Posted by Dale Buss on September 30, 2011 03:36 PM
We're all for depending on the incredible power of branding, marketing and advertising. But there are certain business models that require more than a modern-day Don Draper handling the creative in order to reinvent themselves for new times. And the U.S. Postal Service is one of those brands.
Challenged by email and the web, and bleeding money like direct marketers bleed junk mail, the federal government's mail-delivery service is losing billions of dollars a year for American taxpayers.
Fighting for its life, the USPS is implementing severe cost-cutting measures — closing hundreds of post offices and processing facilities, threatening to eliminate Saturday delivery — as it looks to address today and tomorrow's needs.
A new vision isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, as America's postal service is expected to report a loss of $10 billion this fiscal year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 7, 2011 03:34 PM
When you have a loss of $27 million in a quarter, things need to change. So Coldwater Creek, a women’s clothing and jewelry purveyor based in Idaho, will be closing between 35 and 45 of its stores, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
It's so bad that CEO and chairman Dennis Pence, who cofounded the retailer back in 1984 with his wife, Ann, isn’t receiving his annual salary. Not only that, the company is ready to change things up with a strategic overhaul of the business.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 1, 2011 10:06 AM
AT&T is not used to not getting its way, as Politico observes today. Having spent millions and employing an army of lobbyists and publicists to make its case for acquiring T-Mobile's US operations, the telecom giant was stunned when the US Department of Justice went to court yesterday to block the deal.
Still, it stands a fighting chance to salvage its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA and convince the DOJ that the merger is not anticompetitive, but in fact offers real merits for consumers.
Whiile the company's chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson is (according to Bloomberg News) gearing up for a court fight and ready to make concessions to save the T-Mobile deal, Hal Singer, managing director of Navigant Economics, told Bloomberg TV that AT&T has a "standing chance" to convince the Department of Justice that the merger will benefit mobile customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 31, 2011 11:17 AM
AT&T's offer to bring home some 5,000 jobs to the US as part of its proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA has failed to win over the Obama administration.
Reuters, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are reporting that the Justice Department has filed suit to block the merger, which was announced in March, between the second biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. (AT&T) and the fourth-biggest carrier.
While AT&T will likely definitely contest the DOJ suit, there's one delighted party at the news: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who is vigorously opposed to his rivals' merger, which would dwarf his company. (Read Sprint's official response here.)
The Justice Department just confirmed the move, stating in a press release that it's rejecting the deal on antitrust concerns that it would reduce competition and raise prices for mobile customers in the US — or as the DOJ puts it, “Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer.”
Fortune reports that AT&T shares fell nearly 4% on the news, while Sprint shares jumped more than 8%, to $3.83 a piece. The FCC review of the deal will continue, although Bloomberg notes that the agency has never approved a proposed merger that the DOJ opposed.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 8, 2011 01:00 PM
Verizon may have retired its "Can you hear me now?" campaign earlier this year, but some 45,000 Verizon workers of its 83,000 employees nationwide have gone on strike in the hopes the company is still listening.
The stalemate continues between the union and the New York City-based company, according to Bloomberg.
The company’s first strike in 11 years “may delay service calls and disrupt installations for phone and Web service,” according to Bloomberg, but Verizon has 40,000 managers and contractors in its back pocket that it has trained to take the positions of strikers, who make up about a quarter of the company’s employees and represent Verizon’s decreasing land-line business.
“It is clear that some of the existing contract provisions, negotiated initially when Verizon was under far less competitive pressure, are not in line with the economic realities of business today,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, according to Bloomberg. “In fact, under these contracts, benefit costs have risen consistently even as the wireline business has shrunk.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 3, 2011 11:00 AM
The U.S. shoe industry once employed about 250,000 back in its 1950s heyday, but 99% of shoes sold in America are imported from countries where manufacturing and employee costs are much cheaper.
Today, there are only about 15,000 U.S. employees in the shoe industry and about 1,000 of them work in the five New England factories that New Balance operates, according to The Seattle Times.
New Balance — which offers custom-designed shoes at its U.S. factories — has so far resisted the urge that every other major American shoemaker has succumbed to ... namely, moving its factories to other countries. Despite that loyalty, a new change in federal laws could hurt New Balance’s ability to maintain them.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 22, 2011 11:30 AM
Don’t get polo players upset. If they don’t run you down with their horses, they can do some pretty serious damage with those mallets, too
The members of a Michigan golf and polo club are going one step further and putting their money into a legal fight with chemical giant DuPont.
They are upset about the company’s Imprelis, a herbicide that was introduced last year that does kill weeds, but also seems to be doing some damage to various types of trees, according to Zacks.com. And they're not the only ones.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2011 11:30 AM
Turning to other "airline brands under fire", Southwest is losing its mojo and needs to work on restoring its reputation.
As Kenlie Tiggeman told NBC News, the airline, once revered as a trendy alternative brand in a highly competitive industry, needs sensitivity training. Tiggeman and her mother, Joan Charpentier, were on a layover in Dallas on Easter Sunday, when a Southwest employee singled them out (along with another passenger) for their weight.
After a very public 45 minute conversation about their weight and clothing size, they were told by an agent they were — in words Southwest is still living down — “Too fat to fly,” said Tiggeman. "I asked him what the weight restrictions were and he said that he didn't know, just that we were too heavy to fly.”
Did Southwest learn anything from last year's Kevin Smith debacle?Continue reading...