retail

Kmart, Others Seen as Crossing the Line as Holiday Promos Encroach on Celebrations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2013 04:55 PM

What happens when commerce trumps tradition? A lot of angry consumers (and employees).

That's what major retailers Kmart, Macy's, Walmart, Kohl's and others are finding out as they continue to blur the line between the Thanksgiving holiday and the major shopping event that is Black Friday. Kmart has put itself in the line of fire as it recently announced that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open for 41 straight hours through 11 p.m. Friday. Sears, too, will open up at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through Friday, while Macy's bowed under pressure and for the first time, will open its US stores on Thanksgiving evening. Last year, Target fielded a steady stream of backlash after announcing it would open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. 

The trend is no doubt a reaction to the sluggish retail market as brands fear the lack of spending will continue through the 2013 holiday season. Brands are so worried, in fact, that they are not only launching their holiday campaigns early, but also their special holiday deals. Walmart kicked off its online promotion last week—one month earlier than usual. 

But their concerns aren't unfounded. A National Foundation for Credit Counseling poll found that 53 percent of shoppers plan to spend less on holiday gift giving this year than they did in 2012, with one-third planning to spend nothing and only 3 percent intending to spend more.Continue reading...

retail

Sears Begins Shedding Core Pieces of Business In Last-Ditch Survival Bid

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 05:27 PM

It doesn't feel like that long ago that Sears and Kmart stood astride American retailing like twin Goliaths, and Walmart and Target were the pipsqueaks Davids. Now comes yet another reminder of how far the two erstwhile leaders—since sadly intertwined in one fading company—have fallen and how close they are to disappearing into the dustbin of US brand greatness.

Sears is now weighing spinning off its Lands’ End brand and auto-center units from the company to raise cash amid dwindling revenue and to focus more on its Sears and Kmart stores. The company already has sold leases for its flagship stores in Canada and is continuing to evaluate all US retail locations.

“How much more muscle can you cut?” Paul Swinand, an analyst for Morningstar in Sears’ hometown of Chicago, said to Bloomberg, about the unprofitable retailer controlled by Edward Lampert. Sears’ survival tale has been obscured lately only by the relative roller-coaster ride taken by long-time rival JCPenney.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Red Bull, Sears and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

Apple sees profits fall despite higher sales of iPhones and offers disappointing holiday forecast.

Red Bull is subject to big wrongful-death suit.

Sears considers spinning off Lands End unit.

Air Serbia launches in Europe.

Boeing considers non-union plant for 777x.

Burger King may rescue corporate cousin Heinz after McDonalds ketchup snub.

Consumer Reports drops Toyota Camry from its recommended list over crash test.

GM lifts Opel marketing in Russia.

Google amends EU antitrust proposals as it looks to triple number of Glass testers and prepares to launch smartwatch. 

Guess signs first Indian model, Priyanka Chopra, as new brand ambassador.Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Hyundai, Diehard, Even 'Carrie' Hope Their Marketing Memes Last as Long as the Undead

Posted by Dale Buss on October 18, 2013 05:43 PM

The zombie marketing meme seems to be lasting as long as the creatures themselves. Witness the unexpiring hookup between Hyundai USA and The Walking Dead, and a new campaign by—who else?—Diehard Batteries as the latest examples.

Maybe Sears learned something from its zombie-related marketing effort on behalf of its store brand three years ago. In any event, its clever new ad features a couple in distress, the requisite zombie horde, and an unlikely hero: the battery that starts the getaway truck presumably after years of sitting idle.

Meanwhile, Hyundai now has committed to an endless relationship with the hit zombie series The Walking Dead, which started its new season on AMC last weekend as the most popular show on US cable television.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hyundai, Twitter, NBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Hyundai plans to launch performance sub-brand.

Twitter chooses tech-heavy NYSE for IPO even as losses widen.

NBC holds viewer lead early in new TV season.

Advance Auto Parts plans to buy Carquest parent for $2.04 billion.

Alibaba nears Facebook sales but with double the profit. 

Alitalia faces tough conditions on refinancing from Air France, KLM and others.

Apple cuts orders of low-cost iPhone 5C as it confirms Oct. 22 iPad event. 

Burberry transition poses tough test for new CEO.

Chrysler stars Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera in latest ad.

Domino's leans on digital innovation, not just new products.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nespresso, Procter & Gamble, Ford and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Nespresso sees coffee pod patent revoked by European regulators.

Procter & Gamble goes high-brow in fashion collaboration.

Ford teams with University of Michigan for new battery lab. 

Alibaba plans to blow out infrastructure spending on Chinese "e-conomy."

Alitalia set for vote that may bring Italian government back in as an owner.

California Pizza Kitchen rolls out gluten-free pizza effort.

Daytona International Speedway fires up campaign.

Foursquare opens ads to all businesses.

GM opens new stamping plant in Texas.

Google+ users may see themselves crop up in new ad campaign. 

HTC eyes China for survival.

Huawei innovates with rotating CEO system.Continue reading...

brand survivors

Paula Deen's Brand Isn't Dead Yet as Food Network Fumbles

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2013 06:22 PM

Celebrity chef Paula Deen got tossed off her throne at Food Network after an 11-year reign this past summer after a wave of bad publicity regarding the use of racial epithets gained her a lot of enemies. Deen was subsequently dropped by Food Network along with nearly every other sponsor she accrued over her career, though the lawsuit against her was eventually dropped. 

Deen fans were irate and boycotted the network, and now it appears that the network is paying the price. Viewership numbers for the Food Network have gone down since then, with total prime time viewers down 6 percent during the June 24 to Oct. 6 time period compared with the same period last year. Daytime viewing went down 3 percent in that span. Worse than that, though, 18- to 49-year-olds seemingly ditched the network; their viewership dropped 16 percent during prime time and 10.8 percent during the day.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yum! Brands, Brooks Brothers, Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 08:47 AM

In the News

Yum! Brands profit drops a staggering 68 percent. 

Brooks Brothers plans to open restaurant.

Samsung unveils phone with curved screen but sees US back Apple instead in portion of IP dispute.

A123 Systems shifts to focus on supplying batteries for hybrids, not EVs.

Fazoli's debuts fast-casual concept.

Ford tests driverless-car parking. 

Fox News sees new primetime anchor Megyn Kelley draw large, older audience.

Jamba Juice downgrades outlook.

Jimmmy Choo co-founder ready to launch another blockbuster brand. 

Jos. A. Bank bids for Men's Wearhouse.Continue reading...

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