Posted by Dale Buss on January 15, 2013 03:03 PM
The world’s largest retailer and employer is going on the offensive with a new corporate citizenship push to bolster its beleaguered brand. Walmart on Tuesday announced its bid to jolt the U.S. economy out of its continued sluggishness by pledging huge new investments by the company in boosting jobs, sourcing domestically and even hiring military veterans.
Walmart announced plans to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade in areas such as sporting goods and high-end appliances and invited other retailers to combine in similar efforts that would total $500 billion in purchases over 10 years and spark an “American renewal,” as promised in October.
The commitment was the centerpiece of a speech by Bill Simon, Walmart’s U.S. president and CEO, at the National Retail Federation annual convention on Tuesday.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2013 05:04 PM
The leaders of Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and The Container Store on Monday exhorted fellow retailers to increase transparency, stand on principle and to see themselves as part of a "wider circle of responsibility" to ensure their success.
Speaking sequentially to an audience of 27,000 at the National Retail Federation's BIG Show in New York, the CEOs offered a combined keynote address that advocated lifting up employees and valuing vendors as the major brands assume heightened global leadership in a time of government retrenching.
Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, said retailers should strive to create an environment of "conscious capitalism."
"Charity alone won’t do it," he said. "We need business and capitalism, purpose and profit.”
Tindell said focusing on the well-being of employees "pays off and reflects on customers. It’s not what you sell, it’s what you stand for. Customers and employees become your evangelical supporters. We want our vendors to think of us as their favorite customers, and this causes the universe to conspire to assist you.”
Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb agreed, saying that “business is making a wider wake in the world, not just doing the minimum, but part of a wider circle of responsibility.” The company's approximately 75,000 employees comprise a 40 percent ownership stake in the company, and 86 percent have health insurance.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2012 12:01 PM
As the holidays are fast upon us, the brightest creative-commerce minds are devising promotions, deals and give-aways to snare the 2012 shopper wherever and whenever he or she may be.
The U.S. National Retail Foundation estimates that Holiday 2012 shoppers will spend $750 per family (up less than 1% from last year), with shopping smarter particularly important for higher-priced tech items that one-third of the population is focused on as lead gifts.
New research from Accenture shows a shift in consumer purchasing behavior and use of shopping channels, specifically online, regarding personalization vs. privacy, digital vs. in-store shopping and the rise of “showrooming.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 9, 2012 12:03 PM
Online shopping is continuing to grow, but it still only accounts for less than 10% of actual retail sales, according to USA Today. However, consumers are much more informed about the products they buy and the best prices available due to research done on smartphones and online.
Because of this, some retailers are beginning to integrate interactive touchscreen experiences within their own retail spaces. In one high-profile example, Macy’s has been testing a four-foot-wide, interactive-touchscreen-covered Beauty Spot kiosk at four of its locations since November.
Powered by Intel, which is looking to make shopping more of an interactive, engaging experience, Macy's new touch-enabled intelligent connected system helps "self-directed" customers (the ones who shirk employee assistance with a dismissive "Just looking!" response) navigate the cosmetics section.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 18, 2012 01:36 PM
Luxury brands aren't the only segment targeting the "1 percent," the uber-rich slice of the population that has been taking a lot of heat from the so-called 99 percenters. It is these wealthiest consumers, occupying rarefied air, who vote with their checkbooks, so their preferences are closely considered and carry a lot of clout.
So what is the high net worth consumer looking for? First and foremost, superior quality, according to "Luxury Branding and Marketing: A Global Comparison of Wealthy Consumers in Top Markets," a study just released by Luxury Institute. The survey analyzed wealthy consumers with a minimum annual income of $150,000 or the local currency equivalent in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
A broad majority (73 percent) of wealthy consumers think superior quality is the most important attribute that defines a luxury brand, followed by craftsmanship (65 percent) and design (54 percent). But increasingly, customer service is becoming a key consideration (47 percent). Customer service is even more important to Chinese consumers, who say that service has improved (63 percent).Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 18, 2012 11:02 AM
At the 2012 Retail's BIG Show, the U.S. National Retail Federation's annual conference, Burberry was honored as International Retailer of the Year. This award is given annually to an individual who has achieved international recognition for excellence in their native country and internationally.
Above, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts accepts the award for a 150-year old brand — one of Interbrand's Best Global Brands and Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies — that operates in 80 countries and keeps exceeding customer expectations.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 15, 2011 10:58 AM
Yesterday's hearing by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Energy and Commerce Committee added to the push-back in Washington to ICANN’s imminent plan to introduce generic top-level domains (gTLDs) ushering in the likes of .nike, .ford and other potential branded URLs.
In rare bipartisan unity these days, Republicans and Democrats reiterated concerns articulated last week in a similar hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee.
"I don't think it's ready for prime time," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the subcommittee. “The more we do our role, the more ICANN may take a second look at it. Based on what I heard today, they should delay.” (Walden also cited an Apple example that hinted at his own confusion on the issue.)
Advertisers have been lobbying hard against the ICANN initiative and Dan Jaffe, EVP of the Association of National Advertisers, (ANA), testifying on behalf of its Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), said the plan is a “reckless experiment” that threatens business and consumers.
"The ICANN program would pile billions of dollars of cost onto a challenging global economy," Jaffe testified. "These are resources that could be much better spent on job creation. This is not merely a bad policy choice but a serious threat to the legitimate interests of both companies and consumers on the Internet. We believe that both the decision and the process ICANN followed are fundamentally flawed and that the roll-out should be delayed.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 8, 2011 06:50 PM
With ICANN’s opening of the application period for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) one month away, attention is being paid in Washington, D.C. with two hearings this week, or, as Domain Name Wire wrote, “Get ready for representatives to pretend like they know about domain names.”
This morning’s U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing aimed to "examine the merits and implications of this new program and ICANN's continuing efforts to address concerns raised by the internet community."
In an piece titled “ICANN opens pepper-spray, fires in own face,” Kieren McCarthy, CEO at .Nxt, Inc., who believes the hearing's witness list “is stacked against the program,” wrote:
“Having spent seven years putting together plans for the greatest expansion of the Internet, and with applications for potentially thousands of new extensions due to open in just over a month, ICANN should be riding high. Instead it is the focus of not one but two Senate hearings this month and a huge campaign that includes giants such as Procter & Gamble, Hewlett Packard, JC Penny, Johnson & Johnson and Kellogg's to get ICANN to either delay or restructure the program."Continue reading...