Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 07:16 PM
Ever since JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman said a few weeks ago that he didn't think the chain's Martha Stewart housewares were all that great, it's been obvious that he wanted to end tensions with Macy's over the rivals' litigation involving home goods designed by Stewart's company.
On Monday, JCPenney and Martha Stewart Living announced a revised agreement that eliminates Stewart's products in home-goods categories to which Macy's claims exclusive rights. In other words, JCPenney has completely backed down over Macy's central complaint in the litigation. And now the only big thing to be determined is whether Macy's will receive a damage award when the judge's final ruling in the case comes, probably later this week.
JCPenney and Stewart also are walking back other aspects of their two-year-old agreement, by swapping the 11 million shares in Stewart's company that JCPenney purchased; JCPenney also will give up its two seats on the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The only remnant of the deal is that the retailer still will sell a small batch of Stewart products, including window treatments and party supplies.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2013 08:11 PM
Pinterest—the visual-heavy darling of social media now drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.
The data just released from Shareaholic, a social plugin service that mines data from 200,000 publishers and reaches 250 million monthly unique visitors collectively, shows Facebook in the lead driving 10 percent of overall traffic to publishers in September, far exceeding all other social networks, with Pinterest second at 3.68 percent—three times more than Twitter.
The four-year-old ‘virtual pinboard’ is aggressively pursuing a path of global expansion with a 66 percent year-over-year traffic increase as evidenced by a new partnership with international broadband provider Telefónica ensuring a new Pinterest widget will be pre-loaded on Android phones sold by the telecom company in Europe and Latin America to the provider’s 316 million-strong customer base.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2013 06:42 PM
Even as Black Friday is fading as the most frenetic custom of post-industrial American materialism, retailers find new ways of trying to keep it relevant. So now Macy's will open on Thanksgiving evening for the first time in the chain's 155-year history.
Macy's plans to open most of its stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, four hours earlier than the previously accelerated 12-midnight opening. "Black Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year and brings with it a level of fun and excitement to our customers around the nation," Peter Sachse, Macy's chief stores officer, said in a news release explaining the move.
Likewise, Walmart is trying to get an even bigger share of the Black Friday trade with its strategy for advertising heavily on TV during the highly watched trio of NFL games on Thanksgiving, something the chain historically hasn't done.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2013 09:33 AM
Apple taps Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as retail head.
Macy's plans to open most stores on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m., breaking a 155-year tradition of being closed on the holiday.
New York Times officially rebrands International Herald Tribune as the International New York Times.
Alcatel-Lucent chief warns company may collapse.
Allstate gives Mayhem the silent treatment on Twitter.
Amazon begins shipping goods from inside suppliers such as P&G.
Argos, a high-street brand, launches its own budget tablet.
BlackBerry moves to reassure customers with open letter.
Chevy models get support for Siri's eyes-free mode.
Coca-Cola profits rise on higher sales in North America.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 11, 2013 01:42 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Chinese tourism boom has a downside… auction house war in the making… Starbucks struggling… Apple in Hong Kong… dumpling billionaire… Crayola charges into China… Alibaba-Tencent fight over mobile payments… Moët & Chandon on a boat… Maison Birks… and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 11:36 AM
If Ron Johnson were dead, he'd be spinning in his grave. Instead, the ousted CEO of JCPenney can simply watch from afar as his predecessor-turned-successor Myron Ullman dismantles the former Apple retail head's failed ambitious plan to transform the venerable retailer, piece by piece.
The latest back-to-the-future moves by Ullman? Scrapping the simple new logo that Johnson instituted as well as some of the ad-agency help that he hired. Such gambits are part of Ullman's efforts to ensure that Penney has bottomed out as the crucial 2013 holiday shopping season gets underway.
Johnson introduced the red-framed logo last year to great fanfare, "updating" the marque to simply "jcp" in a blue box in the upper-left corner of a square that was intended to invoke an American flag with its patriotic colors.
Instead, it became just another reminder to JCPenney's traditional customers that Johnson didn't really care about their business. So the old "JCPenney" logo in a simple red font is back—albeit slightly updated—marking the fourth logo in as many years for the embattled department store brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 01:49 PM
Change is afoot in the long-stuffy business of dressing men for success. And the players aren't pulling their new strategies off the rack.
Jos. A. Bank has just bid $2.3 billion for troubled rival Men's Wearhouse in an unsolicited offer that quickly was rejected by the latter, while retailer Brooks Brothers is looking to take on competition by expanding its high-end brand beyond store shelves.
Men's Wearhouse clearly has been weakened by sales and profit declines stemming from systemic problems as well as the recent ouster of the chain's founder and pitchman-in-chief, George Zimmer, who remains the company's largest shareholder.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 05:38 PM
It was one thing for Best Buy and other big box, commodity chains to suffer from “showrooming,” but the practice now appears to be afflicting haute cuisine enabler Williams-Sonoma. And its new CEO Janet Hayes, who was named in March, is trying to do something about it.
The chain—a sibling brand to the Pottery Barn and West Elm housewares chains—has posted same-store sales declines for five of the last seven quarters as Williams-Sonoma copes with the growing scourge of showrooming—an action that the high-end retailer once didn't have to worry about because of its exclusive inventory. But now a host of brick-and-mortar and online rivals are presenting much of the same stuff, including upstarts Cutlery & More and Sur Le Table as well as Macy’s and Amazon, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...