retail

Brands Set Off on All Out Marketing Blitz in Race for Black Friday Sales

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 07:02 PM

Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones, express gratitude, and take stock of the ad frenzy that is holiday shopping. And with brands turning the clock forward on Black Friday promos, marketing teams are in an all-out race to grab the attention of savings-hungry consumers. 

According to research from Shareablee, of the top 25 retailers on Facebook in the first half of November, Walmart accounted for 27 percent of the total shares by fans, followed by QVC with 9 percent, and Macy’s and Nordstrom at 8 percent. On Twitter, BestBuy is dominant with 30 percent of retweets in the category, followed by Nordstrom at 9 percent, Ebay and Target at 8 percent respectively and Walmart at 6 percent.

Target has outpaced all retail competition with six times more Black Friday posts than any other brand, while JCPenney’s one Black Friday post earned the highest level of engagement with over 54,000 likes, comments and shares.  

Are you planning on braving the crowds? If so, here's some offers to keep an eye out for:Continue reading...

retail

Black Friday Dwindles, Blurred By Jumpy Consumers, Desperate Retailers

Posted by Dale Buss on November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

The blurring of boundaries between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday may not matter much for long. Discount-hawking consumers, changing brand practices, the inexorable expansion of e-tailing and other factors are changing the whole notion of Black Friday, probably for good.

For sure the days of sacrosanctness for Black Friday and even for Cyber Monday are gone. There will be dwindling stampedes as the doors of Walmart or Macy's or some other chain finally open on the day after Thanksgiving. In part that's because many chains this year are making the jump to open on Thanksgiving night, devaluing the tradition of Black Friday probably forever.

Plus the discounts that retailers used to hold back until Black Friday now are being offered before that once-fateful day, as stubborn consumers, caught in a slow-growth economy since 2008, demand more and earlier promotional activity before they'll part with their hard-earned holiday purse.Continue reading...

campaigns

Gap Gets Praise for Culturally-Inclusive Holiday Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 11:12 AM

Gap has put its own spin on holiday cheer with this year's #MakeLove campaign featuring artists and activists who are making a difference in the world.

The retailer has received praise for featuring a diverse group of personalities in its print and digital adverts, from rapper Q-Tip to artist and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte, and music celebebrities including Tony Bennett, Kenna, Cyndi Lauper and Billy Porter. It has especially received attention for featuring the face of Indian-American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia in all 866 Gap retail stores in the US, online and on social media, in which he wears a traditional Sikh turban.

Ahluwalia has become one of the most prominent Sikh celebrities in America through his House of Waris line and appearances in films such as Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic and Spike Lee’s Inside Man.

Consumers have reacted positively to the inclusive campaign on social media:Continue reading...

retail

Here Comes COS: H&M Readies to Introduce Upscale, Artsy Sibling to US

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2013 03:42 PM

Swedish retail giant Hennes & Mauritz is gunning for its “coolly-minimal younger sibling,” COS, to make big a splash in the US market after building up quite a fanbase in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The brand will make its debut in the spring, joining fast-fashion phenom H&M. 

But the higher-priced, more artsy brand has no intention of settling for second place. According to H&M's head of business, Marie Honda, the high-fashion brand has the potential to be huge. After testing the waters earlier this month with a NYC pop-up shop at Opening Ceremony, the upscale, minimalist and cosmopolitan COS brand will target US ities "that have an international feel," Honda told Women's Wear Daily

Come spring 2014, the brand plans to launch US e-commerce and open its first store in April in NYC's Soho neighborhood. 

It’s a strategic shift for H&M, which launched in the US market as a trendy and cheaper alternative to Gap, Zara and Forever 21, and for whom American stores deliver the most revenue after Germany.Continue reading...

retail

1111 Equals $5.75 Billion as China Sets Singles Day Online Sales Record

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 11, 2013 07:22 PM

Bigger than Cyber Monday (which notched up US $1.46 billion in sales last November) and bigger than China's National Day "Golden Week," China's Singles Day ("光棍节") also known as "1111" as it falls on 11/11, has become the the biggest online shopping day of the year—worldwide. This year's event was expected to break all previous records, and that it swiftly did.

In the first twenty minutes of the day's online sales going live, China's dominant commerce site, Taobao, recorded US$500 million in sales. By 10:00 am, Taobao had crossed US$2.46 billion in sales. By 1:00 pm, the sales frenzy passed last year's tally. By the end of the day, owner Alibaba (China's equivalent of Amazon) crowed that its Taobao and Tmall online shopping hubs recorded 35 billion yuan or RMB, or a whopping US$5.75 billion.

Not bad for a holiday that didn't even exist 25 years ago.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

North American Alliance Bids for Transparency in Efforts to Improve Bangladesh Factories

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 23, 2013 07:17 PM

More than half of the 620 Bangladesh garment factories contracted by 23 North American retailers and apparel makers have been inspected for fire and building safety, according to a report from the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

Since the April collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex that killed more than 1,100 garment workers and a November 2012 fire at the Tazreen factory that killed 112, close attention has been paid to Bangladesh's booming garment industry—but it's still not enough. Earlier this month, another factory fire killed nearly a dozen people—a building that was reportedly left out of inspections by both the Alliance and European-based Accord on Fire and Building Safety.  

In a bid to be more transparent amid criticism over its non-binding agreement, the Alliance has released a full list of all of its contracted factories that includes names and addresses, as well as number of workers and building composition. The list also indicates which factories are utilized by Accord members.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Mondelez, Facebook, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Mondelez invests $400 million in sustainability.

Facebook reverses stance on violent video. 

Microsoft tests eyewear similar to Glass.

Amazon and eBay shake up shipping strategies.

American Honda settles class-action suit over oil-burning defect.

Apple targets Microsoft Office with free apps.

Caterpillar cuts 2013 forecast as mining orders drop.

Cheetos promises to TP any location in the world for new Halloween campaign.

Coach loses ground to luxury rivals.

Ford trims production of C-Max and Focus.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Brands' Firewalls Fail as Another Deadly Blaze Kills Bangladesh Garment Workers

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 05:37 PM

The scourge of deadly fires and building accidents in Bangladesh garment factories continued this week despite the flurry of attention to the problem over the last year by western and European apparel retailers.

Leading retail brands including H&M, Carrefour, Hudson's Bay, Gap, Walmart and Joe Fresh have admitted possible links to an Aswad Composite Mills factory in Sripur where a fire broke out overnight and killed at least 10 people, after most of its 3,000 employees had gone home. There were reports that the factory had some modern firefighting equipment, but to no avail. 

Workers said the blaze appeared to have been started by a malfunctioning knitting machine, according to Al Jazeera, while the country's top inspector said safety problems had been raised last month. The story is one all-too-familiar for Bangladesh's garment industry—a $20 billion trade— which saw over 1,100 people die in the Rana Plaza collapse in April after cracks were reported in the building by engineers, but their warnings were ultimately ignored by factory owners.Continue reading...

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