brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 7, 2013 02:42 PM
The death toll has passed 700 in Bangladesh, where recovery efforts continue to locate the rest of the victims of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse. Amid the devastation and grief has emerged strong accusations of blame that have fallen on the shoulders of the Bangladeshi government and worldwide retailers who rely on Bangladesh factories to supply their "fast fashion."
Nearly two weeks after the disaster—which is the deadliest in the history of the garment industry—the United Nations International Labor Organization is calling for new global labor safety policies to be adopted by brands and governments. “The tripartite partners (Government, employers and workers) and the ILO stand united in their resolve to do everything possible to prevent further tragedy... and acknowledge that the challenges are daunting but believe that, if international buyers and brands take increased responsibility for improving working conditions and safety and health and with the active support of development partners and donors, safety can and must be improved in all workplaces throughout Bangladesh.”
The ILO is one of many organizations lobbying major retailers like Walmart, H&M and Gap to sign the legally-binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, but those holding out have maintained that they have made improvements and implemented processes on their own to improve safety in Bangladesh's factories.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2012 02:09 PM
Like any massive corporation that has a lot of dough and a lot of interests, Coca-Cola has tangled itself in plenty of politics, though your average soda drinker couldn’t likely care less. However, there are some that do and Coke doesn’t want to lose their dollars.
That may be why the company has ditched out of the conservative lobbying group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that denies the existence of climate change, helped author a law in Florida that some believe helped cause the Trayvon Martin situation to arise, and is pushing for voter ID registration (which critics deem a form of voter suppression), according to TriplePundit.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 9, 2012 06:15 PM
Built on the back of its ubiquitous retail operation, Walmart has become the largest grocer in the U.S. That position carries with it a certain responsibility, and Walmart is rising to the occasion. The company, for example, has been publicly acknowledged by the first lady, Michelle Obama, for its work in helping to encourage healthy eating and fight childhood obesity.
As we noted here earlier, Walmart's latest entry into the nutritional battlefield is a product labeling strategy it calls "Great for You." As the company explains, this "nutrition icon" will begin appearing this spring on foods that "meet rigorous nutrition criteria informed by the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Institute of Medicine (IOM)."
At first, the green "Great for You" labels, depicting a non-descript person with arms raised, will appear only on products within Walmart's own brands, Great Value and Marketside. Walmart claims, however, that it will allow other brands to make use of the label on products adhering to the same criteria with no licensing fee. In theory, this would help level the playing field between Walmart branded products and other brands sitting on Walmart shelves. But does it?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 9, 2012 10:02 AM
The Food and Drug Administration said in 2009 that it was going to develop standards for what food products can claim to be healthy and what can’t. But there hasn’t been any kind of report as of yet, and Walmart has decided to stop waiting and make one of its own.
A year after pledging to develop a front-of-pack label that would give its customers an easier way to identify healthier food, and a month after a public commitment with First Lady Michelle Obama to putting nutrition front and center in its stores, the nation’s largest food retailer this week unveiled a “Great For You” icon to create a visual system to educate customers.
The Arkansas-based grocery behemoth announced this week that the seal will appear on a variety of house brand food items, with a WalmartGreatforYou.com website supporting the effort.
The green and white seal, "which shows the stylized outline of a human figure with its arms spread toward the sky, is part of a multiyear campaign the world’s largest retailer is undertaking to promote healthier products and fight childhood obesity," the Associated Press reports.
Walmart says it will adapt to whatever the FDA’s regulations are whenever that list actually is produced, but will for now add the icon to products with lower levels of fat, sugar, and artificial additives. Plus, the seal will appear on signage in the fruits and vegetable section of its grocery area.
“It helps customers see very, very quickly what healthier choices are for them,” stated Andrea Thomas, SVP of sustainability for Wal-Mart Stores. More details are in its press release below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2011 10:01 AM
U-Haul was founded by World War II Navy vet L.S. "Sam" Shoen and his wife Anna Mary Carty Shoen. Even if there have been some major family troubles along the way, the company has never forgotten its roots.
The company will sponsor today’s Veterans Day Parade in New York City. It has “designed and dedicated five vibrant military SuperGraphics (to put on its parade trucks) to honor the five branches of the military — Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, and to show our support for the men and women who have served and are still proudly serving in the armed services,” according to a company release.
The company will also pay tribute to those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, as well during the course of the parade. Spectators along the route will also receive small flags as well as “Support Our Troops” ribbon magnets, the release states.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 14, 2011 04:06 PM
The stagnant world economy continues to be a drag on consumer demand, even as the 2011 holiday season approaches. The growth rate for the upcoming holiday season will be 2.8 percent in total retail sales -- half of last year's 5.6 percent actual growth -- according to London-based Kantar Retail, a division of Kantar Group, the insight and consulting arm of WPP, the world's largest communications group.
The breakdown of where sales will come from is a true sign of the times -- and a warning to traditional retailers. Kantar predicts that U.S. online sales from October through December will rise 13.5 percent, to $60.4 billion from $53.2 billion last year. While this is lower than the percentage increase from 2009 to 2010, it speaks to the continuing growth in market share of online shopping. Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 13, 2011 02:19 PM
No matter how plain a brand is, if it does a job well and does it long enough, it will get its due.
That seems to be happening now with Solo, the brand name of the plastic red cups that have become stapes of any picnic, barbecue and party. Toby Keith, one of the most popular country music artists in America, just released a Solo red cup anthem. But Keith is late to a party that's been raging for years. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2011 05:13 PM
Walmart is now the third largest retailer of digital movie downloads, ahead of Sony and Amazon, according to researcher IHS Inc.
The grandfather of big-box and the world's largest retailer, with $419 billion in annual sales, 9,600 stores in 28 nations and 10 billion customer visits annually, Walmart is suddenly reaping substantial revenue due to its acquisition of Vudu. Vudu offers digital versions of Hollywood movies for rental or purchase and was created to stream movies through its own set-top box, but switched gears when consumers chose other devices.
“The business we’re in today, offering first-run movies a la carte, is doing very well right now and has tripled so far this year,” said Vudu GM, Edward Lichty.Continue reading...