brand revival

Best Buy Shows Signs of Life as Turnaround Strategy Kicks In

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...

brand news

In the News: Apple, JCPenney, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2013 09:25 AM

In the News

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...

brand challenges

With Another Failed Foreign Venture to its Name, Tesco Turns its Focus Back to Britain

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...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, BlackBerry, Costco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 9, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Walmart greatly expands beer sales.

BlackBerry open to going private, Reuters says.

Costco hailed as "cheapest, happiest company in the world."

Apple and Samsung battle into the next round on patents.

Audi expects to top US sales goal this year.

Best Buy works to get its website up to snuff.

Cadbury uses creative defense in India tax case.

Coca-Cola plots returning Mello Yello citrus soda to national status.

Danone buys fun yogurt brand to add to US expansion.

Elizabeth Arden says orders have evaporated for celebrity perfumes.

Facebook is cautious about video advertising.Continue reading...

retail watch

AT&T Debuts Less Cluttered, Experience-Oriented Concept Store in Chicago

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 2, 2013 05:12 PM

The next 10 years of retail are going to be quite different from the last 100, mostly because of the introduction of digital, AT&T retail head Paul Roth told AllThingsD. So the company is about to change its entire retail experience, starting with a test store in the suburbs of Chicago.

The store features different areas, each styled after areas of a home. "Technology can be intimidating for people, but when we put them in a friendly, comfortable environment, we show them how technology can enhance their lives," Dave Fine of AT&T told the Chicago Tribune.

One very obvious thing that the new concept store is missing is cash registers. Instead, transactions will be completed with mobile devices anywhere in the store with any store employee, Forbes.com reports. “The future of retail is all about personalized service and education,” Roth told the site.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Chromecast Set to Debut New Streaming Partners as Interest Grows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 01:35 PM

Chromecast, Google's latest TV-streaming product, is officially a runaway hit among consumers and media brands. Now, Vimeo, Verizon and Redbox Instant are joining the current lineup of Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Google Play on the $35 dongle device, with more in the works. 

Gigaom reports that hackers have uncovered code that indicates the platform may be gearing up to host HBO Go as well. Alluding to a coming partnership, Vimeo VP of mobile, Nick Alt, told GigaOm, "We’re excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google Shutters Netflix Promo as Chromecast Sells Out in Less Than a Day

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2013 10:42 AM

Google's just-released Chromecast device, priced at $35, sold out on Amazon.com and BestBuy.com by Thursday morning, just hours after it was announced on Wednesday. 

Dubbed a low-cost challenger to internet streaming devices like Apple TV and Roku, Chromecast also came packaged with a free, three-month subscription to content partner Netflix. However, after demand surged for the device, Google announced late Thursday that the free subscription was no longer available.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Microsoft Looks to Unifying Strategy to Revitalize Aging Company

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2013 03:17 PM

Microsoft announced Thursday a company-wide reorganization—its latest effort to revitalize the struggling brand. In an email to all employees, CEO Steve Ballmer said: 

“Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world. Today’s announcement will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”

While the realignment involves no major departures or promotions for current executives, it does dissolve the company's current business units and reorganizes them into four divisions: Operating Systems, Applications and Services, Cloud and Enterprise, and Devices and Studios. The move places the company's three operating systems into one division, and stretches marketing and business strategy into a unified, cross-company group.Continue reading...

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