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brand trainwrecks

Post-Johnson, JCPenney Picks Up the Pieces

Posted by Dale Buss on April 10, 2013 04:22 PM

It's Day 2 of the post-Johnson era at JCP—or JCPenney (or is it back to J.C. Penney now?)—and it isn't at all clear how the venerable American retailer is going to recover from what just-sacked CEO Ron Johnson did, and didn't, do.

But JCPenney, now back under the leadership of pre-Johnson CEO Myron "Mike" Ullman, is going to try. Wall Street has been tapping down Penney's stock in the wake of the board's decision to oust Johnson earlier this week, but it isn't because investors believe that Johnson should have stayed. It's because they fear that the former head of Apple retail operations did so much damage during his short tenure at the helm that the company isn't salvageable.

Ullman is at least going to give it everything he's got in his second shot at the job. The retailer is still fighting a 10 percent sales drop during its ongoing fiscal first quarter, the Wall Street Journal said, on top of a 19 percent drop during the same quarter a year ago and the overall 25 percent dip in revenues during 2012.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, JCPenney, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 10, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Chrysler recalls more than 214,000 vehicles.

JCPenney acting CMO Sergio Zyman canvasses adland for marketing help as Macy's/Martha Stewart trial rolls on.

GM returns to Facebook advertising with mobile test for Chevy Sonic as it provokes unionists in Korea with talk about pullout, and Facebook widens data targeting for advertisers.

Aereo finds broadcasters circling the wagons against its streaming model.

Apple and Yahoo discuss deeper iPhone partnership, WSJ says.

Beech-Nut teams with Goya to launch Hispanic baby food line.

Behr launches social media program to market paint.

Cablevision Systems gives more responsibilities to wife of CEO.

Cannes Lions Festival adds jury on Branded Content and Entertainment.

Chili's begins marketing pizza nationwide.

Facebook has yet to monetize billion-dollar Instagram acquisition.

Fiat becomes more reliant on US and Asia for growth.

Fisker Automotive prepares to file under Chapter 11 soon.

Frontier Airlines may be on the block, WSJ says.Continue reading...

brand battle

JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson Out as JCP-Macy's-Martha Stewart Trial Resumes

Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 07:12 PM

Ron Johnson has been ousted as CEO of JCPenney as the retailer's board of directors voted on Monday to turn to his predecessor to pull the company out of the death spiral (it lost $4.3 billion in sales last year) on Johnson's watch, rather than give the former Target executive and Apple retail head the extra time he wanted to see his radical vision through to fruition.

Mike Ullman, who had been CEO of JCPenney until 2011, before Johnson, is returning to take the helm again at least for the time being, according to a JCPenney press release:

"The Board of Directors of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced that Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III has rejoined the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. Ullman is a highly accomplished retail industry executive, who served as CEO of jcpenney until late 2011. He succeeds Ron Johnson, who is stepping down and leaving the Company."

The stock market appreciated the move, which comes on the same day that JCPenney resumed its courtroom clash with Macy's in Manhattan over rights to field the Martha Stewart product lines that Johnson maintained would be crucial to turning around JCPenney's fortunes.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News; AB InBev, GE, PepsiCo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

AB InBev reachedtentative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its disputed $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which faces inquiry over Mexico worker deaths.

GE to buy Lufkin for $3 billion in oil-and-gas-industry play.

PepsiCo seeks to patent novel high-protein nutrition beverages.

Adidas stops controversial sale of t-shirts around injured Louisville player Kevin Ware.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong to be honored for pro-women Makers series.

Apple's former advisor to Steve Jobs admits brand screwed up iPhone naming system.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: HP, BP, BMW and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the NewsHP board shakeup and chairman exit gives CEO Meg Whitman a chance to shake off troubles.

BP faults Deepwater Horizon claims overseer, launches first brand-wide fuel loyalty program.

BMW prepares X4 crossover for U.S. market, makes vehicles greener with fewer cylinders, less gasoline.

Al Jazeera America hires CNN's Ali Velshi as anchor.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos leads $5 million investment round in Henry Blodget's Business Insider.

Apple reportedly signs music labels for streaming service as Google's YouTube clinches deal with Universal Music.

Best Buy may have turned the tide on showrooming Amazon.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCP Tries to Turn the Tide with Markdowns, Chic Home Designers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM

J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue. 

"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.

That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.

“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...

tech style

Aeropostale Banking on Tech to Reel In Millennials

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 06:13 PM

Aeropostale is going hard after the Millennial market by using digital technology to attract young consumers.

After redesigning its stores last fall, Aeropostale is now adding in-store iPad kiosks as well as a new mobile app in the hopes that the Touchscreen Generation will fill up both their online carts and in-store baskets with their goods. "This is the future," said Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale's vice president of e-commerce, according to Business Insider. "This is the way [teens are] going to interact with our brand."Continue reading...

digital moves

Aeropostale Banking on Tech to Reel In Millennials

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 06:11 PM

Aeropostale is going hard after the Millennial market by using digital technology to attract young consumers.

After redesigning its stores last fall, Aeropostale is now adding in-store iPad kiosks as well as a new mobile app in the hopes that the Touchscreen Generation will fill up both their online carts and in-store baskets with their goods.

"This is the future," said Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale's vice president of e-commerce, according to Business Insider. "This is the way [teens are] going to interact with our brand."

While the three leaders of the teen retail market—Aeropostale, American Eagle, and Abercrombie & Fitch—along with quickly rising Forever 21 all have apps already, Aeropostale is the first to put iPads into its stores, Business Insider reports.

The company’s urge to find new ways to reach consumers was likely elevated after its sales went down 6 percent during the holiday shopping season while competitor American Eagle had a strong back-to-school effort last summer. Plus, mobile retail is growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year.

Don’t think that Aeropostale doesn’t want to see its customers, though. That’s why it put the iPod kiosks in the actual stores and the app is more about providing a store locator and coupons to help draw teens into the actual brick-and-mortar locations. "If you create an experience that streamlines some of the things that people want to do, you'll increase the amount of time that they spend engaging (with) the brand," said Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet, the company responsible for Aeropostal’s new tech outreach, Business Insider reports. "For millennial customers, this is the only way."

Aeropostale, of course, isn’t the only company trying to reach those fickle Millennials that control about $65 billion in spending each year. (Ad Age predicts that number will go up to $200 billion starting in 2017.) Macy’s is going after them both online and in stores as well with 13 new brands, including one featuring Marilyn Monroe, a star who was long dead before the first Millennial was close to being a sparkle in a parent’s eye.

As Ad Age points out, however, it's worth doing the work to reach Millennials on whatever devices they are currently getting information from because 70% of them report that they return to brands they love. So dig deep, marketers, and keep finding new ways to engage.

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