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...

brand news

In the News: YouTube, ESPN, JPMorgan Chase and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2013 09:20 AM

In the News

YouTube launches paid channels after rumors swirled earlier this week about subscription partners.

ESPN may subsidize wireless-data plans.

JPMorgan Chase is sued by California over credit-card cases.

AT&T returns to chatty kids for Mother's Day ads.

Amazon is reportedly developing a smartphone with 3-D screen.

Caterpillar and union suspend talks.

Chrysler faces uphill climb for Jeep in China.

Costco now offers travel packages to members.

Dell may see rival bid by Carl Icahn group.

Delta sees new terminal as symbol of air-travel makeover.Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

It's No Secret: JCPenney Says 'We're Sorry' and 'Come Back' with Social Media Blitz

Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 06:12 PM

JCPenney's brand-resuscitation efforts continued today with a digital-era form of a classic corporate move: the mea culpa.

The company launched a virtual apology tour on Facebook, YouTube (watch below) and Twitter to get the message out to customers—those same customers that now-ousted CEO Ron Johnson in large part ignored for more than a year—that the brand is sorry and wants them to come back.

According to Bloomberg, the campaign was developed on Johnson's watch and implemented by Sergio Zyman, the former Coca-Cola marketing executive who will go down in history as the architect of the New Coke fiasco.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: ESPN, Honda, Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 30, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

ESPN apologizes for comments by commentator after NBA player announces he's gay.

Honda recalls almost 46,000 Fits in North America.

Chrysler sees profit tumble on poorly executed product launches.

Alibaba and Sina form alliance of China online businesses.

Apple files for new technology that tells whether to text or call friends.

Asos prepares marketing drive to grow global brand.

BP reviews safety after oil leak in North Sea.

Best Buy sells Europe unit back to Carphone Warehouse.

BlackBerry CEO questions future of tablets (which brand doesn't have).Continue reading...

brands that go bang

Can Joe Fresh Save JCPenney... and Retail?

Posted by Renèe Alexander on April 18, 2013 02:11 PM

If observers of Canada’s fashion industry have learned anything over the last 30 years, it’s this: don’t bet against Joe Mimran.

The brains behind Joe Fresh, which just celebrated its first anniversary of bringing contemporary styles and affordable prices to the US with an exclusive fashion show at its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, continues to be a fashion force and is showing no signs of getting stale.

The 61-year-old is currently overseeing a major country-wide expansion south of the 49th parallel. Joe Fresh’s “store-within-a-store” concept opened up to rave reviews in nearly 700 of JCPenney’s 1,100 locations a few weeks ago. Amidst JCPenney's ongoing retail debacle, much of the media attention had centered on now-ousted JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson hitching perhaps his last cart to Mimran. It's obvious that if Joe Fresh and the sampling of other top designers can't pull through with improved sales figures for the chain, JCPenney's days will surely be numbered.

“If Joe Fresh doesn’t work, this could be the worst ides of March since Brutus greeted Caesar on the floor of the Senate,” Maxim analyst Rick Snyder told Business Week. “(Joe Fresh) is kind of a microcosm of what they’re trying to do, and if it doesn’t work, I think it’s going to get really ugly.”

Nevermind Martha—if Joe Fresh can't boost JCPenney—whose shares jumped five percent on Joe's debut weekend—then nobody can. All it takes is one quick look at Mimran’s resume and it’s plain to see—the Moroccan-born fashionista knows his stuff and he’s got the marketshare, revenue and real estate to back it up.Continue reading...

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