brand battle

JCPenney Chief Reportedly Calls Martha Stewart Wares 'Not That Great,' Wants to Dump Line

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2013 05:41 PM

In a major move worthy of the strongest comparisons to SNL's Roseanne Roseannadanna, JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman reportedly has said he no longer wants Martha Stewart home merchandise in the retailer's stores.

The New York Post reported the blockbuster news that Ullman wants to pull the plug on the Martha Stewart designs that are the subject of a bitter lawsuit between Macy's and an alliance of JCPenney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. And the judge hasn't even ruled on the case yet.

Earlier this year, JCPenney actually had begun to roll out several home lines of new Stewart-designed products under its deal with her, even as the trial was going on. The partnership with Martha Stewart was a major move made by previous JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson in his efforts to transform the retail brand, but Macy's objected vigorously to it because the rival chain insisted it had an exclusive deal with Stewart for such wares.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Fast Food Workers Organize Nationwide Protests to Fight for More Pay, Unions

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2013 12:03 PM

Fast-food workers in 50 US cities plan to walk off their jobs today in the latest—and largest—demonstration to pressure employers to allow workers to organize, and increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. 

While a movement has been building since last year, employers have witnessed a resurgence in the demands for greater pay and unionized benefits, with a multi-city protest organized at the end of July. 

"The workers are responding to total failure on behalf of the federal government to raise the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and the cost of living," Tsedeye Gebreselassie, attorney at the National Employment Law Project, told Reuters. 

Employees of McDonald’s, Wendy's, Burger King and other QSR companies will be joined in protest by retail employees from stores such as Macy's, Sears, and Dollar Tree.Continue reading...


JCPenney's 'Improved' Results Spur Chain to Leave Johnson Era Behind More Quickly

Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2013 06:06 PM

For JCPenney, rewinding the recent past has continued to key a brighter future. That was apparent in fiscal-second-quarter results, released today, that showed the brand slowing its sales decline to only 12 percent year-on-year—a brutally negative figure that was only brightened by comparison with the 23 percent quarterly sales decline a year earlier.

With activist investor Bill Ackman out of the way, or at least off the JCPenney board, and his support shored up, CEO Myron Ullman apparently sees positive glimmers of the old JCPenney that he ran until a couple of years ago. The closer the retailer returns to the strategy he followed before giving way to Ron Johnson as CEO, Ullman is indicating, the greater chance JCPenney has of surviving.

"There are no quick fixes to correct the errors of the past," he said in a statement. "Moving forward, we're focusing our efforts on regaining customer loyalty by offering trusted brands, award-winning service and affordability that families can depend on."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Walmart, Hertz and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 15, 2013 09:28 AM

In the News

Facebook to test its own PayPal competitor. 

Walmart cuts earnings guidance for rest of year.

Hertz remakes car rental as a retail experience.

AMC gets advertising bonanza as Breaking Bad winds down.

American Airlines and US Airways preview merger defense.

Cadillac plans to reveal new Escalade this fall.

Cisco cuts 4,000 jobs, blaming weak economic recovery.

Ford plans to boost capital spending as expectations boom.

Hooters blackballs embattled mayor of San Diego as brand dives into social media.

Macy's notes troubling slowdown in store traffic.Continue reading...

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...


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...

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