveils line of chips for wearable devices.
J&J reintroduces Tylenol.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 06:16 PM
RadioShack is bidding to renew its relevance in a fresh way this week, offering a "cord-cutting" deal on high-definition digital TV antennas to the millions of consumers in some major national markets that have been blacked out of CBS in the network's continuing deadlock with Time Warner Cable.
Under new management and in an attempt to begin rolling back a long tide of red ink, Radio Shack has turned toward a new logo, new slogan ("Let's Play"), new store concept and new positioning that recasts the brand as an even better digital playground for Millennials than their local Verizon Wireless or AT&T store. At the same time, RadioShack says it wants to fortify the loyalty of its traditional audience of electronics hobbyists.
The brand's new promotion ratchets up RadioShack's immediacy a few notches. Saying it makes "cutting the cable" convenient and easy, the company is offering a 25 percent discount on its best-selling HDTV antenna in areas affected by the blackout, through September 7.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 09:27 AM
Bill Ackman gives up stake in JCPenney.
Samsung confirms Galaxy Gear Smartwatch for Sept. 4.
Billabong reports record loss and writes down value of brands.
Adobe has some bold plans for online ad business.
Amazon exposes cloud's dark lining with weekend outage.
Apple plans to launch trade-in program for iPhone, report says.
AT&T sees its commercial straight man leap to Saturday Night Live.
Best Buy will see founder unload some of his shares this year.
Chevrolet does deal with University of Texas Longhorns for Silverado.
Cracker Barrel revamps menu with lighter dishes and rejects activist investor's third attempt to join its board.
Ford ramps up output of Fusion to challenge Toyota's Camry.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 21, 2013 03:38 PM
All things considered, turnaround specialist Hubert Joly has something to celebrate on his first anniversary at the helm of Best Buy. The electronics retailer was "all but given up for dead a year ago—when it was fighting against shrinking revenues, bad publicity, and crushing competition from industry rival Amazon..."
But on August 20, Best Buy reported gross margins of 26.5 percent, beating estimates, as its stock price gained 10 percent. Best Buy's profit for the quarter ending August 3 was $266 million compared to $12 million for the same period one year ago. Still, CEO Joly "is simply better managing the decline. Same-store sales fell by 0.6 percent, and overall revenue was down 0.4 percent," comments Bloomberg.
Nevertheless, Joly can take some satisfaction from his efforts in righting a sinking ship. One move that has surely helped: In March, Best Buy instituted a no holds barred "Low Price Guarantee" to blunt the negative impact of "showrooming"—when consumers visit the chain's stores to look at products, only to then leave and purchase the items online. The Guarantee offers to match a price from any local retail competitor's store, as well as from a designated list of online retailers, which includes Amazon.com, Apple.com, Sears.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com. It's likely that the Guarantee contributed to a 10.5 percent increase in online sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2013 09:25 AM
Apple plans to ship two new iPhone versions next month as it hires Nike FuelBand consultant.
JCPenney slows sales decline.
Walmart, Gap and other retailers meet to implement Bangladesh safety plan.
BMW studies placing assembly plant in Mexico.
Barnes & Noble declares truce with Simon & Schuster.
Best Buy registers profit growth from cost-cutting.
Coors Light rewards drinkers' "day-to-night" transitions in promo.
Cummins supplies Nissan with diesel engine for Titan pickups.
Flowers Foods sees Hostess business as incremental.
Furniture Brands gets survival advice.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 13, 2013 12:58 PM
After nearly a decade of trying to crack the retail egg that is China, Tesco, the world's No. 3 retailer has thrown in the towel.
The British retailer announced plans to create a joint venture with China's state-owned China Resources Enterprise Ltd., which would marry Tesco's 131 China stores with CRE's nearly 3,000 Vanguard units across China and Hong Kong, creating over $15 billion in sales—much more than Tesco's reported China sales of $2 billion. The deal, though, wipes out the Tesco name from the Asian market, as the retailer will only assume a 20 percent stake in the new venture, Reuters reports.
"This may look win-win, but in reality, Tesco is saying 'I can't figure out China,'" one analyst told Reuters. Like many other foreign retailers before them, Tesco struggled to carve out a solid brand identity for itself among the fast-growing China market, where Walmart and France's Carrefour have been the only foreign supermarket brands that have managed to compete with local outlets.Continue reading...