Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM
Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2013 10:47 AM
Nissan's aggressive price discounts and incentives in May clearly distressed many in the US auto industry who'd hoped that the days of price-cutting, brand-eroding competition were done, at least so closely in the wake of the late-2000s industry restructuring and in the midst of an American-market recovery that only still seems to be picking up steam.
But no brand is more on edge than Hyundai over Nissan's gambit, which was enabled by at least a short-term decline in the value of the yen. That's because Nissan is one of its closest competitors across the board in terms of vehicle segments where they compete and don't compete. And most acutely, it's because Hyundai's tight supplies for the US market mean it could afford a price war perhaps least of any major brand.
"The first month [of Nissan price cuts] wasn't an indication of, oh, the re-pricing was successful or not," Hyundai US CEO John Krafcik said in Detroit recently, according to Automotive News. "It said if you put bigger discounts on your car, you'll sell more of them.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 20, 2013 02:39 PM
Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer may have been able to guarantee the way you'd look in his suits, but that same comfort didn't extend to his own job. In fact, Men’s Wearhouse tossed the 64-year-old Zimmer out the door Wednesday after he spent 40 years building the brand, starting with the first location that he opened with his college roommates.
No reason was given for the ouster but analysts suggested to The New York Times “that the conflict might be over the company’s efforts to appeal to younger customers, who could have been hampered by Mr. Zimmer’s continued presence in ads.” A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Zimmer, who still owns about 3.5 percent of the company’s shares, and his handpicked CEO, Doug Ewert, have had “repeated clashes” about buying back shares and selling off apparel chain K&G.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on June 14, 2013 04:38 PM
We thought it was a cute move by Lululemon when we spotted this "We're Hiring" image posted on its Facebook page. After all, the cult-like brand takes a lot of inspiration from its yogi "guests" so it's not a stretch for them to casually (and jokingly) crowdsource a new CEO. But, as it turns out, the brand is quite serious. It's hiring, and if you think you've got the chops, it wants you to apply.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 27, 2013 12:06 PM
The world will soon see whether the departure of Bob McDonald and return of A.G. Lafley as CEO leads to crisper financial and market-share results for Procter & Gamble. A conservative management culture like P&G's doesn't undergo such a wrenching change lightly, so the appetite for immediate results will be enormous.
But in the meantime—and only for the meantime—two personal brands are ascendant in this sea of change at P&G: Lafley, of course, and activist investor Bill Ackman.
Lafley didn't exactly go quietly into "retirement" when he left P&G in the leadership of his hand-picked successor, McDonald, in 2009. Joining the private equity firm that also wooed Jack Welch post-GE, he's been busy as a business guru.
As the architect of P&G's golden era—doubling sales, quadrupling profits, boosted its market value by $100 million, launching hit products such as Swiffer and Febreze, acquired Gillette and built a global reputation for innovation management during his decade-long tenure at the company's helm—Lafley hasn't exactly been laying low since he left.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 24, 2013 01:01 PM
"During the past year, much attention has been focused on me from several angles, which has been a distraction that is not in our best interests. When we get to a point where too much attention becomes a distraction, it's time to change that dynamic."
That statement to Procter & Gamble employees (as reported by Ad Age) by Bob McDonald was cited as the primary reason he's stepping down from the world's largetst consumer packaged goods company after 33 years and making room for his old boss, A.G. Lafley, to retake the reins.
Here's a look back at the past year for McDonald and P&G, as reported on brandchannel:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 12:10 PM
Procter & Gamble's board is hoping that A.G. Lafley can pull a Steve Jobs and return to the helm of the CPG giant to make vast improvements, quickly.
Lafley is abruptly coming back to the CEO post from which he retired in 2010 after 33 years, this time to replace the soon-to-depart Bob McDonald, according to a P&G press release. Yet there will be enormous pressure on Lafley from the start to demonstrate that such a move—uncharacteristic of the conservative culture at P&G—was justified.
The changing of the guard, which will see McDonald formally exit on June 30 while Lafley returns as Chairman, President and CEO "effective immediately," surprised most P&G investors and employees, especially as the bombshell dropped before the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the U.S. But perhaps it became inevitable when McDonald, after improving the company's financial and market performance for a while last fiscal year, stumbled in late April by reporting weak sales growth, following on a tumultuous year for the company and its embattled leader.
During his four years at the top, P&G had lost a step to rivals such as Unilever in terms of market share and profitability. Despite the fact that McDonald had launched the popular Tide Pods product line, a $10-billion cost-cutting program and had managed to improve P&G's position a bit during the second half of 2012, he couldn't do enough, quickly enough.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 05:02 PM
It’s been a long time since IBM was the safe default option for any company purchasing computer hardware or software. When Virginia "Ginni" Rometty was promoted to CEO 16 months ago, her charge was to put the once-indominable business services giant back onto a smoother path in a world that has been invaded by the likes of Apple, smartphones, apps and the cloud.
There’s just one big problem, Rometty recently told IBM’s 434,000 employees in a five-minute internal video message: Them.
All employees at IBM were told by their leader to "step up" by working faster and better, so that they more proactively and productively engage customers and stop letting potential deals slip away.
“Where we haven’t transformed rapidly enough, we struggled,” Rometty said in the video published on the internal IBM website and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. “We have to step up with that and deal with that, and that is on all levels.”Continue reading...