Posted by Abe Sauer on November 21, 2011 06:33 PM
Walmart is such a juggernaut that finding some bit of news that proves bad PR for the brand is about as easy as, well, finding a good deal at a Walmart (which is opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day, getting a jump with Target, Macy's, Best Buy, Kohl's and other retailers for whom Black Friday is Not Enough).
Case in point: "Jerseyville Wal-Mart sued over customer's slip." Or: "Wal-Mart ready to settle Netflix case for $27.5M." But two new developments cast the brand in an especially tough light, with one in a perfect position to link up with the 99%er movement.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 21, 2011 01:45 PM
It was only a matter of time before Rebecca Black's so-bad-it's-classic smash song Friday was repurposed into a "Black Friday" commercial. Bravo, Kohl's.
But it isn't just a "Rebecca Black Friday" this year — look, guys, it's Justin Bieber for Macy's! And we mean "guys."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2011 08:54 AM
Alleghany to buy Transatlantic.
American Apparel acting president quits.
Apple leapfrogs Argos to become 2nd biggest online retailer in the U.K., as textbooks and photography tops its new product priorities and Grand Central NYC store prepares to open and iPhone 4S heads to China.
Berkshire Hathaway to invite Wall Street analysts to annual meeting for once as Warren Buffett, excited about Japan, says company could spend $10 billion on its next acquisition.
Best Buy sees shoppers in Florida camping out since last week for Black Friday.
Chevron accepts responsibility for oil spill off Brazil.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2011 05:33 PM
Yes, William Shatner is nothing if not multifaceted and unpredictable. After the pinnacle accomplishment of his career — portraying Captain James Kirk on Star an unbelievable 40 years ago — when he could have become a footnote in the pop-culture past, who knew the Canadian-born actor would find a second career as a funnyman, and a spokesman, by appearing in commercials for a then up-and-coming dot-com, Priceline?
But that Shat did, and Priceline's subsequent success became the stuff of endorsement history. And now that Shatner's most recent attempt at "serious" acting, in last year's CBS comedy $#*! My Dad Says, is defunct, he's got to do something else with that outsized ego comic persona, right?
Well, how about promoting awareness of turkey-fryer fires for State Farm Insurance? That's right, after personally suffering from a turkey-fryer accident, the bombastic actor and pitch man has graciously lent his comic timing and faux gravitas to the insurer's efforts to stamp out this underappreciated form of holiday danger.
His two-commercial campaign is being promoted on Twitter with a hashtag, #ShatnerFryersClub, which encourages folks to pay attention (and have a Happy Shatsgiving). It's no joking matter, and if it gets people to pay attention, so much the better. State Farm cites grim stats, such as how Texas leads for reporting the most grease- and cooking-related claims around Thanksgiving over the previous five years.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 17, 2011 11:32 AM
Walmart is partnering with Nelly (yes, that Nelly) and DoSomething.org as part of the 2011 Tackle Hunger campaign this holiday season. The public is invited to participate at dosomething.org/tackle-hunger or by texting "HUNGER" to 38383 to get started.
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 17, 2011 09:55 AM
With Black Friday just a week away, a new survey shows that retailer optimism about sales growth is lower this year than in 2010. Heavy discounts are expected to rule the day as many retailers move their Black Friday operations to Thursday in a dismal zero sum game sales spiral.
One way for retailers to save a little money in a potentially grim holiday shopping season? Regift!Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 16, 2011 01:58 PM
Two years ago, we reported that the Salvation Army, a charitable brand best known for its red kettles and bell ringers that appear outside stores during the holiday shopping season, was implementing credit card processing in 120 U.S. cities. The reason? Shoppers just didn't seem to carry much disposable cash around anymore.
The experiment was a bold one for an organization that started 150 years ago. Truth be told, it wasn't a smashing success. Major George Hood of the Salvation Army tells the New York Times, "The credit card terminals really haven't been a blockbuster, I'll be candid. The winter elements have been a negative, people have to go through a process of entering data, and it's just generally more cumbersome."
But that isn't stopping the Salvation Army from keeping up with the times. During this year's holiday shopping season, the kettles will be ever-present, but the Salvation Army hopes to cash in on a new idea — a variation on accepting credit cards that should make it much easier for the consumer.
In ten locations in Chicago, Dallas, New York, and San Francisco, Salvation Army bell ringers will be equipped with Android smartphones, donated by Sprint Nextel, that have a kind of micro-terminal attached to them powered by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's Square.
Consumers simply swipe their debit or credit card through Square and their donation of any amount they choose goes to the Salvation Army. The tiny reader is portable and allows secure transactions, just like any retail credit card terminal. As the Salvation Army noted in a blog post, "With more families in need of Salvation Army services this year than ever before, we hope implementing this new technology will provide ease and incentive for new and existing donors."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 16, 2011 01:04 PM
A year ago, we published a story ("Nook vs. Kindle: The e-Reader Battle Joined") that outlined the battle between the e-readers by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Today, that battle is a full-fledged war.
B&N wants you to curl up with a nice comfy e-reader — the newest version of the Nook, which is being released Nov. 18th, even as research shows consumers grappling how they’re going to afford gift-giving this holiday season. Amazon's Kindle Fire went on sale ahead of schedule this past Monday to get a jump on the holiday-shopping season.
As USA Today's Ed Baig writes, "There may be no bigger slugfest than what is taking place this week in 7-inch touch-screen tablets as the Kindle Fire from Amazon goes toe-to-toe with the Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble."Continue reading...