brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 13, 2013 06:39 PM
The rescue efforts in Savar, Bangladesh have officially been turned over to recovery as the death toll surpasses 1,100 in what has become the worst accident in the history of the garment industry. But 20 days later, it seems that progress and change is beginning to emerge from the rubble of a decrepit industry.
The Bangladeshi government has agreed to let garment workers form trade unions without the permission of factory owners—a breakthrough in workers' rights in a de-regulated country, where garment factories were shut down this week following worker unrest over wages and conditions.
The proposed safety plan, backed by a coalition of labor groups, calls for independent inspections of factories and a legally binding fire and building safety plan requiring retailers to help pay for improvements to factory safety and is an amendment to the 2006 Labor Act lifting restrictions on forming trade unions in most industries.
The pact also calls for changes regarding severance payments, welfare fund payments, management practices and payment and banking standards. In what could be a game-changing announcement, Swedish retailer H&M announced Monday that it will sign the binding agreement.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 05:12 PM
Could there be a better match than between the red and white of Target's logo and identity and the red and white of Canada's maple leaf flag — or between Canada's relatively sleepy retail environment and the jolt that Target will bring?
Canadians and the Minneapolis-based retailer are moving closer to finding out. Target is poised to open its first outlets in Canada in the next few weeks, the first of a total of 124 stores planned for the country this year. Its coming invasion of store openings in March and April is exciting many Canadian consumers, prompting wariness among its soon-to-be competitors and necessitating a country-specific strategy from Target despite its accomplishments in the much bigger market to the South.
The move north involves more than simply remembering the "u" in "neighbor," as noted on its Canadian website, or featuring hockey-playing polar bears (with its logo conveniently placed center ice) on its Canadian Facebook page. It also means respecting local preferences in food, clothing and doing business.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 1, 2013 06:43 PM
Best Buy Canada will lay off 900 employees and close 15 of its stores including eight Future Shop locations, while Sears Canada will lay off 700 of its workers as both retailers brace for the arrival of Target next month and the expansion of Walmart there. Nordstrom is also launching in Canada with four stores in major cities.
“The retail landscape continues to change, and our success is dependent upon our ability to evolve along with it,” said Mike Pratt, president of Best Buy Canada. “By taking a proactive approach in transforming our operations now, I have no doubt we will be in the best position to continue innovating our store experience for consumers and grow into the next decade.”
Sears spokesman Vince Power in a statement that the imminent layoffs across Canada are “part of our initiative to right-size the organization, which is working in concert with other initiatives to make Sears successful."
Best Buy Canada, like its American parent, faces stiff competition from online electronics retailers such as Amazon and Apple and is replicating a U.S. strategy of switching to smaller stores, which are less expensive to operate. Meanwhile, Sears Canada — which has suffered for years from falling sales and profits — is shrinking its overhead from its 360 department stores and 300 distribution centers.
While Canada's retail sector has been wobbling ever since Walmart arrived in the mid-90s, this latest round of market rumbling is spurred by Target’s immiment expansion plans, as the cheap chic retailer gets ready to open the first of its 124 stores in Canada next month.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2013 06:32 PM
Efforts to curb overfishing of the world's most popular species are reaching deeper into supermarkets and fast-food menus.
The UK grocery Sainsbury’s will begin a “Switch the Fish” campaign on Friday, giving away seven tons of such “sustainable fish” as lemon sole, mussels, Cornish sardines and coley fillets, Marketing magazine reports.
To make the campaign ongoing, Sainsbury’s has also trained its fish counter employees at 495 stores about sustainability, TheDrum.com said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 28, 2012 05:22 PM
Walmart's critics have beaten up on the company for a lot of things over the years — its environmental policies, the treatment of its female employees, corporate donations to conservative political groups. But now Walmart, apparently, has gone too far by advertising that it sells good steaks.
The chain was critiqued recently by a Phoenix-based blogger, for example, for "mak[ing] it appear" that diners of an upscale local restaurant, El Chorro, "were saying things about Walmart steaks like, 'It was one of the best filets I've ever had.'"
Such grilling aside, from Walmart's point of view, the marketing campaign to spread the work for its upgraded USDA Choice steaks has worked well. "It's been pretty amazing," Walmart CMO Stephen Quinn told Ad Age. "This one has really had a big impact so far."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 30, 2012 03:13 PM
Fifty years ago, some kind of discount-retail god must have looked down upon America. Target, Walmart, and Kmart all established their first stores in 1962 and now they’re all finding ways to celebrate.
Walmart has rolled out a special website with a countdown clock to its 50th anniversary on July 2nd. Target celebrates its 50th year on May 1st, half a century after the Dayton Company opened its first Target-branded discount store in Roseville, Minnesota. (Of course, they’re all toddlers compared with JCPenney, which turns 110 this year.)
Of course this isn’t the only way these two retailers will be clashing heads. Target is spending part of this year prepping to make its launch in Canada in 2013, a market that Walmart has had its stamp on for nearly two decades. Target will be opening 125 to 135 stores, but Walmart is hoping to dampen the party.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 13, 2011 07:02 PM
BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche hit Frankfurt Auto Show with luxury cars retooled for younger generation, while Maserati brings Jeep-based SUV to Frankfurt.
ConAgra sets deadline for Ralcorp.
Cracker Barrel's new CEO outlines her plan amidst shareholder battle.
Dr. Oz shakes apple juice industry to the core.
eBay hit by criminal probe over use of Craigslist information.
Heineken-sponsored private concert in Brooklyn by Kanye West released by Vevo.
Ikea dispels death of Billy (bookcase) rumors.
KFC Australia pulls campaign claiming free range chickens.
Lady Gaga releases second in series of "fashion films" on YouTube.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 29, 2011 12:30 PM
Loblaws grocery stores may not be well known outside of Canada, although its President's Choice private-label products have made it south of the border, where they're carried in select grocers.
The brand is owned by Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada's largest food distributor and a leading seller of general merchandise products, drugstore and financial products and services. Now you can add sustainability to that list.Continue reading...