Posted by Abe Sauer on March 4, 2014 11:53 AM
It may be prominently billing itself as "from San Francisco," but it was Los Angeles' USC Trojan marching band that performed at the March 1 opening of China's first Old Navy store.
The rainy Shanghai opening featured other bits of Americana like cheerleaders, the stars and stripes, a giant gum ball machine, Caucasian bellhops in tails, and vintage cigarette girls. A man dressed as a giant camera snapped photos of visitors under a giant scoreboard—Old Navy vs. Guest—that lit up the floor. Others handed out hundreds of shiny blue and white balloons. A fire engine red, double decker tourist bus emblazoned with the Old Navy logo sat outside the store.
Localization may be all the rage for businesses in China, but there was nothing about the Old Navy opening that was Chinese. The store's signs are all in English. In fact, Old Navy doesn't even have a Chinese name. That appears to be the brand's strategy for China, though it is likely a doomed one.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2014 09:37 AM
Chipotle rolls out tofu-based Sofritas nationwide.
Abercrombie & Fitch cuts prices and looks to expand outlets.
Quiznos plans to file for bankruptcy.
American Airlines ends bereavement fares.
Caterpillar loses big locomotive job.
Costa Rica launches new branding campaign.
Gap tops upbeat forecasts.
Hilton considers selling Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Michael Jordan tops list of highest-paid retired athletes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 03:53 PM
It seems the proud days of Walmart are now behind the US brand that is looking increasingly lost in a quickly evolving global market.
The world's largest retailer on Thursday reported a meager net-sales increase of just 1.6 percent and a 3 percent drop in operating income for 2013 as Walmart coped with struggling consumers in America and elsewhere, a drop in US government support for many in its low-income customer base, and even the scourge of bad weather that has hit many US retailers over the last few months.
Worse yet, Walmart comp-store sales actually declined by 0.6 percent, an incredible blow to a brand that achieved the top of the mass-merchandising mountain by being able to create a powerful price-based loyalty among its customers that had survived every impediment before 2013.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2014 01:37 PM
During President Obama's State of the Union address last month, he asked businesses across the US to raise their minimum wage to $10 an hour, even if Congress wasn't going to force minimum wage above its current $7.25 rate, though it plans to pay its own workers $10.10 starting next year.
It seems at least one major US company was listening. Gap Inc. announced that it will voluntarily increase its minimum wage to $10 per hour in June of 2015 after boosting its pay rate to $9 per hour this year, Reuters reports. The increase will benefit about 65,000 workers across the company's Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands.
Harking back to the directive from founder Don Fisher to "do more than sell clothes," the company said that "after many months of consideration, we've made a business decision that's right for our brands, good for our people and beneficial to our customers."
"I applaud Gap for announcing that they intend to raise wages for their employees beginning this year," President Obama said, according to Reuters.
It remains to be seen if Walmart, the largest private employer in America, will follow. Numerous protests demanding that Walmart raise its minimum wage have been ongoing over the last year, as the company made headlines for refusing a pay increase in Washington, D.C. and other pay-related incidents around the holidays.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 09:20 AM
Facebook sees growth anxieties drive WhatsApp purchase.
Sbarro closes 155 company-owned units.
Walmart offers weak forecast and plans to accelerate rollout of small stores.
Aereo suffers a defeat in court.
Audi gives TT Roadster a fresh look.
Budweiser unveils World Cup teaser.
ConAgra seeks to revitalize Healthy Choice brand.
Fiat gives buyers an iconic track experience.
Ford splits with TV pitchman Mike Rowe.
FCC plans to overhaul rules to rescue net neutrality.
Gap announces voluntary minimum wage boost.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 31, 2014 01:40 PM
When a research study from Greenpeace turned up hazardous chemicals, or "Little Monsters" as they put it, in children's clothing and shoes from major brands including Disney, Burberry, Adidas, Gap and others, the environmental activists turned up the pressure by urging consumers lobby the brands to clean up their act as part of its bigger #Detox campaign.
This week, Greenpeace scored a victory when Burberry agreed to detox its clothing by Jan. 1, 2020. Initially, its corporate back up against the wall, Burberry balked at the group's allegation that a purple metallic shirt contained hazardous chemicals. The shirt in question, made in Tunisia and worn by Romeo Beckham (aka David & Victoria's son) in a June 2013 campaign, contained a high level of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), manmade chemicals used in detergents, which degrade to nonylphenols (NP), both toxic and hormonally disruptive.
"All Burberry products are safe and fully adhere to international environmental and safety standards," the luxury apparel brand responded in a statement. "We have an active programme dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of our supply chain, working in collaboration with our suppliers and NGOs. Greenpeace is aware of our work, which includes the commitment to eliminate from our supply chain the release of chemicals that have an environmental impact."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 30, 2014 04:54 PM
The world's largest retailer has a few tricks up its sleeve that it hopes will catapult it ahead of arch-rival Amazon in the hotly contested e-commerce space.
In Denver, Co., Walmart To Go, the retailer's on-demand shopping service, allows shoppers to order just about any merchandise they want online, including groceries, and have it delivered to their homes, just like Amazon. But now, Walmart To Go not only includes home delivery of grocery items—it also has a pick-up option. That means Denver consumers can order their groceries online, park in a designated space near their closest store, and pick up their groceries without ever stepping into the store.
Walmart has tested home delivery of groceries in San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. since 2011, while Amazon has been testing "Amazon Fresh," a grocery home delivery service, in select cities with plans for more in 2014.
With in-store pick-up, Walmart is allowing consumers to exercise more options. "It's all about choice," Ravi Jariwala, Director of Public Relations at Walmart, told TechCrunch. "At this point, we're really trying to assess what our customers are gravitating toward, and the good news is that I don't think this is an either/or [situation]."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 27, 2014 09:14 AM
Microsoft posts record sales as Ballmer prepares exit; competes with Amazon on cloud storage prices; admits to Syrian Electric Army email breach; and releases global study on power of technology.
Google pushes back against data localization, faces protest in San Francisco, buys artificial intelligence startup DeepMind and announces global patent agreement with Samsung.
Apple reportedly eyes mobile payments service, as hopes are high for Q1 earnings release on Monday.
AIG says it’s on offense as corp rep restored.
AT&T quashes rumors of Vodafone bid.
Accenture tries to grab STEM graduates early.
Ally Financial readies pre-IPO roadshow.Continue reading...