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sustainability

H&M Joins M&S By Collecting Recycled Clothing in its Stores Worldwide

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 6, 2012 06:15 PM

Fashion retailers are embracing sustainability with ever-widening arms, becoming increasingly accountable for the byproducts their industry creates. With their latest moves, H&M and Marks & Spencer (M&S as it's better known) are leading the rack-pack.

Following in the footsteps of the UK-wide recycling push launched by M&S earlier this year, H&M is planning to launch the world’s first global clothing collective initiative, to be introduced in all of its 48 markets in February.

According to the fast-fashion retailer's press release, “Any pieces of clothing, from any brand and in any condition are accepted. In return, the customer will receive a voucher for each bag brought. The collected clothes are then handled by H&M’s partner, I:Collect, which provides the infrastructure in which consumer goods are repeatedly reprocessed and made available for new use."

“Our sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M,” stated H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.

No value was stated for the voucher H&M is offering in return for donations to in-store collection boxes to be processed by I:CO, as its Swiss recycling partner is branded; its tagline is "Rethink. Recycle. Reward."Continue reading...

luxury watch

Luxury Spending A Moving Target for 2013

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 6, 2012 11:01 AM

Next year is shaping up to be mixed, at best, for luxury goods. Continuing economic woes in the Eurozone, a flagging Japanese economy, and slow recovery in the U.S. will likely lead to modest spending on luxury brands in those regions.

At a recent fashion summit in Florence, Italy, luxury designers were downbeat. Michele Norsa, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian shoemaker, said: "Markets are very volatile. We must keep a cool head and define our forecasts day by day. ...The first part of the year will be slower. In the second part there will probably be a recovery. These are the signs we are receiving from all our markets." Michele Tronconi, the head of Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), Italy's fashion body, added, "Orders of goods to be delivered in the coming months have shrunk and I don't expect this trend to change soon."

Indeed, Italy is a microcosm of Europe's slide when it comes to luxury goods. Luca Solca, who heads luxury goods research at the Exane BNP Paribas investment group said Italy's luxury goods sales have taken an "abrupt hit" due to the country's austerity measures. Sales of luxury goods are expected to decline nearly 1 billion euros by year's end in Italy despite solid tourism. Globally, sales of luxury goods should grow about 5 percent in 2012 vs. 13 percent last year according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Co.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Il Palazzo: Prada Launches First Mobile App as Virtual Gallery

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 14, 2012 10:01 AM

Prada has launched its first mobile app, an extension of a visual partnership with fashion illustrator Richard Haines — a major digital move for the Italian fashion label, one that it describes as the culmination of "a multi-platform project combining hand-made artistry and cutting-edge technology."Continue reading...

chew on this

Fast Food Slows Down as McDonald's, Wendy's Take a Hit

Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2012 02:17 PM

Turns out that consumers around the world can't and don't just keep simply trading down in their eating habits as incomes and economies keep slowing or remain sluggish. Many just stop going out to eat altogether. Exhibit A: McDonald's just reported its first monthly decline in same-store sales from year-to-year, for October, since 2003, when the company in general was struggling.

This result — a 1.8-percent dip in global revenue at "same-store" restaurants open at least 13 months — reflects broadly on the state of the global economy, because if there's one thing that unites us as a species, it's eating cheap and fast food. Yet even though it's been promoting lower-priced menu items, McDonald's relevant revenues in October fell by 2.2 percent in both the United States and Europe, and by 2.4 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It isn't clear how much of the bad number may reflect some kind of general slump in the fast-food proposition, in any market. But the European result isn't that surprising because the continent is sliding into recession again because of eurozone woes and consumers' loss of confidence that politicians and bankers can fix them. Cooling in China is one big reason for the drop in the Asian region.

So the U.S. results might raise the most eyebrows at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. Three potential factors include McDonald's lack of recent "new product news" in the U.S., "an uptick in competition in the U.S.," and a drag from Hurricane Sandy, said Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier. Speaking of that competition, Wendy's reported higher revenues at "same" stores but lower profits mostly for accounting reasons. Its third-quarter increase of 2.7 percent in revenue at restaurants open at least 15 months — the sixth straight quarter of such growth — was welcome in view of the chain's concerted efforts to move a bit upscale with higher-quality ingredients and menu items.Continue reading...

sip on this

Pepsi Brings Fat-Blocking and Holiday Colas to Japan, Ferran Adria in Spain

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2012 07:08 PM

Japanese lab rats have paved the way for a new wave of sodas. Back in 2006, Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition found that rodents that were fed dextrin and fat simultaneously absorbed less of the fat into their system than the rats that were given fat without dextrin.

Welcome to your new dextrin-rich diet, Japan! Earlier this year brewer Kirin released a Mets Cola beverage, which contains dextrin, onto the market, selling it as a soda that would keep consumers from packing on too much fat. It sold well enough that PepsiCo and Suntory, the sole bottler and distributor of Pepsi products in Japan, are jumping into the fat-blocking cola fray on Nov. 13 with Pepsi Special. As the Huffington Post notes, the “Japanese government certifies these colas as ‘food for specific health use.’”

Pepsi has long experimented with novel flavor combinations in Japan (case in point: yogurt, watermelon or strawberry/milk flavored cola, anyone?) In fact, in December it's also introducing a new clear cola called Pepsi White in time for the holidays with seasonally cute snowmen. Despite being clear, ABC News reports that it's tangerine-flavored. And that's not the only limited-edition variation PepsiCo is rolling out internationally.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Deutsche Telekom Brings "Move On" Interactive Road Movie to Big Screen

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 7, 2012 10:05 AM

Deutsche Telekom's Cannes Lions-winning film project called "Move On," described as "a road movie like no other, because it is inspired by film fans from all over Europe" has made its big screen debut, premiering last night in Berlin. The branded entertainment project, which started unfolding online in May as part of its "Life is for Sharing" banner, was directed by Asger Leth and features actor Mads Mikkelsen (who starred in Casino Royale, The Three Musketeers, Monsters vs. Aliens and Clash of the Titans) on a secret mission in eight episodes, each taking place in a different European country and incorporating fans. Samsung and Volkswagen also supported the project, which you can check out at move-on-film.com.

Coke Cyber-Attack Raises Corporate Disclosure Issues

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2012 10:54 AM

Undeterred by Coca-Cola's privacy policy, the company's corporate website was attacked by Chinese hackers in March 2009 — but nobody knew, because the company decided against disclosing the breach publically after the FBI informed them.

Blooomberg reveals that the hackers spent one month “pilfering sensitive files” about Coca-Cola’s attempt to acquire China Huiyuan Juice Group for $2.4 billion. If successful, the transaction would have been the largest foreign takeover of a Chinese company ever. The breach started with malware-infected e-mails to Coca-Cola's senior executives which, when opened, enabled the hackers to infiltrate the network and steal proprietary information. Once revealed, the Huiyuan deal collapsed three days later.Continue reading...

chew on this

The Kraft, Mondelez Dilemma: Which Brands to Trim, Which Brands to Boost?

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2012 05:03 PM

One of the main reasons for Kraft to split into its new Kraft Foods and Mondelez International units was to free the latter to pursue the beckoning opportunities in the global snacking business without being tied down to the slower-growth, mature North American groceries business, which now alone comprises Kraft Foods.

But in the early going, at least, both newly independent entities are pursuing something of the same strategy to tap into their separate growth opportunities: paring back non-performing, small or relatively insignificant brands, and applying innovation resources and expansion ambitions to brands that have a chance to make the most of them.

Mondelez, for example, already has said that it may divest some products as it seeks to streamline its range. The company will pursue a "simplification agenda," Tom Cofer, head of Europe for Mondelez, confirmed to Bloomberg.Continue reading...

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