Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 29, 2012 10:56 AM
Greenpeace is doing battle against the fashion world. In the past week, it organized more than 700 volunteers in more than 80 cities in 20 countries to dress up like mannequins and stage “walkouts” of Zara stores as a protest against the company for using any hazardous chemicals in its supply chain.
The “Detox Zara” campaign has spread to include all of fashion; the eco-campaigner's latest video, above, is a manga style trailer called "Detox Fashion" (tagline: "Toxic is so last season.")
The campaign has worked, according to Greenpeace's Tristan Tremschnig: "Zara — the world’s largest retailer — has now committed to clean up their supply chain and Detox following 9 days of intensive pressure from people around the world. This included over 320,000 people joining the campaign online, over 44,000 mentions of Zara and the Detox campaign on Twitter alone, and a reach of over 7.1 million people across Twitter and Weibo. Not forgetting our activities on Facebook, Pinterest and outside the brand’s stores."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 27, 2012 05:16 PM
Whatever McDonald's next US CEO, Jeff Stratton, does after he takes over from ousted McD's veteran Jan Fields on Dec. 1st, outsiders agree that it'll probably involve significant new menu launches and refreshing old favorites. As in most businesses, it's product innovation that provides the most effective promotional opportunities and does the most to drive sales and pique consumer interest.
Especially in an increasingly competitive environment where Americans seem to have grown inured to a simple value pitch, expect the icon of fast food to turn more, and more often, to variations of its signature products, and other new items, to reverse the October U.S. same-store sales slide that cost Fields her job.
Some analysts are suggesting that Stratton, a four-decade veteran of McDonald's who championed sustainability in his role as Chief Restaurant Officer, will rely on his expertise in operations to shore up the bottom line and that he'll turn to improved marketing to boost the top line. But in picking apart the reasons for this year's slide and putting together ways to reverse it, Stratton also must balance menu expansion with the traditional simplicity at the heart of McDonald's business model.
In 2012, the chain relied more on "limited-time" menu additions in the US such as Chicken McBites and a Cheddar Bacon Onion burger that was introduced in October. The pandemonium-causing McRib sandwich, meanwhile, is rumored to return in December — and not a moment too soon. As Peter McGuinness at DDB Chicago, McDonald's agency, commented about the pre-Christmas McRib timing in a reference to Coca-Cola's classic holiday theme, "We don't really do polar bears."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2012 05:01 PM
French automaker Peugeot Citroen has had a rough time financially in recent years and isn’t expecting to turn a profit again till 2015, according to German newspaper Wlt am Sonntag. Meanwhile, the French government promised assistance to the company last month and “the car maker has also agreed to withhold dividend payouts, as well as postpone share buybacks and performance bonuses to top executives,” according to Fox Business.
What may help the automaker get back into the black is a partnership with General Motors that Peugeot’s head, Maxim Picat, says is still moving forward with the Opel brand: "Our cooperation is going as planned," he said, according to a translation by Fox Business. "As we said, we will build cars together using four shared platforms."
One thing Peugeot should pay extra attention to when it designs its next round of cars: how much exhaust it puts out. The New York Times reports that Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe has “angered vintage car owners and motorist groups and raised concerns among those who say they cannot afford new cars” by asking to ban vehicles made before 1997 to help reduce air pollution. The plan could affect 367,000 automobiles, including France's "landmark" Citroën DS, named "the most beautiful car ever" by car designers in 2009.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 26, 2012 10:51 AM
Now you don't have to worry about mannequins watching you — they may also be following you onto the sidewalk. As part of Greenpeace's global "Detox" campaign, more than 700 people, in over 80 cities, in 20 countries around the world protested, staged street theater and conducted "mannequin" walk-outs to demand Zara to eliminate the use of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain.
From Bangkok to Buenos Aires, the activists also called on Zara store managers (who don't permit photos of their mannequins) to forward Greenpeace's Detox demands to their headquarters, after new research found traces of hazardous chemicals in ZARA clothing items, some of which can break down in the environment to become hormone-disrupting or even cancer-causing substances. As Greenpeace put it, "how will the world's largest fashion retailer — which responds so swiftly to changes in fashion trends — react to this global call for toxic-free fashion?"Continue reading...
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...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2012 11:41 AM
Nissan's Facebook page says it all: "Doing things right is hard work." And Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault-Nissan, is encouraging his executives to roll up their sleeves and keep working on ambitious market-share targets that he still maintains for Nissan's growth in America.
He has held out Nissan's US market share goal at 10 percent, while its current share is just shy of 8 percent. For the year to date through October, Nissan sales were ahead of year-earlier levels by more than 10 percent, including about a 20-percent boost for the Infiniti luxury brand — despite effects of Hurricane Sandy that disrupted Nissan's crucial northeastern-U.S. market, and despite the strong comebacks of arch-rivals Toyota and Honda.
Ghosn, of course, is setting the bar higher. "We are still not at our potential," Ghosn told Automotive News. "We can be at a much higher operational performance level. We're driving to that. When we approach [the necessary levels] we can [attain] 10 percent market share."Continue reading...
on the road again
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 19, 2012 03:04 PM
BMW on Saturday wrapped its BMW i global Born Electric Tour's New York City pit stop, which featured a digital window that turned the reflection of cars passing by into its own electric vehicles, the all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid BMW i8 concept vehicles. Find out more below, along with interviews from the automaker's execs who turned up to the Big Apple.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2012 02:02 PM
Since we're becoming awash in natural gas these days, it's too bad Americans can't use more of it to fuel our automobiles. But that situation is changing relatively quickly.
By year-end, reports Automotive News, a handful of heavy-duty pickup trucks will join the Honda Civic as the only compressed-natural-gas (CNG) vehicles being sold by U.S. dealers to retail buyers. The Ram 2500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500 each will be available with dual-mode engines that switch between natural gas and gasoline depending on conditions.
They're priced much higher than conventionally powered models, as you might expect. The Silverado CNG version will carry a sticker price of more than $43,000, or about $11,000 more than a base Silverado, Auto News reports.Continue reading...