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Walmart Goes Head to Head with Amazon for E-Commerce Dominance

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...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Google, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 27, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

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...

corporate citizenship

Cambodian Garment Workers, Brands Mobilize Efforts to Improve Wages, Safety

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 21, 2014 06:46 PM

It was only a matter of time until the life-threatening issues surrounding worker safety and the garment industry spread to Cambodia, where just a few months ago a factory disaster claimed several lives.

The residual effects of recent tragedies in Bangladesh, the second-largest garment manufacturer behind China that saw over 100 killed in a 2012 factory fire and over 1,200 workers perish in the Rana Plaza collapse, have spread to other global economies, igniting protests over safety and fair wages. 

Protests erupted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Dec. 24 after the Ministry of Labor set the garment sector’s 2014 minimum wage at $95 per month, rather than the $160 unions wanted. When security forces opened fire Jan. 3 on a group of demonstrators, four people were killed, 37 injured, and another 23 detained in a prison for four hours.

Now, 30 global brands and several unions have joined the fight, signing a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking the Cambodian government to “address the rights of 23 people detained since deadly garment worker demonstrations on January 2 and 3 and the violation of citizens’ freedom of association," according to the Phnom Penh Post. Government officials said they acted in the public's interest and to protect the workers.Continue reading...

health matters

Adidas, Gap Speak Out Against Claims That Clothing is Tainted with Chemicals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 20, 2014 02:38 PM

Adidas, Gap, Disney and Burberry are rebutting claims made by Greenpeace that chemical levels in their children's apparel products exceeded legal limits. 

The major brands have questioned the scientific basis of the report, called "A Little Story About the Monsters In Your Closet," which was published by Greenpeace East Asia after the environmental group reportedly purchased and tested dozens of articles of kids' clothing from major brands. According to the group's claims, some of the apparel contained higher chemical levels than those found in adult clothing, citing a high risk since young children often chew on their clothes. 

According to the South China Morning Post, Gap refuted the group's claims, saying the chemical levels were barely detectable. "For example, the allowable amount of phthalates for childcare articles and toys is 0.1 percent and the maximum concentration of phthalates they found in Gap clothing was 0.004 percent of the garment," the company said. Adidas said the report was "selective" and the company will seek third-party verification.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Greenpeace 'Little Monsters' Campaign Urges Global Retailers to Drop Hazardous Chemicals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2014 06:39 PM

Hazardous chemicals have been found in children’s clothes and shoes from major brands including Disney, Burberry, Adidas, Gap and H&M, according to a new report from Greenpeace.

Testing on products sold by 12 brands including American Apparel, Primark, Uniqlo and Nike “showed little distinction between the levels of hazardous chemicals in clothing made for children—a group particularly vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals when released into the environment—and adults when compared to previous studies,” said Chih An Lee, Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.

Greenpeace bought 82 items from authorized retailers in 25 countries, made in at least 12 different regions and found traces of a number of banned and dangerous chemicals, including: Nonylphenol ethoxylates, chemicals found in detergents banned by the EPA as detrimental to hormonal function; Phtalates, plastics-softeners banned in children’s toys because of toxicity and hormonal effects; Organotins, fungicides banned by the EU and found in three of five shoe samples.Continue reading...


Lululemon Turns a New Page with Wilson Out of the Captain's Chair

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2013 10:14 AM

Despite a firestorm of criticism over a product recall, management shake-ups, and inappropriate comments from its eccentric founder, upscale athletic fashion retailer Lululemon Athletica recently reported increased profits and revenue in the third quarter. 

The Vancouver-based company most known for its yoga apparel said profits rose 15 percent to $66.1 million, or 45 cents per share, for the three-month period ending Nov. 3. Revenues climbed to $379.9 million from $316.5 million for the quarter, beating expectations of $374.6 million. But the company's recovery may come to a halt next quarter, with projections for same-store sales coming in flat—collateral from a year of struggle for the company. 

Perhaps a holiday blessing for Lululemon will be the pending departure of outspoken, controversial founder Dennis J. Wilson, known as Chip, who will be stepping down as chairman of the board, though he'll remain a member.

Wilson most recently ignited a firestorm after telling Bloomberg TV in November that "some women's bodies just actually don't work," for the company's famed yoga pants, the focus of a March recall that shed a spotlight on the company's flawed supply chain and quality control issues. Wilson's comments irritated an already inflamed sentiment that the company neglected plus-size women—an issue that it has yet to address.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, GM, Gap and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 29, 2013 09:36 AM

In the News

Walmart, Target report strong Thanksgiving day traffic. 

GM names new chief of China operations. 

Gap to enter India retail market with joint venture. 

Tiki Barber plans to revitalize Thuzio, his rent-a-pro-athlete business. 

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn target small businesses. 

Google accused of violating Dutch data protection laws.

Microsoft rumors about new potential CEO Alan Mullaly are still swirling.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: American Airlines, Bitcoin, Gap and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 28, 2013 08:50 AM

In the News

Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers!

American Airlines clears final hurdle in merger with US Airways

Bitcoin breaks the $1,000 mark. 

Gap moves quickly after ad featuring Sikh model is vandalized. 

CBC downplays loss of NHL broadcasts. 

Facebook testing a 'save for later' feature. 

GoldieBlox deletes Beastie Boys commercial as battle with band heats up.

Goldman Sachs bets entrepreneurship project can save Detroit. 

HoneyBaked Ham's radio-mobile play aim's to take a bite out of Turkey Day. 

HP will replace Verizon in hosting Healthcare.gov website.Continue reading...

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