brand news

In the News: Carnival Cruise Lines, J.C. Penney, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2013 09:07 AM

In the News

Carnival Cruise Lines sees brand perceptions drop to all-time low.

J.C. Penney losses snowball as boost in ad spending can't reverse sales declline.

Facebook inks deal to show ads based on shopping habits.

AC/DC rocks their own signature brand of beer.

American Express pushes e-commerce to TV commerce.

Apple preaches patience.

Boeing apologizes for Dreamliner fiasco.

Caesars looks to web gambling for financial help.

Flowers Foods set to buy Wonder, other Hostess brands for $390 million.Continue reading...

retail watch

Bracing for Moves by Target and Walmart, Canada's Sears and Best Buy Shed Jobs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 1, 2013 06:43 PM

Best Buy Canada will lay off 900 employees and close 15 of its stores including eight Future Shop locations, while Sears Canada will lay off 700 of its workers as both retailers brace for the arrival of Target next month and the expansion of Walmart there. Nordstrom is also launching in Canada with four stores in major cities.

“The retail landscape continues to change, and our success is dependent upon our ability to evolve along with it,” said Mike Pratt, president of Best Buy Canada. “By taking a proactive approach in transforming our operations now, I have no doubt we will be in the best position to continue innovating our store experience for consumers and grow into the next decade.”

Sears spokesman Vince Power in a statement that the imminent layoffs across Canada are “part of our initiative to right-size the organization, which is working in concert with other initiatives to make Sears successful." 

Best Buy Canada, like its American parent, faces stiff competition from online electronics retailers such as Amazon and Apple and is replicating a U.S. strategy of switching to smaller stores, which are less expensive to operate. Meanwhile, Sears Canada — which has suffered for years from falling sales and profits — is shrinking its overhead from its 360 department stores and 300 distribution centers.

While Canada's retail sector has been wobbling ever since Walmart arrived in the mid-90s, this latest round of market rumbling is spurred by Target’s immiment expansion plans, as the cheap chic retailer gets ready to open the first of its 124 stores in Canada next month.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AB InBev, Old Spice, Canadian retail wobbles and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 1, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

AB InBev sees U.S. government sue to block acquisition of Grupo Modelo.

Best Buy Canada blames Walmart and Target for closure of 15 stores as Sears Canada downsizes.

P&G launches dual Old Spice Men in new campaign.

BlackBerry touts deal with NHL and begins selling new BlackBerry 10 in U.K. as investors retreat.

AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers deepen diabetes-marketing alliance.

Chrysler reports 16-percent increase in January sales, strongest in five years.

GM promotion with Costco proves its worth.

Google submits proposal to resolve antitrust concerns in Europe.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iPhone, H&M, Lance Armstrong and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

Apple reportedly working on a lower-end iPhone.

H&M reveals launch plans for & Other Stories store brand.

Lance Armstrong to discuss doping in exclusive live-streamed Oprah Winfrey interview as new allegations arise.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn't care about profit margins.

American Airlines upgrades international travel.

Asus looks to share in Google Nexus glory.

Audi A7 self-driving autopilot car goes for a spin at CES.

Beauty brands including Philosophy try oxygenating products.

Best Buy's former CMO lands at LivingSocial.

Boeing sees formal probe of Dreamliner.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AIG, J&J, Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

AIG considers suing U.S. government despite federal bailout aid.

J&J sells Roloaids brand to Sanofi.

Samsung caps best year ever.

ABC spurs questions for marketers with move of Jimmy Kimmel's show.

Apple sees CEO Tim Cook make second visit  to China as mainland footprint doubles.

Bacardi snaps up St-Germain liqueur brand.

Bank of America extends retreat from mortgages.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Bangladesh Factory Fire Highlights Brands' Supply Chain of Ethics

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 7, 2012 03:21 PM

As countries like Bangladesh move up the food chain from aid to trade, the global eco-system fueling the fire, literally and figuratively, is largely the retail fashion industry, feeding the western world’s insatiable appetite for fashion. 

The November 24th factory blaze that killed 112 garment workers in an illegal factory in Bangladesh showed the world, as Reuters puts it, that “pressure from big Western brands to produce huge volumes of apparel fast and at rock-bottom prices, [is making] Bangladeshi suppliers routinely sub-contract their orders.”

As the victims — many of them young women and mothers, all of them poor — are mourned and the Clean Clothes Campaign organizes vigils at C&A and beyond as part of a bigger shame campaign for brands whose labels were found in the ashes, what’s really on trial, as the New York Times points out in a scathing article today, is ethical sourcing and a severely out-of-balance equation claiming the lives of impoverished workers with no options.Continue reading...

black friday

Apps Help Fuel Black Friday as Cyber Monday Morphs Into "Mobile Monday"

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 12:02 PM

The annual holiday shopping hysteria is upon us, and this year's Thanksgiving madness promises to be more mobile than ever. In fact, a new survey indicates 28 percent of adult consumers who own smartphones or tablets will use them to shop on Thanksgiving day. That's nearly double last year's percentage.

As 20 percent of shoppers definitely plan to shop on Black Friday, they'll be enabled by QR codes (although almost 60 percent of shoppers don't know how to use them) as well as apps from websites and retailers catering to shoppers with smartphones and tablets. And beyond Black Friday throughout the holiday season, more so than ever this year.

"Apps will play a particularly strong role for driving commerce this holiday season," reports Mobile Commerce Daily. Nearly a third of smartphone owners will download a shopping app to use for holiday shopping, according to a Pricegrabber study and of those, over 80 percent will use their smartphones this holiday season in an effort to save money on purchases. eMarketer puts that figure at about 53%.

This year, retailers have resigned themselves to the fact that "showrooming" (checking out merchandise at stores and purchasing online) is the new competitive environment. "Consumers have been empowered by shopping apps," said Alexander Muse, founder of the Future Of Retail Alliance. "They've been armed with more product knowledge than clerks in most retail stores have. Retailers used to be threatened by this; now, they are finding ways to capitalize on it — such as through aggressive price-matching, as well as ship-to-store and other omnichannel strategies. That's the big difference between Black Friday 2011 and Black Friday 2012."Continue reading...

retail watch

How Target's Entering Canada: Politely, and Bearing Gifts

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 11:13 AM

What's the best way for a well-known retailer to introduce its brand to a new country? Come bearing gifts. That, apparently, is Target's strategy. In advance of its spring 2013 launch in Canada, the retail chain is laying the groundwork with PR-positive initiatives, including a push to support Canadian charities, sustainable stores, and a focus on Canadian fashion designers.

Target has pledged to give $1 million to six local Canadian charities in food, active play, education, and the arts. Visitors to Target's Canadian Facebook page through December 9 can select any of the six charities and Target will make a $100 donation and add the donor's photo to its "Gallery of Giving." Facebook visitors can also specify the province where they would like the money to go. The "Give with Target" campaign just launched on November 20 and has already raised over $250,000.

Will using corporate citizenship as a calling card convince Canadians to forgo Walmart and homegrown faves such as The Bay, Sears (which just refreshed its branding ahead of Target's arrival) and Canadian Tire?Continue reading...

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