corporate citizenship

Storytelling With Impact: Brands Step Up For #GivingTuesday

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2014 11:13 AM

After the year-end holiday shopping frenzy hyped by Black Friday-Cyber Monday marketing comes GivingTuesday, a social philanthropy initiative started by New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to encourage charitable donations by individuals, brands and corporations alike.

The pitch is simple, and in the spirit of the holidays: “On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It's a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Target, Discover, Land Rover and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 26, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP STORIES

On eve of Black Friday data breach anniversary, Target CMO Jeff Jones gives CNN Money a sneak peek at retailer's holiday command center.

Discover sues Visa in U.S. over anti-competitive practices.

Land Rover blasts Evoque look-alike in China.

Walmart loses U.S. merchandising chief while retailer dismisses 30 China executives.

Tumblr passes Instagram as fastest-growing social platform while Snapchat is fastest-growing app.Continue reading...

black friday

Black Friday Reboot: Kohl's Extols App, Earlier Thanksgiving Hours

Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2014 01:28 PM

In the 90s, Kohl's challenged JCPenney, Sears and other former kings of retail with what then was a revolutionary formula: name brands, affordable prices, heavy promotion and shopper convenience. Kohl's leveraged this formula to nationwide expansion in the U.S. and knocked its rivals out of the park.

A couple of decades later, its momentum slowed, CEO Kevin Mansell and Chief Customer Officer Michelle Gass are promising to lead the king of mid-market apparel retailing out of its long wilderness.

Admitting that its stores "haven't been the most inspiring," Mansell revealed a "complete change in the way we run our business," including a new look and feel, a refreshed inventory that's now customized by store (not region), more big-name brands, and the promise of "surprise" and delight in stores under the banner "Find Your Yes."  

And then there's its Thanksgiving/Black Friday plans.Continue reading...

retail

JCPenney Taps Home Depot Exec to Fix Its Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on October 13, 2014 04:05 PM

Consider it a significant victory that JCPenney will have another CEO. Not long ago, its demise seemed to be a distinct possibility.

And at least incoming CEO Marvin Ellison will inherit a job that may have some upside when he becomes chief of the still-troubled retailer in August. But already there are differing opinions about whether he's the type of leader that Penney needs at this stage in its existence—just a couple of years after former CEO Ron Johnson nearly ruined it, and only very recently having stabilized under the leadership of CEO Myron Ullman.

Ellison, 49 years old, has been executive vice president of Home Depot's 2,000 US stores since August 2008. Before that he was president of the company's Northern Division and senior vice president of global logistics. He also was with Target for 15 years before that.

"He has proven his ability to produce results by improving operations, building customer loyalty, and motivating his teams," current JCPenney CEO Ullman, who preceded Johnson and then came back to the helm in 2013 to try to clean up the mess he left, said in a statement. "His experience and leadership are exactly what we need to accelerate the progress we have made over the last 18 months."Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Fiat Chrysler, JCPenney, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 13, 2014 09:02 AM

TOP STORIES

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) debuts on NYSE today as Marchionne begins last lap at helm.

JCPenney taps next CEO, Marv Ellison, from The Home Depot.

Kmart is dragging down parent Sears and gives free credit monitoring after credit-card data was stolen.

Katy Perry will headline Super Bowl halftime show.

McDonald's tests customized build-your-own burger kiosks in Australia.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Gucci, Fiat Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2014 09:04 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple sees demand for iPhone 6 delaying larger iPad as Carl Icahn pushes company on stock buybacks and Apple Watch makes cover of Vogue China.

Fiat Chrysler is being quickly rebuilt by CEO Marchionne to woo Wall Street ahead of Monday's New York Stock Exchange listing.

Symantec plans to split up.

Microsoft CEO walks back comments on equal pay, and hires Publicis exec as new US sales chief.

Beyonce posts video supporting her tie-in with Gucci's Chime for Change (below).Continue reading...

diversity watch

US Supreme Court Finally Catches Up to Brands on Marriage Equality

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 6, 2014 03:51 PM

In a surprise ruling on Monday, the US Supreme Court announced it will not over-rule lower court rulings, effective legalizing same-sex marriage in 30 states.

SCOTUS, it seems, is finally catching up with brand marketers, who have been ahead of the curve on the issue by embracing greater family diversity in their advertising and marketing.

Case in point: Cheerios, the General Mills-owned brand that has boldly taken a pro-gay stance for some time now, and not just in the US.Continue reading...

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...

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