Posted by Abe Sauer on November 15, 2013 05:25 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Single's Day's billion dollar buyer's remorse… Lego boom… KFC less terrible… Moutai goes French… JPMorgan in hot water… stolen Rolls-Royces… GM going to Singapore… MomentCam app boom... Tesla sold a car… your garbage is gold… GOLD! and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2013 07:47 PM
It has been some time since Crocs ruled the footwear industry. Back in 2007, the brand of rubbery footwear was valued at around $5 billion, but it has steadily fallen since, now sitting somewhere around $1.17 billion.
With sales continuing to fall and profits taking a nose dive, the brand is reportedly seeking ideas to take the publicly-traded company private, the Wall Street Journal reports. "The company's board has invited a small group of private-equity firms to present their ideas for a buyout," the paper notes, but the move by no means is a guarantee that the brand will retreat from the public markets.
More than 200 billion of the brand's shoes have been sold in 90 countries since its inception in 2002, and if Bloomberg has anything to say about it, that may be the root of Crocs' problems. Since the fad's peak in 2007, the brand has been "hurt by competition from knockoffs as well as the decision to sell the clogs—now called Crocs Classic—everywhere, including in gas stations."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 14, 2013 07:02 PM
HSN, the world’s oldest home shopping network at 36, is targeting Hispanic consumers in a three-year e-commerce partnership inked with Univision Communications for a curated shopping portal, "Boutique Univision, una tienda de HSN."
“This is the fastest-growing consumer group and they will be driving the US economy over the next few decades,” Bill Brand, CMO and business development officer at HSN, told the New York Times.
The boutique will offer products from a range of categories including electronics, fashion, beauty, home décor and cookware from brands that, at launch, include Coca-Cola, Lancôme, Benefit, OPI, G by Giuliana, Iman, Vince Camuto, HP, Samsung, Apple, Curtis Stone and Wolfgang Puck.
HSN broadcasts live to 95 million households and HSN.com features more than 50,000 product videos, but the media unit, like many others, is looking to lend further focus to the growing Latino community that openly embraces social and mobile activity—both influential in the ways consumers shop.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 11, 2013 07:22 PM
Bigger than Cyber Monday (which notched up US $1.46 billion in sales last November) and bigger than China's National Day "Golden Week," China's Singles Day ("光棍节") also known as "1111" as it falls on 11/11, has become the the biggest online shopping day of the year—worldwide. This year's event was expected to break all previous records, and that it swiftly did.
In the first twenty minutes of the day's online sales going live, China's dominant commerce site, Taobao, recorded US$500 million in sales. By 10:00 am, Taobao had crossed US$2.46 billion in sales. By 1:00 pm, the sales frenzy passed last year's tally. By the end of the day, owner Alibaba (China's equivalent of Amazon) crowed that its Taobao and Tmall online shopping hubs recorded 35 billion yuan or RMB, or a whopping US$5.75 billion.
Not bad for a holiday that didn't even exist 25 years ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 10:18 AM
Can Amazon save the United States Postal Service? Well, no, but it can make the long-suffering government agency do something nobody could have possibly predicted—work on Sundays.
Starting this week, the USPS will deliver Amazon's packages on Sundays in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. The move comes ahead of the busiest holiday season, and as the USPS would end up eliminating Saturday delivery in order to save billions of dollars annually.
Now Amazon has worked out a deal with the US Postal Service, which lost nearly $16 billion last year, for the agency to use flexible scheduling with its current employees to get its goods to customers, according to a press release.
It’s a pretty sweet deal for Amazon Prime customers since UPS and FedEx don't deliver on Sundays. Amazon's plan is that the Sunday-delivery option will be introduced to Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans, and other cities next year and be available throughout the whole year, not just at the holidays.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2013 08:12 PM
Google reportedly makes around $100 million daily by selling Google Ads to online businesses. Now the site is reportedly beta-testing a program that could deliver the Holy Grail of mobile connectivity. Using location data to track when consumers visit stores, Google will connect those visits to searches on Google via smartphones and deliver analytic proof that its mobile ads do work.
According to Digiday, “If someone conducts a Google mobile search for 'screwdrivers,' for instance, a local hardware store could bid to have its store listing served to that user. By pairing that person’s location data with its database of store listings, Google can see if the person who saw that ad subsequently visited the store.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2013 05:37 PM
J.Crew has crossed the pond to bring its own brand of preppy duds to London's Regent Street, opening its first flagship outside North America today. The 17,000-square-foot store houses separate men's and women's shops, as well as Crewcuts, the retailer's children's boutique. The London expansion will also include two other retail locations, one women's and one men's store.
Combatting an increasingly "promotional" retail environment in the US, the retailer hopes that greater brand awareness through physical locations in the UK will provide a needed boost. J.Crew has also opened 3 new retail locations in Canada recently, as well.
"London was an easy decision,” said chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler. “It is a place where people understand and respect the integrity of great style and design."
Indeed, finding a place among London's High Street stores may be a better fit for the increasingly upscale J.Crew brand, whose prices are in stark contrast to its fellow shopping mall tenants in the US, such as growing fast fashion brands like H&M. But with some product prices in the UK bumped up almost 40 percent, the retailer runs the risk of creating sticker-shock in Europe. "I've heard rumblings about it," Creative Director Jenna Lyons said, regarding additional taxes and duties associated with having an international location, "and we're doing everything we possibly can to keep the quality of the product as good as it can be and maintain the tightest possible price."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2013 04:14 PM
Book lovers have long had a love/hate relationship with Amazon. It’s nice to have access to the world’s books at the click of a button but it has come at the expense of the local bookstore, putting plenty—from mom-and-pop owned storefronts to major chains like Borders—out of business because they can’t keep up with the amount of stock and low prices of their online counterpart.
Now Amazon hopes to appeal to those same shops by asking them if they’ll sell Kindle e-readers in their locations, the New York Times reports. In exchange, the bookseller gets “a small payment on each sale and a commission on all e-books that the reader buys in the next two years.” Previously, Target and Walmart stopped selling Kindle products due to the effects of showrooming, so perhaps this outreach to smaller sellers hopes to make up for the loss of retail presence.Continue reading...