retail

As Brick-and-Mortar Stores Close, A Struggle to Find Alternative Uses

Posted by Dale Buss on September 22, 2014 01:26 PM

Traditional suburban and urban shopping malls have been one of the areas hit hardest by digital trends ranging from the rise of e-commerce to teenagers' preoccupation with social media. Mall developers and urban planners have been trying to fight back with creativity, concepts and capital, but this remains an uphill battle as more and more malls are facing various types of attrition.

"The implications for land use are significant, asw abandoned retail outlets and dead malls become signs of community decay, in many cases exacerbating the problems associated with surburban sprawl as they and their parking lots take up unproductive space and force customers to drive elsewhere for shopping," summed up blogger Kaid Benfield on the Natural Resources Defense Council staff blog.

One recent attempt to alleviate the problem, among the most creative, has been the conversion of the 200-year-old building that once housed Rhode Island's Providence Arcade into a home for a growing housing trend: micro apartments. Considered America's first indoor mall, the downtown building closed in 2008 after the owner struggled to fill its cramped commercial spaces in a building that has a bit of the feel of Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace but in a much more cramped space.Continue reading...

retail

On Comeback Trail, What Can JCPenney, Best Buy Teach Other Retailers?

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 06:04 PM

JCPenney and Best Buy have shown signs of life in their earnings reports in recent days, providing some hope to brand leaders, other employees, investors and communities associated with the companies. Do their unlikely, though still very tentative, comebacks provide some lessons for other retailers that now are afflicted with big leaks in their own boats, such as Walmart, Target and Sears?

One of the main lessons of the improved recent performances by Minneapolis-based Best Buy and Dallas-based JCPenney is that major shifts in strategy may be required to survive today's extremely challenging retail scene—and that some determination in following them can pay off relatively quickly.

Best Buy has shown some progress under new CEO Hubert Joly in implementing its "Renew Blue" plan, which focuses on boosting online sales, enhancing the in-store experience and leveraging the retailer's multichannel presence.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Monster, Samsung, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 15, 2014 09:34 AM

TOP STORIES

Coca-Cola buys 17 percent of Monster Beverage for $2.2 billion.

Samsung buys Internet of Things startup SmartThings.

SeaWorld bows to pressure, agrees to upgrade killer-whale habitats.

Walmart sales and traffic woes continue as CEO vows to fix problems.

Apple places pricey bet on sapphire screens and stores user data in China while CEO Tim Cook participates in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: AT&T, GE, Colgate and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 14, 2014 09:32 AM

TOP STORIES

AT&T slashes prices on iPads, expands ultrafast GigaPower broadband to Dallas.

Cisco plans to cut 6,000 jobs.

GE talks with Electrolux and Quirky about selling home-appliance unit.

Colgate's use of triclosan in Total sparks debate.

T-Mobile CFO calls Iliad offer "inadequate."

MORE BRAND NEWS

Applebee's teases new burgers with digital campaign.

Burger King drops "Satisfries."

Buzzfeed explains new business model.

Comcast experiments with marathoning TV shows.

Discovery sees debunking Shark Week become a cottage industry.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Coca-Cola Life, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lululemon and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 11, 2014 08:30 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Coca-Cola Life, in green can, marks first new Coca-Cola in UK since Coke Zero launched in 2006. 

Abercrombie & Fitch revises mission to be more inclusive.

Amazon reportedly plans local services marketplace as eBay local deliveries may be in trouble.

Uber faces protest by London's black cab drivers. 

Lululemon founder calls for shake-up of board.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Apple, Starbucks and Fiat face EU tax inquiry, putting Irish government on defensive.

Audi tests real-time Snapchat content with ABC Family.

Beckham launches soccer channel for Sky Sports.

Bic crowdsources handwriting styles to create a universal typeface.

BP will fly first commercial drone in the US.Continue reading...

retail

It May Take Divine Intervention to Save Sears From Itself

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2014 12:16 PM

JCPenney and maybe even Target may be pulling out of their sales swoons, but Sears just keeps on crumbling—maybe to a point of no return. 

The thoroughly troubled chain reported a broader net loss, a 7 percent drop in revenue and flat same-store Sears sales for the most recent quarter as it continues to consolidate and pull back, closing stores and spinning off assets in the hopes that it will eventually find a bottom. 

Curiously, owner and CEO Edward Lampert still struck an upbeat note in a letter to shareholders, proclaiming that Sears this year will demonstrate its efforts to evolve beyond a brick-and-mortar retailer to an integrated model that puts it at the forefront of e-tailing.

“That may sound odd given our financial results,” he wrote. “But not only do I believe that we are headed in the right direction in important ways, I believe the entire retail industry is headed to where we already are.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Comcast, Pinterest and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2014 09:13 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

As contentious net neutrality proposal gets FCC greenlightComcast tightens data limits and firms up new "SpinCo" unit.

Red Lobster is sold by Darden for $2.1 billion.

Pinterest funding round brings valuation to $5 billion.

GM agrees to pay "substantial fine" over switch recall.

Microsoft celebrates Nokia acquisition with stylish brand book, and gets ready to reveal new Surface tablet.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Abbot Labs to buy CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion.

Barclays stars in London Pride event's first ad campaign.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk touts ice cream in the UK with #freezethejoy push.

CBS unveils plans for 24-hour digital news channel.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Citroen, Disney, Hillshire Brands and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 12, 2014 09:33 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Citroen becomes second automaker to name female CEO.

Disney aims to expand Frozen success to other platforms.

Hillshire Brands acquires Pinnacle Foods in $6.6 billion deal.

Ford tries to avert launch problems in big new-product year as it issues two more recalls on Escape.

Samsung reports chairman is stable after heart attack and surgery as company sets sights on biotech.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

Apple/Beats tie-up (still unconfirmed) faces skeptics.

AT&T interest in DirecTV reportedly heats up.

Audi strives to maintain lead despite product trough.

BMW triples carbon-fiber capacity in US plant.

Citizen plans first retail concept store in North America.Continue reading...

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