Posted by Dale Buss on February 24, 2014 09:14 AM
Mobile World Congress gets underway in Barcelona, as Nokia unveils its first Android phone, Samsung drops Android for its new smartwatch, Mozilla promises to deliver a $25 smartphone and Sony tries to crack smartphone market.
Honda appoints first woman to its board and starts making Fit cars in Mexico.
Barnes & Noble sees conditional acquisition offer.
Apple and Samsung fail to settle US patent case.
Best Buy and JCPenney will be reporting earnings this week, hoping to show signs of turnaround.
Brahma finds unique way to merge soccer and beer in Brazil.
Budweiser launches special-edition World Cup bottle.
CNN pulls the plug on Piers Morgan primetime show.
Ford reportedly swaps Microsoft for BlackBerry in Sync.
Glanbia may be trying to acquire Muscle Milk parent CytoSport.
Jaguar Land Rover presses dealers for customer data.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 10, 2014 09:12 AM
McDonald's US sales feel January chill.
Nike's Kanye West surprise sale sees red hot shoe sell out in 10 minutes.
Deutsche Telekom buys rest of T-Mobile Czech arm as Vodafone bids for Spain’s Ono.
Tesla bumps Mercedes-Benz in Consumer Reports survey.
AMC misfires with Walking Dead zombie stunt.
AOL CEO takes back "distressed babies" comment after mother speaks out.
Apple sees Carl Icahn drop buyback demand.
Asiana Airlines seeks "cockpit culture changer" after US crash.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2014 09:08 AM
Microsoft confirms rumored frontrunner Satya Nadella as new CEO. Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman but remaining on the board.
Facebook celebrates 10 years by thanking its 1.23 billion members as rumored "teen problem" may be overblown.
AT&T hails Olympians with new app.
Lenovo and Sony reportedly eye PC business alliance.
Nestle sells PowerBar, Musashi brands to Post.
Alfa Romeo names new rear-wheel drive platform “Giorgio.”
Apple, Microsoft join carriers in $750M pledge to education.
Apple is reportedly building out its own content delivery network.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 07:49 PM
Following last year's blackout, which Oreo won hands down in a real-time marketing play hard to replicate, brands this year did all the prep work they could ahead of the Super Bowl to best prepare for that fleeting moment of social opportunity. What they couldn't prepare for, though, was a boring game.
And so while brands over-touted their hashtags and engaged in banter with fans over their ads, there were bound to be missteps. This year's Super Bowl real-time battle was a "is this account hacked?" face-off between JCPenney and Budweiser.
In an attempt that left many wondering if JCPenney's Twitter account had been hacked (although our editor-in-chief called it), the struggling retailer seeded the stunt with a promotional tweet pushing its Team USA mittens—and then things got weird.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 03:53 PM
This past holiday season was not a good one for big-box retailers and Best Buy is the latest to take a big hit. Its shares fell about 30 percent Thursday to erase around $4 billion of its market value after the company announced that it was going to have “a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating margins,” according to Reuters.
"It just seems that the promotions did not drive incremental sales, that opening on Thanksgiving just added costs," Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser told the wire service.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for Best Buy, which had been one of 2013’s hottest stocks after launching a turnaround effort to combat showrooming from online retailers. Best Buy, of course, wasn’t the only big-name retailer that had a lousy holiday season. Sales at Sears stores in the nine weeks that ended January 6 were down 9.2 percent while Kmart’s were down 5.7 percent in the same time period, adding to what is becoming a legacy of decline. “Sales at the company have been falling since 2005, when billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert merged the two US chains in an $11 billion deal,” Reuters notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2014 01:47 PM
JCPenney looks like it'll have to take a few more steps back before it finally ever strides forward again. The brand said it will close 33 underperforming stores and lay off 2,000 employees as the troubled retailer continues a sweeping turnaround effort.
The company said the closings will save about $65 million a year beginning this year; the poorly performing outlets are expected to be closed by May. It'll take a total pre-tax hit of $43 million from the moves.
But the bigger problem is that the cutbacks may not be all that salutary. CEO Myron Ullman has been tackling all sorts of problems since taking over again from ousted CEO Ron Johnson last summer, basically undoing everything Johnson did—but he barely has gotten JCPenney's sales leakage and brand-equity erosion to level out, much less turn it around.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2014 09:22 AM
Apple settles FTC complaint over app charges on kids with deal to refund $32.5 million, while China Mobile eyes iPhone sales bonanza, with more than 1 million pre-orders ahead of Friday's launch.
Microsoft may pay $2.6 billion to Samsung and others to make Windows phones as rumors cite Ericsson CEO to replace Steve Ballmer.
JCPenney plans to close 33 stores and slash 2,000 jobs.
AOL unloads most of Patch to private equity firm.
AT&T ends long-running American Idol sponsorship.
Axe features Kim Jong-Un lookalike in Super Bowl spot.
Best Buy reports holiday sales decline.
Charter is talking with Comcast about new bid for Time Warner Cable, report says.
Citi replaces debit cards after Target data breach.
Facebook revamps ads to compete with Google.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2014 07:45 PM
One would imagine you'd have to be pretty despicable to land on a "Most Hated" list, or just make some serious PR gaffes. The brands on 24/7 Wall Street's 10 Most Hated Companies in America list did a little bit of both, and this year's winner—McDonald's—may surprise some, but not all.
In a year that has seen the Golden Arches be the face of the low-wage fight, falling fast-food sales and poor customer service, it isn't really shocking to see one of America's—and the world's—most prolific brands at the top of the list.
Joining McDonald's in this unfortunate collection is unsurprisingly Abercrombie & Fitch, Electronic Arts, Sears Holdings, DISH Network, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, Lululemon, BlackBerry, and JCPenney.
Three of the metrics used to make up the list include customer service, stock performance, and employee satisfaction. The latter is part of what did BlackBerry in, as the company has had to dump a third of its workforce as it continues to bleed insane amounts of cash.Continue reading...