brands under fire

McDonald's, Lululemon Among America's Most Hated Companies: 24/7 Wall Street

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...

retail watch

Macy's Tidies Up After Holidays, But No One's Sure What JCPenney is Up To

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 01:47 PM

Some major retailers are still singing the holiday blues off of a somewhat-disappointing holiday shopping season. Macy's plans to lay off 2,500 workers and close a scattering of stores, while JCPenney has hinted to investors and other constituencies that it may not have bounced back during the season as much as had been hoped.

Macy's said its cutbacks are part of a new $100 million cost-shaving plan. But in the big picture, Macy's moves don't seem to reflect bleakness. They involve closing five stores but also opening five new stores, plus three Bloomingdale's stores. And Macy's said its net payrolls would stay about the same, at about 175,000 employees, because it will be hiring more people in areas such as online operations.

Also, Macy's moves come after a decent 3.6 percent jump in comp-store sales for the November-December holiday shopping season compared with a year earlier. Investors on Wednesday and Thursday bid up Macy's shares.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: T-Mobile, Samsung, Macy's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 09:25 AM

In the News

T-Mobile caps turnaround with customer expansion as it covers termination fees for new users.

Samsung wants to be world's biggest appliance maker by 2015.

Macy's closing stores, cutting jobs to cut costs.

Barnes & Noble new chief must tackle Nook woes.

Chuck E. Cheese parent explores sale of chain.

Constellation Brands expects big things from new Corona Light on tap.

Darden focuses more on digital and less on TV.

Delta adds outlets, bigger overhead bins in 225 planes.

Denny's makes first move into Middle East.

Diageo and Sean Combs team up in tequila.

E*Trade system is zapped by power outage.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo, Alibaba, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 09:23 AM

In the News

Yahoo overhauls its advertising platforms as Mayer puts on a show at CES

Alibaba integrates its payment service with China's Sina Weibo.

McDonald's looks to use sustainable beef by 2016.

Airbus names new US chief.

Amazon makes it difficult for new hires to stick.

Barnes & Noble promotes Nook head to CEO.

Bentley sees steady luxury sales in 2014.

BlackBerry renews its vows to the smartphone keyboard.

Boeing must slash costs of building Dreamliner.

Comcast halts erosion in video subscribers.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sears, Nike, Spotify and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Sears files to spin off Lands' End as company's struggles disenchant investors.

Nike features Man-U's Wayne Rooney in ads for new soccer ball as spokesman LeBron James hinders efforts to market his own new shoe.

Spotify introduces free mobile music service.

Dell offers employee buyouts to cut costs.

Electronic Arts refocuses to fix Battlefield bugs.

Ford pulls off lavish global launch of new Mustang and promises a convertible too, while company scion says CEO Alan Mulally isn't leaving next year.

GM may pull production out of Australia soon.

Hershey introduces Jolly Rancher in India.

Honda uses dealer cash incentives to push for better December than last year.

JCPenney discloses SEC peek into its finances.

Jaguar Land Rover plans Brazil output beginning in 2016.

NBC surveys feedback on The Sound of Music live telecast that featured tight integration with Walmart ads.

Nestle continues streamlining with sale of 10-percent stake in Givaudan flavor house.

Nissan crafts promotional car-design experience based on digital goggles.

Quiznos slows into a financial crisis.

Tesla dodges bullet aimed at its plan to sell in Ohio.

Unilever plans to cut SKUs by up to 30 percent and slash marketing headcount by 12 percent.

brand news

In the News: Ford, Apple, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Ford introduces new Mustang today as global vehicle.

Apple and China Mobile sign deal to sell iPhone as Carl Icahn softens stance on Apple's cash.

GM drops Chevrolet from mainstream European market and sells remaining stake in Ally.

AT&T and T-Mobile weigh bids for Verizon wireless spectrum.

Facebook admits organic reach is falling short and urges marketers to buy ads.

Fox says Super Bowl ad inventory is sold out.

FTC is perplexed after native-ad workshop.

General Mills is pouring Cheerios into the Super Bowl.

JCPenney sacrifices profit in volume push.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCPenney Posts Notable Comp-Store Increase, Leaving November No Turkey

Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 03:58 PM

Maybe November wasn't such a turkey after all—for JCPenney, at least. The still-beleaguered retailer reported a 10 percent increase in comparable-store sales for the month, thanks to a strong Black Friday and, presumably, the conclusion by American consumers that the brand isn't dead just yet.

While most retailers have bemoaned the overall results of Thanksgiving weekend and aren't sure their promotional aggressiveness will serve them much better this month, JCPenney reported that its online sales were strong. Notably, it was the second consecutive month for which the retailer reported comparable-store sales, according to TheStreet.com, after dropping monthly reports two years ago.

And JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman took a minute to crow, sort of. "We are pleased with our performance over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, particularly in light of the continued spending pressures on consumers," he said in a press release. "The combination of our great merchandise and compelling promotions put us in a position to succeed in a highly competitive environment, and our teams executed very well."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Snapchat, Mercedes-Benz, Newsweek and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 09:18 AM

In the News

Snapchat hires away Emily White, Instagram's ad exec, to be company COO. 

Mercedes-Benz CLA comes through and cements US sales lead over BMW.

Newsweek plans return to print.

Applebee's rolls out tablets nationwide.

Benetton rises above Levi's to become India's top international fashion brand. 

BJ's Wholesale Club owners express interest in buying Hess gas stations.

Boeing tantalizes states with 777x production.

China issues 4G mobile licenses to country's three main telecom companies. 

Drake announces partnership with Nike's Jordan brand. 

Greenpeace makes Christmas a downer with Santa reporting from melting Arctic.

JCPenney finally reports comp-sales increase.Continue reading...

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