Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand challenges

After a Brief Respite, JCPenney Looks to Tackle Existential Issues Again

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2013 05:17 PM

Things have been quiet on the JCPenney front for a few weeks as CEO Myron Ullman worked largely behind the scenes to gather some momentum for the brand heading into the crucial back-to-school season—and after the disastrous Ron Johnson era.

That changed this week, when investors reacted to a report of a financial squeeze on JCPenney suppliers and final arguments were made in the company's defense, along with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, against Macy's.

JCPenney stock was recovering on Thursday after it denied a report from a day earlier that a leading financier of key JCPenney vendors had stopped supporting deliveries from smaller manufacturers to JCPenney stores. CIT, the lender, is a "factor," meaning it advances funds to suppliers for a cut of the eventual proceeds from the retailer. If vendors believed that JCPenney's finances and ability to pay were getting shakier, they could halt some shipments.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Lululemon, JCPenney, Google and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Lululemon insider says brand purposely shuns plus-size customers. 

JCPenney says it has backing after reports that lender cut funding to clothing suppliers, and clash with Macy's over Martha Stewart nears end.

Starbucks and Google partner on Wi-Fi upgrade at restaurants.

Abbott nutritional brands poised to benefit from changing demographics.

Chrysler finds trucks and SUVs powering 40th consecutive month of sales increases.

Diageo is desperate to "crack the code" for North American beer.

Estee Lauder aims to brand beauty sleep.

Facebook now lets users embed public posts on other websites. 

Farmers Insurance revamps logo.

Ford settles with US on delayed recall.Continue reading...

retail watch

Retailers Combat Slowed Consumer Spending with Back-to-School Sales Tactics

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 19, 2013 10:35 AM

Back-to-school spending is projected to reach $72.5 billion, down from $83.8 billion in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation, as eight in 10 families cite economic conditions will affect their spending.

As a result, retailers are starting their promotional campaigns earlier than ever. "All of these different companies are fighting for the same consumer," said NRF spokeswoman Kathy Grannis. "We're expecting retailers to be incredibly promotional."

Some retailers are expanding their usual back-to-school fare with design showcases, pricier products and free shipping deals.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hulu, Sears, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2013 09:12 AM

In the News

Hulu rejects all takeover bids as owners commit to bigger investment in service.

Sears focuses on "omnichannel" shopping in last-ditch bid.

Microsoft cuts price of Surface RT by up to 30 percent.

Apple vows to aid investigation into death of Chinese woman who may have been electrocuted by iPhone 5

Boeing sees lithium-ion battery systems escape blame in 787 fire at Heathrow.

Boost Mobile promotes "shrinking payment" feature.

Citigroup sees 41 percent increase in Q2 earnings. 

Four Loko owner doubles down on distributing new products.

GlaxoSmithKline bribery allegations are detailed by Chinese.

HP names former CEOs of McDonald's, Liberty Media to its board. 

IMAX expands in Asia.Continue reading...

retail watch

Walmart Scraps Plan for Three Stores in D.C. Over 'Living Wage' Fight

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2013 12:26 PM

Walmart has played so much hardball over the decades that it could have its own Major League Baseball franchise. So it's little surprise that the chain announced today that it will scrap plans for three stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a bill on Wednesday that would force Walmart to pay 50 percent higher starting wages than the retailer pays elsewhere in the US.

Arkansas-based Walmart, which has been touting "The Real Walmart" as it seeks to expand in US cities—was planning to build six stores in the nation's capital and employ up to 1,800 people as part of its recent push into the very last frontier for the chain: central parts of major northern and eastern cities also including Chicago (where the retailer has been rolling out smaller stores) and New York, where it's been facing fierce local opposition.

But a chain representative promised in an op-ed published online by the Washington Post that the retailer would abandon plans for three of those stores if a "living wage" bill gained passage by the D.C. council on Wednesday. That passage also might endanger three more stores already under construction in the city.Continue reading...

retail watch

eBay Debuts Shoppable Touchscreen Windows in Latest Retail Expansion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 5, 2013 03:17 PM

eBay is diving deeper into mobile-enabled, real-time shopping with the launch of "shoppable windows," which will bolster the site's partnership with physical retailers while capitalizing on the greater shift to on-the-go shopping. 

The once online auction-only behemoth continues to expand its role as a middleman between consumers and retailers, following earlier pop-up shops and virtual storefronts. Last year saw the introduction of the mobile, same-day delivery shopping service eBay Now (which is relaunching on mobile) as well as partnerships with major retailers such as Macy's on mobile payments, and wooing major retailers like Target.

The first four windows will be open from June 8 through July 7 in New York City, each offering 30 items from the new Kate Spade Saturday collection, which was recently launched by Fifth & Pacific. The screens, which measure 9 feet across and 2 feet high, are placed on the front windows of closed stores, allowing shoppers to touch and order products, which are delivered within an hour via courier. Payment will be accepted by couriers through PayPal Here, eBay’s mobile payment service.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Retailers Reject $7 Billion Swipe Fee Settlement and File Suit Against Visa, MasterCard

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 24, 2013 02:42 PM

Millions of credit cards are swiped each day in America, meaning Visa and MasterCard are raking in big bucks from retailers daily under the current fee structure. Following a dispute over the swipe fees, Visa and MasterCard were prepping to pay out a $7.2 billion settlement to retailers, but now, the brands and the National Retail Federation have denied the settlement and instead have decided to sue the credit companies. 

Macy's, Target, Office Max, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Saks, and about a dozen other big retailers have banded together and sued Visa and MasterCard, Reuters reports. Walmart and 18 other retailers didn’t get in on the suit, but will “consider pursuing separate legal actions over damages.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, Google, AT&T and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM

In the News

P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.

Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.

AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.

Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.

Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks. 

Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.

Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.

Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...

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