Best Global Green Brands 2014

brands under fire

Bangladesh Victims Yet to See Compensation as Governments Pressure Compliance

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 21, 2013 12:54 PM

Fortunately, the issues brought to light by the recent horrors in Bangladesh are not disappearing from the headlines. Unfortunately, those who are culpable are not acting swiftly enough.

What little consensus has emerged from the rubble of a collapsed eight-story factory, which claimed over 1,120 lives, underscores the fact that public-private collaboration is vital to enact the sweeping reforms required for real change rather than corporate social responsibility campaigns. Major retailers including Walmart, Gap, JCPenney and Sears have yet to sign the proposed fire and safety agreements, while Walmart, like the wolf guarding the hen house, said it will monitor its 300-plus Bangladeshi suppliers itself. However, H&M, along with 30 other international retailers committed to the $3 billion fund to improve the safety of garment factories in Bangladesh.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Investors Speak Out Against US Retailers Over Refusal of Bangladesh Reform

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 17, 2013 05:47 PM

It turns out that angry consumers aren't the only ones that American retailers need to worry about. In a joint statement published Thursday, a group of investors sought out to express their dissatisfaction with US retailers that have refused to sign the Bangladesh fire and safety agreement.

The release, undersigned by Amalgamated Bank Longview Funds and 14 others said, "We expect companies in our portfolios to ensure the integrity of their supply chains." The group, which reportedly holds a combined $1.35 trillion in assets, called out both Walmart and Gap, two major US retailers who spoke out against the accord, advising them to act swiftly and effectively in agreeance with the legally-binding proposal, which was signed by over 30 international companies by its May 15 deadline. 

The response is a reaction to the late-April factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh that has now claimed over 1,120 lives. The accord, which is a version of a previously proposed agreement that was in effect turned down by several US retailers in 2011, hopes to protect the millions of Bangladeshi people that work in the country's 5,000 garment factories, for as little as $38 per month. The industry, now the second largest garment producer next to China, has seen a surge in recent years, resulting in the creation of faulty building sites and poor labor conditions. The circumstances surrounding the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory highlight the shortcomings of an industry built on loose ethics and fast, inexpensive turnaround. While the agreement looks to enforce independent building inspections and fire and safety training, it also hopes to create a more open administrative atmosphere for workers to present their concerns.Continue reading...

brands under fire

As Deadline Expires, Walmart, Gap Under Fire for Refusing to Sign Bangladesh Agreement

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2013 05:38 PM

As the May 15 deadline has come and gone to sign the IndustriALL-backed Bangladesh safety agreement, the abscence of a number of US brands has become even more apparent as more than 30 international retailers have agreed to the terms defined by international labor organizations to ensure the repair and future maintenance of Bangladesh's growing garment industry. Last month, Rana Plaza, an eight-story factory employing mostly young women collapsed, killing 1,127 people.  

While American clothing brands and retailers have been actively involved in the ensuing dialogue, the only two to sign the agreement by the deadline were PVH (which owns the Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Van Heusen brands) and Abercrombie & Fitch, while Walmart and Gap publicly declared their opposition to the plan

To date, the list of signatories includes: Abercrombie & Fitch, Aldi, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, El Corte Ingles, Esprit, G-Star, H&M, Helly Hansen, Hess Natur, Inditex (Zara's owner), jbc, KiK New Look, Lidl, Loblaws on behalf of its Joe Fresh and Primark brands, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, N Brown Group, Next, PVH, Rewe, Sainsbury's, Stockmann, Switcher, Tchibo, Tesco and WE Europe.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Bangladesh Hangs in the Balance as North American Retailers Weigh Options

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 14, 2013 07:01 PM

As it stands, 1,127 lives were lost in the factory collapse in Bangladesh and over a dozen international retailers have signed on to the binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement as the May 15 deadline looms. 

In a move that was hailed as "game-changing," H&M, Bangladesh's largest producer, signed on to the agreement on Monday, which promises to ensure independent inspections of all factories and financial aid to improve factory safety. “With this commitment we can now influence even more in this issue," said Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability for H&M, in a statement posted on the fast-fashion retailer's corporate website. 

While H&M's decision may have influenced other signatories like Italy's Benetton, Spain's Mango and Britain's Marks & Spencer, it has yet to affect the decisions of North American retailers including Gap Inc. and Walmart.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Bangladesh, ABC, Yum! and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Bangladesh plans to raise pay for garment workers and allow unions.

ABC veteran Barbara Walters announces 2014 retirement as Disney plans to live-stream ABC programming via app and cloud.

Yum! sales in China fall 29 percent in April.

ABB says CEO plans to resign.

Audi outsells BMW brand globally — again.

Bloomberg admits use of its terminals for data snooping.

CBS chief touts TV over digital engagement.

Cisco tries reinvention in tough time.

Danone sets deal to acquire Happy Family brand.Continue reading...

retail watch

Sears Says 'No Credit? No Problem!' with New Lease-To-Own Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 10, 2013 11:42 AM

Sears hasn’t had an easy time of it in recent years, but neither has its customers. The retailer has been trying out any way it can to create revenue and customer traffic, and its latest plan is a lease-to-own program.

The Associated Press reports that Sears tried out allowing customers to pay in installments for big purchases such as mattresses, home appliances, furniture and electronics in 10 stores last fall and is now introducing the option at all of its 900 locations, making it the first major retailer to have such a program.

Sears began offering layaway only a few years ago during the worst of the recession, but lease-to-own would provide a way to move inventory and bring in revenue simultaneously. For customers in a bind, the lease-to-own programs allows quick access to products, unlike layaway, which needs to be paid off before pick-up. Products need to be worth $280 or more and customers aren’t allowed to sign on unless they are at least 18, can show that they make $1,000 or more a month, and have a Social Security or tax ID number.Continue reading...

social commerce

Target Tag-Teams with Facebook on Shared Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2013 06:26 PM

Target Corp’s Cartwheel, released in public beta today, combines social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals. 

As brick and mortar retailers struggle for relevance, fighting the growing trend of “showrooming,” they’re turning to social media to attact consumers with unique deals. Target worked with Facebook for about a year on Cartwheel, whose tagline reads, "A whole new spin on saving," where shoppers can choose from hundreds of deal items such as Target's own Threshold home goods as well as brand goodies like M&Ms candy and Coca-Cola soft drinks. 

The Cartwheel launch includes 700 new offers, and claiming any one generates automatic News Feed posts on Facebook unless the user turns them off.Continue reading...

social commerce

With Cartwheel Beta, Target Tag-Teams with Facebook on Shared Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2013 06:23 PM

 

With mobile a big focus for Target CMO Jeff Jones, the retailer recently announced a mobile incubator to come up with apps to reinvent shopping. Fast-forward to today, with the release of Cartwheel in public beta merging social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals.

As brick and mortar retailers struggle for relevance, fighting the growing trend of “showrooming,” they’re turning to social media to attact consumers with unique deals. Target has been working with Facebook for about a year on Cartwheel—tagline: "A whole new spin on saving"—in order to let its customers on Facebook choose from hundreds of deal items such as Target's own Threshold private label home goods as well as brand goodies like M&M's candy and Coca-Cola soft drinks.

The Cartwheel launch includes 700 new offers, and claiming any one generates automatic News Feed posts on Facebook unless the user turns them off.Continue reading...

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