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brand challenges

Sears' Drop in Core Appliance Business Compounds Problem for Failing Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2013 10:40 AM

Sears results keep eroding, with no end in sight. Now the giant retailer's maladroitness has begun affecting the operation that arguably has kept the brand afloat: appliance sales. Not even a successful shopper-loyalty program has been able to turn things around for the company that used to be America's largest store.

Lately it's been easy to lose sight of Sears' woes. For one thing, at least one other traditional retail giant—JCPenney—has had things way worse over the last year or so. Also, Sears has been able to spark some gains at its other major brand, Kmart, with exposure from its popular and cheeky "Ship My Pants" and "Big Gas Savings" ads.

But Sears is suffering. Last week the retailer reported a $194 million loss during the second quarter as same-store sales fell by 1.5 percent. Sears hasn't turned a profit since 2010, and sales, which stood at $53 billion a decade ago, have dwindled steaily to $40 billion in 2012 as customer traffic ebbed and Sears sold assets to raise cash.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, QVC, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 23, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he will retire within 12 months. 

QVC debuts second channel, QVC Plus.

Yahoo courts Katie Couric for video series. 

Airbnb seeks to create "movie" entirely with Vine.

Al-Jazeera America makes debut with few national advertisers.

American Airlines and US Airways get states' support in merger bid.

Audi reveals new A8 family.

BMW will unveil X5 plug-in hybrid, featuring all-wheel drive, at Frankfurt show.

CBS cuts carriage deal with Verizon.

Coca-Cola hired private eye to snoop in Honest Tea trademark case.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Whole Foods, Nike, Saab and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Whole Foods Markets shaves price points.

Nike celebrates 25 years of "Just Do It."

Saab gets ready to re-start production.

Abercrombie & Fitch profit drops by one-third and outlook dims.

Bill Ackman explains himself.

American Greetings turns to One Direction.

Coca-Cola loses North America marketing exec. 

Eli Lilly now is subject of bribery investigation in China.

Farmers Insurance partnership with NASCAR pays off.

Fox News fires top communications executive.

GM keeps refreshing Opel models to boost brand.

HP can't stem slide in PC sales.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Taco Bell, JCPenney, Netflix and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Taco Bell eliminates kids' meals.

JCPenney names former Kraft marketing exec Debra Berman as VP brand strategy.

Netflix sees subscriber growth fall short of expectations.

Al-Jazeera taps ABC veteran to run editorial operations in US.

Bentley invests heavily to boost UK car industry.

Chevrolet aims new Silverado ad at women, who buy 15 percent of pickups.

Cisco to buy cybersecurity firm Sourcefire for $2.7 billion.

Dell founder presses shareholders on his proposed buyout.Continue reading...

retail watch

Sears Tries to Leapfrog Traditional Business Model with Online Luxury-Goods

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2013 04:42 PM

Is it too early to conclude that Sears has jumped the shark as a conventional retailer and that it's all over but the shouting for the retailer as a brick-and-mortar brand? Two new indicators about the future of Sears leave that impression.

It seems that Sears is attempting to pivot from its increasingly woeful performance as a retailer in American shopping malls to an attempt to leapfrog its traditional business model, and the restraints of its own brand, in e-commerce. Sears CEO Edward Lampert has been pushing his beleaguered company to secure upscale offerings for the Marketplace section of Sears.com, which features goods sold by third-party vendors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That means Lambert expects to persuade an upscale clientele that never shopped at Sears somehow to go to Sears online to purchase delicacies such as Balenciaga sunglasses, Pour La Victoire boots, Rolex watches and Chanel handbags. In so doing, the CEO—perhaps at his wit's end as to how to revive Sears—is hoping to outmaneuver Amazon, eBay and other e-commerce giants.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sears, Apple, HSN and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Duchess of Cambridge goes into labor as People and US Weekly gird for extensive coverage of UK royal birth.

Sears tries to go upscale—way upscale.

Apple investigates security breach on its servers and tests larger screens for iPhones and iPads.

HSN rebrands to shake dowdy status.

Boston Market harnesses Big Data for promotions.

CarMax solidifies status as unrivaled used-car leader.

Carnival Cruise uses Instagram to redistribute existing 15-second ads.

Chipotle plies ingredient and menu diversity.

Coca-Cola and other major sponsors assess pre-World Cup marketing landscape in Brazil.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...

US Suspends Trade Privileges with Bangladesh, Pressuring Factories, Brands to Comply with Safety Standards

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 05:38 PM

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that it would be suspending trade privileges extended to Bangladesh as a result of the country's neglect of worker's rights. 

"I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation… because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country," President Obama wrote in a message to Congress. The decision, regarded widely as a stern warning to the nation, will effectively end special tax breaks on exports to the US that are meant to help developing economies. 

The decision was partially motivated by April's Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed over 1,100 garment factory workers as well as the Tazreen factory fire in late 2012 that killed over 100 workers.Continue reading...

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