retail watch

Urban Outfitters Tries to Think Big After Getting Lost in Fast-Fashion Frenzy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2014 11:41 AM

Urban Outfitters is having an Abercrombie moment. The hip retailer is losing brand appeal as young consumers flock to fast-fashion rivals like H&M and Forever 21 where cheap clothes and product refreshes abound. 

"Clearly, there is still much work to be done for Urban to regain its fashion footing," said Richard Hayne, Founder and CEO, according to the Philadephia Inquirer. "We believe there is no fundamental structural changes in the young-adult market. There are, of course, fashion changes, and the success of each brand depends on the accuracy with which it predicts those changes."

After five consecutive quarters of sales slippage, Urban, the flagship brand in a retail family that includes Anthropologie and Free People, is now second to Anthropologie in sales—$295.8 million in net sales compared with $277.7 million—in the latest quarter.

Free People saw a 30 percent uptick in sales last quarter, prompting brand president Meg Hayne to comment, "We are working on a look and a voice that is unique to Urban Outfitter. And it goes above and beyond the product. We are focused on our customers' lifestyle and life stage ... we are really going after looks from head to toe."Continue reading...

chew on this

Golden Years: Pop-Tarts, Nutella Take Different Paths To 50th Anniversaries

Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2014 10:14 AM

Nutella and Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts started from very different places to end up as very similar brands: mainstream snack sensations celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year.

Pop-Tarts began as a favorite breakfast convenience for American moms to give to their boomer offspring, while Nutella was long popular in Europe and now is riding a wave of adoration as a guilty pleasure in the United States as well.

Kellogg is still continually repositioning its well known ready-to-eat cereal brands as better-for-you breakfast choices in a variety of ways, but the company basically has given up making a lot of nutritional pretensions for Pop-Tarts toaster pastries.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Google Lends Digital Expertise to UK Grocers' Corporate Citizenship Efforts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 5, 2014 03:02 PM

Food waste is an enormous global problem, which is why UK grocer Sainsbury’s is partnering with Google in its latest effort to get consumers to upcycle their leftovers.

Google created an interactive banner ad that uses voice recognition to generate simple recipes made of otherwise wasted ingredients, modeled after and in support of Sainsbury's Food Rescue tool to eliminate kitchen waste. Desktop users can input ingredients via keyboard, while mobile customers can click on the expandable banner and speak up to nine ingredients into their device for an instant range of 1,200 choices from simple snacks to dinner party options.

The idea for the interactive banner came from Google data that showed search queries for terms related to “leftovers” increased one-third in the last year, with about 64 percent coming from mobile. The ad and tool are an extension of the retailer's ongoing commitment to stopping food waste. “We have a role to play in helping reduce food waste around the country,” Sainsbury’s head of brand communication, Mark Given, told Marketing Week.Continue reading...

tech style

Google Taps Its Favorite Fashionista for New Glass Styles

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 4, 2014 10:42 AM

Google is betting that fashion doyenne Diane von Furstenberg can do for the now-glanceable Google Glass what she did for her iconic wrap dress

This week at her New York City headquarters, DVF revealed her latest fashion collaboration alongside her 2015 Resort Collection: "DVF | Made for Glass," a collection of DVF-branded sunglasses and prescription frames made specifically for Google Glass, which marks the tech company's first fashion partnership.

The collection, which will go on sale on June 23 with prices starting at $1, 620, "attempts to diminish the visual impact of the lipstick-sized bar that sits on top of the wearer's right eyebrow, either coloring it in the same shades as the frames themselves, or giving it a complementary hue," The Verge reports. The DVF collection follows Google's own Titanium collection launched in January. 

After Glass was initially received as “nerdy at best," von Furstenberg, a longtime partner of Google, was given the creative keys to design the first Glass accessories not made by Google. von Furstenberg has championed the technology since 2012 when she outfitted her runway models with Glass, calling it a "historic creation."Continue reading...

see you in court

Beastie Boys Face Off Against Monster in Fight to Protect Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 28, 2014 12:14 PM

The remaining two members of the Beastie Boys, the hip-hop icons of "Fight for your right" fame, are indeed doing just that this week in a Manhattan court for a trademark suit against Monster Energy Drinks. 

Before the group's third member, Adam "MCA" Yauch passed way just over two years ago, Yauch made it his will that the band's music or its likeness not be used in any form of advertising. But just a few days after Yauch's passing, Monster uploaded a video of excerpts of its recent snowboarding event set to the beat of five Beastie Boys tracks. The video ended with the words "RIP MCA" in Monster's brand typeface, according to Billboard

While Monster admits it made a mistake, the beverage brand is balking at paying out the reported $2 million settlement that the band and Yauch's estate are asking for in return for "damages for the song licenses and another $1 million for the 'implied endorsement.'"Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

World Cup Watch: Budweiser Rises as One with Help from VICE

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 26, 2014 01:05 PM

With the World Cup in Brazil kicking off on June 12, brands are going into overdrive to capitalize on the growing anticipation.

Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the massive event, has embarked on a multi-faceted World Cup marketing campaign that includes a co-branded content web series—a first for the brand—in partnership with the Millennial magnet that is the VICE media brand these days.

The "Rise as One: Modern Stories" series started as a documentary on Fox and has been playing out in episodes on its YouTube channel as well as via its (age-gated) World Cup microsite, called (in line with its World Cup tagline), Rise as One.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Manchester United Threatens Nike Deal with High-Priced Demands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2014 03:47 PM

The season may be over on the field for Manchester United, but it apparently has only just begun for the team's board members.

Coming off its worst season in decades after losing famed coach Sir Alex Ferguson last year, the team recently booted Ferguson's replacement in hopes that Louis Van Gaal can put the team back on track next season. More concerning though than its losing record is its losses on the bottom line. And now one of the team's biggest money-makers—kit supply—is up for grabs. 

The world's most popular soccer team has been wearing Nike gear for more than 10 years thanks to the $510 million that the Portland, Ore.-based company paid out for a 13-year contract to outfit the team. While Nike would like to continue to lucrative partnership, ManU is reportedly looking for even more money once the deal wraps up after next season.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Pepsi Kicks the Ball Downfield with Soccer-Themed Clothing Collection

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2014 04:02 PM

In yet another timely play for soccer fever, Pepsi has launched a limited-edition clothing collection meant to capture the "art" and creativity behind soccer. 

The Live for Now Capsule Collection features clothing, accessories and electronics created by international designers including Original Penguin by Munsingwear, B&O PLAY, Gents, Goodlife, Del Toro and SHUT. 

The line, which overlaps Pepsi's "The Art of Football" initiative—celebrating soccer without being a FIFA World Cup sponsor—with its global Live for Now branding campaign, will be available at Bloomingdale's in the U.S., Colette in Paris, and Liberty in London.Continue reading...

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