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‘There’s Always A Premium On Great Ideas’ Says General Mills’ 301 Inc. Venture Group Leader While Talking Innovation
Aug 21, 2019, 01:39am
‘There’s Always A Premium On Great Ideas’ Says General Mills’ 301 Inc. Venture Group Leader While Talking Innovation

Barb StuckeyContributor
Food & Drink
beverages  Big_Food  brands  corporate_investors  food  incubators  innovation 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
Keeping the Mink Mile hot in a cooling retail era - The Globe and Mail
WALLACE IMMEN
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 19, 2019

* HIGH-END RETAIL EXPERIENCE IS PUSHING ITS BOUNDARIES
The affluence of this retail location influences nearby streets, spilling north to the area’s namesake Yorkville Avenue.
Turns out this northern stretch of Yorkville Avenue between the Hazelton Hotel at 118 Yorkville Ave. and Bellair Street has seen rents nearly double over the course of three years, currently averaging between $250 and $275 a square foot, JLL found. By comparison, leases on Toronto’s Queen Street West average $100 a square foot, Robson Street in Vancouver $225 and Saint-Catherine Street in Montreal $210, JLL reports. Of course, those numbers pale in comparison to New York’s upper Fifth Avenue, where rents can reach US$2,720, the Beverly Hills triangle in Los Angeles that can command US$1,100 and Oxford Street in London where prime rents are the equivalent of US$775.

* GROWTH IN UPSCALE SHOPPING AREA ISN’T AN ACCIDENT
Yorkville’s launch into the upper echelons didn’t happen by accident, though. Even a few years ago, there was speculation that with shifts in retailing toward more online shopping and a retrenchment of brands that the zone north of the Mink Mile would fall into decline.

Yorkville was getting decidedly shop worn by 2011, when First Capital Properties, a subsidiary of First Capital Realty Inc., acquired Hazelton Lanes, a 1970s shopping mall at the corner of Avenue Road and Yorkville Avenue.

To pump life into the area, First Capital developed a long-term vision for Yorkville that started with a total renovation of the old mall – to give it more street presence. The redevelopment also allowed for a rebranding and the mall became known as Yorkville Village.....There are about 11,000 condominium units in the immediate area and that’s destined to double in the next two years based on what is planned for the area and what is currently under construction.

Add to this the tourism and the business community along Bloor Street and the University of Toronto, and the area is rich in potential customers,

* TREND IN HIGH-END RETAILING REQUIRES ONGOING COMMUNITY SUPPORT
In the past, many brands shifted their flagship stores into enclosed malls, but there’s now a shift back to brands – particularly the higher-end and exclusive name brands – having their main flagship stores at street level in Yorkville.......While the trend in high-end retailing is as much a developer’s vision as it is a retailer’s desire, a lot of the growth in this luxury retail space can be attributed to continual community-building efforts.

“We work in collaboration with other landlords and retailers and galleries in the area to create a sense of neighbourhood,” says Melissa Campisi, First Capital’s director of strategic partnerships and event management.....Events and attractions throughout the year are key to building a retail experience.... In a space that was formerly an Anthoropolgie store, First Capital arranged fashion talks and charity events........

* THE FUTURE OF THE HIGH-END RETAIL EXPERIENCE AT YORKVILLE
The Yorkville area is destined to become even more of a world-class retail destination as the area transforms with an unprecedented amount of construction and new leasing activity......The trends are in favour of growth for luxury retail, concludes the 2019 Canadian Luxury Apparel Market report by retail marketing research firm Trendex North America...... the Canadian luxury apparel market will increase by 5.8 per cent in 2019 and by 18 per cent from 2019 to 2023, to reach $3.2-billion in sales within the next five years.....More importantly,...the luxury sector growth rate will be nearly twice that of the overall clothing retail sector.
affluence  brands  densification  high-end  luxury  Mink_Mile  neighbourhoods  property_development  real_estate  rebranding  retailers  Toronto  upscale  urban_intensification  uToronto  Wallace_Immen  Yorkville 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | Dealing With China Isn’t Worth the Moral Cost
Oct. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Farhad Manjoo.

We thought economic growth and technology would liberate China. Instead, it corrupted us.

The People’s Republic of China is the largest, most powerful and arguably most brutal totalitarian state in the world. It denies basic human rights to all of its nearly 1.4 billion citizens. There is no freedom of speech, thought, assembly, religion, movement or any semblance of political liberty in China. Under Xi Jinping, “president for life,” the CCP has built the most technologically sophisticated repression machine the world has ever seen. In Xinjiang, in Western China, the government is using technology to mount a cultural genocide against the Muslim Uighur minority that is even more total than the one it carried out in Tibet. Human rights experts say that more than a million people are being held in detention camps in Xinjiang, two million more are in forced “re-education,” and everyone else is invasively surveilled via ubiquitous cameras, artificial intelligence and other high-tech means.

None of this is a secret. Under Xi, China has grown markedly more Orwellian;......Why do we give China a pass? In a word: capitalism. Because for 40 years, the West’s relationship with China has been governed by a strategic error the dimensions of which are only now coming into horrific view.......A parade of American presidents on the left and the right argued that by cultivating China as a market — hastening its economic growth and technological sophistication while bringing our own companies a billion new workers and customers — we would inevitably loosen the regime’s hold on its people....the West’s entire political theory about China has been spectacularly wrong. China has engineered ferocious economic growth in the past half century, lifting hundreds of millions of its citizens out of miserable poverty. But China’s growth did not come at any cost to the regime’s political chokehold....It is also now routinely corrupting the rest of us outside of China......the N.B.A.’s hasty and embarrassing apology this week after Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets’ general manager, tweeted — and quickly deleted — a message in support of Hong Kong’s protesters......The N.B.A. is far from the first American institution to accede to China’s limits on liberty. Hollywood, large tech companies and a variety of consumer brands — from Delta to Zara — have been more than willing to play ball. The submission is spreading: .....This sort of corporate capitulation is hardly surprising. For Western companies, China is simply too big and too rich a market to ignore, let alone to pressure or to police. .....it will only get worse from here, and we are fools to play this game. There is a school of thought that says America should not think of China as an enemy. With its far larger population, China’s economy will inevitably come to eclipse ours, but that is hardly a mortal threat. In climate change, the world faces a huge collective-action problem that will require global cooperation. According to this view, treating China like an adversary will only frustrate our own long-term goals......this perspective leaves out the threat that greater economic and technological integration with China poses to everyone outside of China. It ignores the ever-steeper capitulation that China requires of its partners. And it overlooks the most important new factor in the Chinese regime’s longevity: the seductive efficiency that technology offers to effect a breathtaking new level of control over its population......Through online surveillance, facial recognition, artificial intelligence and the propagandistic gold mine of social media, China has mobilized a set of tools that allow it to invisibly, routinely repress its citizens and shape political opinion by manipulating their feelings and grievances on just about any controversy.....Chinese-style tech-abetted surveillance authoritarianism could become a template for how much of the world works.
adversaries  artificial_intelligence  authoritarianism  brands  capitalism  capitulation  China  China_rising  Chinese_Communist_Party  climate_change  collective_action  cultural_genocide  decoupling  despots  errors  facial_recognition  Farhad_Manjoo  freedom  Hollywood  Hong_Kong  human_rights  influence  NBA  op-ed  Orwell  propaganda  repression  self-corruption  surveillance  surveillance_state  technology  threats  Tibet  totalitarianism  tyranny  Uyghurs  unintended_consequences  values  Xi_Jinping 
october 2019 by jerryking
Arby’s Parent to Acquire Jimmy John’s
Sept. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

BUSINESS
Arby’s Parent to Acquire Jimmy John’s
Inspire Brands adds to a stable of restaurants that also includes Sonic, Buffalo Wild Wings

Jimmy John’s had $2.15 billion in U.S. sales last year across 2,803 stores. PHOTO: JOHN LOCHER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
By Heather Haddon
Sept. 25, 2019 6:55 am ET
Inspire Brands Inc. is acquiring Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, the private-equity-backed firm’s latest addition to its stable of restaurant chains.

While competitors focus on either fast-food or casual restaurant formats, Inspire is betting that it can draw in more diners and generate higher sales by owning restaurants that span that spectrum. The company acquired the Sonic burger chain last year after merging Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings earlier in the year.

The acquisition of Jimmy John’s will make Inspire the fourth-largest U.S. restaurant company, with more than $14 billion in sales across 11,200 restaurants, according to Inspire. Both companies engaged in an equity-swap transaction for the deal, the exact financial terms of which weren’t disclosed. The transaction is expected to close next month.

Inspire Chief Executive Paul Brown has said he wants to acquire around 10 chains, each with about $4.5 billion in annual sales.

“I’m more confident in our approach to the business today than I was even when I started out on this path,” Mr. Brown said in an interview. He added that he is looking for chains with strong growth potential rather than specific cuisines to add to Inspire’s menu.

Jimmy John’s, based in Champaign, Ill., had $2.15 billion in U.S. sales last year across 2,803 stores, a roughly 50% increase in both sales and locations since 2013, according to market-research firm Technomic Inc.

Roark Capital Group, a private-equity firm that first took a majority stake in Jimmy John’s in 2016, is also the financial backer that created Inspire through the Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings merger last year. Jimmy John’s was valued at around $2.3 billion when Roark acquired a stake that included a minority share in the sandwich maker owned by private-equity firm Weston Presidio.

Jimmy John’s is facing competition from newer sandwich chains including Jersey Mike’s Subs, Firehouse Subs and Cousins Submarines Inc. Subway remains the dominant player in the market and has expanded delivery through outside companies. Jimmy John’s has stuck to its own fleet of delivery couriers. Mr. Brown said it was too early to say whether Inspire would open Jimmy John’s to third-party delivery companies.

Jimmy John Liautaud, who opened the chain while he was in college at Eastern Illinois University in 1983, will step down as board chairman and become an adviser to the brand, Inspire and Mr. Liautaud said. Jimmy John’s president, James North, will remain and report to Inspire.

In a letter sent Wednesday to suppliers and vendors, Mr. Liautaud said Inspire’s buying power and technology would make the company more efficient and profitable.

“I created, raised, and nurtured this company to the best of my ability and now it’s time for this brand to soar,” he wrote.

Outside of its holdings in Inspire, Atlanta-based Roark has a large food and restaurant portfolio, with investments in ice-cream maker Carvel, Auntie Anne’s pretzels and burger chain Carl’s Jr. Roark led Wingstop Inc. to a public offering in 2015 after owning a majority of the chain for five years.

Wingstop’s shares were up 36% this year as of Tuesday’s close, roughly in line with share gains this year for some other multibrand restaurant companies, including Yum Brands Inc. and Restaurants Brands International Inc.

Write to Heather Haddon at heather.haddon@wsj.com
brands  fast-food  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  restaurants 
september 2019 by jerryking
Tech groups push ‘chat commerce’ to western shoppers
SEPTEMBER 23 2019 | Financial Times | by Patrick McGee in San Francisco.

From wishing a friend happy birthday to contacting a colleague about a meeting, text messaging is central to much of 21st-century life, with one glaring exception: commerce....the potential for brands to engage with customers and sell goods using pithy, personalised messages is vast. On the Chinese app WeChat, 170m people browse for products — and pay for them — every day on more than 600,000 “mini-programs” within the app. They hail cabs, buy groceries, book doctor’s appointments and even get tourism recommendations through real-time crowdsourcing.

Now, after a series of failed starts, so-called conversational commerce may be set to gain traction in the west, as a host of tech companies attempt to follow WeChat’s lead.

In its new iOS 13 software update, Apple is prompting users on its iPhones who attempt to make a call to companies such as Burberry, Hilton and Verizon to “start a Business Chat instead, so you can interact with a business from a text instead of waiting on hold”.

Apple Business Chat, which was first announced in 2017, lets consumers communicate directly with brands within the Messages app — usually via sophisticated artificial intelligence chatbots — enabling them to ask questions about products and pay for them through Apple Pay, which is integrated into the platform......

‘There is no shortage of demand’

Proponents say the reason texting works in commerce is the simplicity and intimacy of the experience. Consider what happens when a flight is cancelled, causing 200 people to suddenly need to make new plans. Customer service is bombarded; passengers are left waiting on hold. Instead, an airline could let each person text their preferences, then put their phone away as an answer is worked on.

“The idea that [customer service] has to be this synchronous thing where you settle down for a 10-minute conversation on the phone is ridiculous,” said Charles Golvin, researcher at Gartner. “The actual aggregate amount of time you need might be 30 seconds.”.....Making customers feel they are engaging with an individualised service that responds quickly with helpful answers is critical. Instead of hiring a massive staff to respond to each and every query, companies are deploying AI to field customer questions using chatbots, though these can defer to human employees when necessary.

Into the west

So far, attempts to bring conversational commerce to the west have received a lot of hype but little traction. Three years ago, after Uber integrated ride-hailing into Facebook Messenger, product designer Chris Messina hailed 2016 as “the year of conversational commerce” — a prediction that never materialised.

“I don’t think ‘fail’ is too harsh — the uptake of commerce through messaging in the US has been dismal,” Mr Golvin said.

Nevertheless, momentum is beginning to pick up, with sales volume tripling in the past three years, led by in-app messaging within Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Brian Long, chief executive of Attentive, a Sequoia-backed start-up building text platforms for more than 400 brands ranging from Jack in the Box fast food to luxury apparel brand Coach, said it is becoming clear that email marketing does not work, especially among younger people.....Apple declined to say how many brands are participating on Business Chat, but a deal inked earlier this year enabled all 800,000 online merchants on Shopify to engage with customers over text and transact with Apple Pay.

Michael Perry, director of product for conversational offerings at Shopify, said brands using text to engage with customers are building trust that translates into higher spending habits.

“You’re more likely to pay a premium [for] a brand you like,” he said. “And messaging, more than any other medium, powers that.
Apple  brands  chat  chatbots  conversational_commerce  messaging  mobile_applications  Shopify  text_messages  WeChat 
september 2019 by jerryking
The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant
Aug. 14, 2019 | The New York Times | By Mike Isaac and David Yaffe-Bellany.

Virtual restaurants” exist with no physical storefronts, tables or chairs. They exist only inside a mobile app, like Uber Eats, the on-demand meal delivery service owned by Uber......Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub are starting to reshape the $863 billion American restaurant industry. As more people order food to eat at home, and as delivery becomes faster and more convenient, the apps are changing the very essence of what it means to operate a restaurant.

No longer must restaurateurs rent space for a dining room. All they need is a kitchen — or even just part of one. Then they can hang a shingle inside a meal-delivery app and market their food to the app’s customers, without the hassle and expense of hiring waiters or paying for furniture and tablecloths. Diners who order from the apps may have no idea that the restaurant doesn’t physically exist.

The shift has popularized two types of digital culinary establishments. One is “virtual restaurants,” which are attached to real-life restaurants like Mr. Lopez’s Top Round but make different cuisines specifically for the delivery apps. The other is “ghost kitchens,” which have no retail presence and essentially serve as a meal preparation hub for delivery orders.

“Online ordering is not a necessary evil. It’s the most exciting opportunity in the restaurant industry today,”....Many of the delivery-only operations are nascent, but their effect may be far-reaching, potentially accelerating people’s turn toward order-in food over restaurant visits and preparing home-cooked meals.

Uber and other companies are driving the change. Since 2017, the ride-hailing company has helped start 4,000 virtual restaurants with restaurateurs which are exclusive to its Uber Eats app.....Uber Eats analyzes neighborhood sales data to identify unmet demand for particular cuisines (e.g. "there is demand for late-night orders of burgers and ice cream in your area"). Then it approaches restaurants that use the app and encourages them to create a virtual restaurant to meet that demand.....Restaurants that use delivery apps like Uber Eats and Grubhub pay commissions of 15 percent to as much as 30 percent on every order......Delivery apps may also undermine the connection between diner and chef. ....Delivery-only facilities “take away the emotional connection and the creative redemption.”....In Europe, the food-delivery app Deliveroo also started testing ghost kitchens.....Ghost kitchens have also emerged in China, where online food delivery apps are widely used in the country’s densely populated megacities.
brands  DoorDash  commercial_kitchens  emotional_connections  food_delivery  kitchens  mobile_applications  restaurants  Uber_Eats  GrubHub  on-demand  unmet_demand  virtual_restaurants 
august 2019 by jerryking
Momofuku’s Secret Sauce: A 30-Year-Old C.E.O.
Aug. 16, 2019 | The New York Times | By Elizabeth G. Dunn.

Momofuku was founded in 2004, with an East Village ramen bar that, after some initial stumbles, wowed diners by combining pristine ingredients and impeccable technique in humble dishes that melded influences from Japan to Korea to the American south. Since then, it has become a private-equity backed company with restaurants from Sydney to Los Angeles; a growing chain of fast-casual chicken sandwich shops; a media production unit churning out television shows and podcasts; and designs on creating a line of sauces and seasonings that could capture supermarket aisles across America. While Mr. Chang is the brand’s lodestar, Ms. Mariscal, 30, is the executive who makes it all work.

Born and raised on the Upper West Side, to the family that founded the specialty foods emporium Zabar’s, Ms. Mariscal began her career at Momofuku in 2011, as a public relations and events intern. Over the years, she quietly became Mr. Chang’s closest collaborator and confidante, a largely unknown force shaping matters as varied as menu design, branding and business development. “She’s the only person I’ve ever felt comfortable giving complete carte blanche to, in terms of what Momofuku looks like and what it should be,” Mr. Chang said. He recalled suggesting to the company’s board that Ms. Mariscal be named C.E.O. almost four years ago, when she was 26. She finally assumed the role in April.

It’s not unusual for a chef like Mr. Chang to parlay cooking talent and charisma into restaurants, cookbooks and television shows — a formula pioneered by the likes of Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Rick Bayless in the 1990s. But chef-driven food brands of the scope and ambition that Mr. Chang and Ms. Mariscal envision for Momofuku, with dozens of locations and mainstream packaged food products, are harder to pull off.

Adding to the challenge is Momofuku’s particular identity, which revolves less around a distinct culinary tradition than an attitude of restless innovation, boundary pushing and spontaneity. A formulaic chain of steakhouses, Momofuku ain’t. Scaling that ethos requires a tightrope act: Create enough structure and continuity to stave off chaos, without destroying the brand’s animating spirit in the process.
Asian  brands  branding  business_development  CEOs  chefs  commercial_kitchens  David_Cheng  detail_oriented  differentiation  diversification  food  founders  fusion  growth  high-standards  interns  investors  kitchens  leadership  Momofuku  organizational_structure  restauranteurs  restaurants  scaling  special_sauce  women  workaholic 
august 2019 by jerryking
For Sephora, the store is core to its beauty
July 24 2019 | | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew and Hannah Copeland in Paris.

**Sephora stores focus on experience, allowing consumers to test products digitally on a virtual mirror for instance or personalise products **

Like its stores in New York’s Times Square and Dubai Mall in the Middle East, Sephora in La Défense has recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment. The investment reflects how bricks and mortar and experiential retail are key to Sephora’s growth. The LVMH-owned group, which stocks about 300 brands alongside its own label, has increased sales fourfold in the past eight years, fuelled by a booming beauty market........“A lot of people are scared of the retail apocalypse so they’re not investing in stores, and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said chief executive Chris de Lapuente in an interview on the shop floor. “We’re investing in our stores, taking our top 100 stores in the world and renovating them to the best possible standard.”....Mr de Lapuente says one attraction of Sephora is that consumers “discover brands they can’t find anywhere else”, noting that about a third of its offerings are exclusive to Sephora, and it acts as an incubator for upcoming or niche brands....Exclusivity might be with Huda, which began selling false eyelashes in Dubai and subsequently developed a collaboration with Sephora; pop star Rihanna’s cosmetics brand Fenty, which is on track for €500m sales this year; or an exclusive collaboration with Dior for the Dior Backstage range of make-up.

Pointing to the beauty bar where customers can get a free makeover, Mr de Lapuente added: “Experiential retail is crucial to our success. Sephora is a place where people come for advice, they come to listen. We teach, inspire and play . . . You’re not going to get this online. Online you can do your research . . . here you can come and experiment.”

Mr Fujimori agrees, saying Sephora “successfully combines experiential retail with a leading ecommerce presence, leveraging digital technology to enhance the shopping experience in-store and online”......
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. The challenge now for Sephora is to stay ahead in a world where there are more make-up and beauty brands than ever, and social media has lowered barriers to entry and boosted the speed to market. Meanwhile, Amazon last month announced the launch of its professional beauty stores, aimed at the mass market.

“Amazon is just another one of the many choices out there,” said Mr de Lapuente. “They have a strong e-commerce offering. They don’t have stores. We love that consumers love to shop online and in store.” He says that customers who buy both on- and offline tend to purchase three times more than those who buy using just one channel. Ecommerce represents an average of 20 per cent of sales in each country for Sephora, which uses influencers to build its community. “Amazon just forces us to raise our game.”....

The pressure is on to keep on innovating. “Beauty is so fast-moving, you can’t cruise,” said Mr de Lapuente. He says innovation will come both from new products (citing untapped potential in haircare and wellness), and from the way in which brands reach consumers. He sees opportunities in areas like voice-activated ordering through home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, and social commerce through platforms like China’s WeChat.

But despite such technological developments, for Mr de Lapuente, the store has a robust future.

At La Défense, customers are returning to work with Sephora’s distinctive striped bags modelled on the black and white stripes of Italy’s Siena Cathedral. “Is physical retail alive or dead?” mused Mr de Lapuente among the throng of shoppers. “It looks pretty alive to me. The store is where the magic happens.”
Amazon  beauty  brands  bricks-and-mortar  customer_experience  cosmetics  digital_influencers  e-commerce  experimentation  experiential_marketing  high-end  in-store  incubators  innovation  LVMH  makeup  millennials  omnichannel  refurbished  renovations  Sephora  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
The Ad Industry Has High Hopes for Direct-to-Consumer Businesses
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | By Nat Ives.

Advertising has turned its attention to what it hopes will be the next new engine of growth for the industry: direct-to-consumer marketers.

Direct-to-consumer businesses, which offer everything from mattresses to toothbrushes to home workouts, start by cutting out middlemen such as physical retail distributors. And they relentlessly focus on measures such as the cost to acquire a new customer—while relying on advertising, usually on social media, as the main way to grow.......ad executives hope that the booming DTC business can become a major new revenue source for the industry.....DTC brands play in an apparently unlimited range of products and could have rapid expansion ahead.

A varied field
Measures of DTC activity vary, but all indicate rapid growth. For a picture of U.S. ad spending by DTC companies, Magna tracks a basket of 13 companies that it considers disrupters, including footwear seller Allbirds Inc. and bedding marketer Casper Sleep Inc. Their spending increased 35% last year to $378 million, and is likely to grow another 30% this year and 25% next year.

And they’re spreading out from their usual advertising havens such as social media. The 13 brands’ national TV spending soared 42% in 2018 to $137 million, for instance, and is expected to rise 34% this year and 25% in 2020, Magna says........For some DTC brands, diversification is partly about protection.....Bombas LLC decided to move a big chunk of its marketing budget away from Facebook .....fearing its strategy could be hurt if the social network unexpectedly changed an algorithm or shifted a policy......Diversification is also a matter of taking growth to another level. DTC brands are “reaching the scale where they want to talk to the mass market, to consumers everywhere in the country, not just the trendsetters,” ......After a certain point for a DTC brand, increasing spending in the same place begins to produce diminishing returns, says Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-chief executive at DTC bra company ThirdLove Inc. The company says it has sold more than four million bras since it started taking orders in 2014, and has had annualized revenue growth of 180% over the past four years. It declines to disclose its sales figures or ad budget.

“Today, when people ask me where we are, I say pretty much everywhere,” Ms. Zak says, rattling off advertising channels including Facebook, Pinterest , search, podcasts, radio, direct mail, print and TV. The company ran its first national branding campaign last fall to advance a theme of “To Each, Her Own”—with a longer-term goal rather than immediate sales.
advertising  advertising_agencies  booming  brands  customer_acquisition  direct-to-consumer  diversification  out-of-home  self-protection  social_media  store_openings 
june 2019 by jerryking
10 Best Rum Brands 2019 - What Rum Bottles to Buy Right Now
MAY 31, 2019 | Esquire | BY JONAH FLICKER.

Goslings
When you think of a Dark ‘n Stormy, Goslings would like you to think of its rum and its rum alone. In fact, the brand has trademarked the cocktail’s name, insisting that it must be made with Goslings Black Seal rum and Goslings ginger beer. Of course, you’ll (probably) be safe making it with whatever rum you fancy at home. There is a reason Goslings is as popular as it is: It’s cheap and it goes down easy. Goslings doesn't have a distillery; instead, the Bermuda-based company sources barrels from other countries, ages and blends in Bermuda, and ships the rum to Kentucky for bottling. The rum in Black Seal is aged in bourbon barrels for several years, but that dark color is amplified by the addition of molasses from one of the distillates in the final blend, according to Malcolm Gosling. If you’re looking for something more complex, check out Papa Seal Single Barrel, a 15-year-old rum bottled from just 12 barrels that was released last fall.
best_of  drinks  brands  liquor  rum 
june 2019 by jerryking
Cashew foie gras? Big Food jumps on ‘plant-based’ bandwagon
MAY 18, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leila Abboud in Paris and Emiko Terazono in London

* Boom in meat and dairy substitutes sets up ‘battle for the centre of the plate’
* Nestlé recently launched the Garden Gourmet's Incredible burger in Europe and plans to launch it in the US in the autumn in conjunction with McDonald’s.
* Burger King has partnered with a “foodtech” start-up to put meat-free burgers on their menu.
* Pret A Manger is considering a surge in its roll-out of vegetarian outlets as it looks into buying UK sandwich rival Eat.

A change is afoot that is set to sweep through the global food industry as once-niche dietary movements (i.e. vegetarians, then the vegans, followed by a bewildering array of food tribes from veggievores, flexitarians and meat reducers to pescatarians and lacto-vegetarians ) join the mainstream.

At the other end of the supply chain, Big Food is getting in on the act as the emergence of plant-based substitutes opens the door for meat market disruption. Potentially a huge opportunity if the imitation meat matches adoption levels of milk product alternatives such as soy yoghurt and almond milk, which account for 13% of the American dairy market. It is a $35bn opportunity in the US alone, according to newly listed producer Beyond Meat, given the country’s $270bn market for animal-based food. 

Packaged food producers, burdened with anaemic growth in segments from drinks to sweets, have jumped on the plant-based bandwagon. Market leaders including Danone, Nestlé and Unilever are investing heavily in acquisitions and internal product development.

Laggards are dipping their toes. Kraft-Heinz, for example, is investing in start-ups via its corporate venture capital arm and making vegan variants of some of its products. Even traditional meat producers, such as US-based Tyson Foods and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, are diversifying into plant-based offerings to remain relevant with consumers.......“Plant-based is not a threat,” said Wayne England, who leads Nestlé’s food strategy. “On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity for us. Many of our existing brands can play much more in this space than they do today, so we’re accelerating that shift, and there is also space for new brands.” .....a plethora of alternative protein products are hitting supermarket shelves... appealing to consumers for different reasons....(1) reducing meat consumption for health reasons... (2) others concerned about animal welfare...(3) concern over agriculture’s contribution to climate change......As Big Food rushes in, it faces stiff competition from a new breed of start-ups that have raced ahead to launch plant-based meats they claim look, taste and feel like the real thing. Flush with venture capital funding, they have turned to technology, analysing the molecular structure of foods and seeking to reverse-engineer versions using plant proteins......Not only are the disrupters innovating on the product side, they are rapidly creating new brands using digital marketing and partnerships with restaurants. Big food companies, which can struggle to create new brands, often rely on acquisitions to bring new ones onboard.....Aside from the quality of the new protein substitutes, how they are marketed will determine whether they become truly mass-market or remain limited to the margins of motivated vegetarians and vegans. The positioning of the product in stores influences sales, with new brands such as Beyond Meat pushing to be placed in the meat section rather than separate chilled cabinets alongside the vegetarian and vegan options.....Elio Leoni Sceti, whose investment company recently backed NotCo, a Chile-based start-up that uses machine learning to create vegetarian replicas of meat and dairy, believes new brands have an edge on the marketing side because they are not held back by old habits. 

“The new consumer looks at the consequences of consumption and believes that health and beauty come from within,” said one industry veteran who used to run Birds Eye owner Iglo. “They’re less convinced by the functional-based arguments that food companies are used to making, like less sugar or fewer calories. This is not the way that consumers used to make decisions so the old guard are flummoxed.”...Dan Curtin, who heads Greenleaf, the Maple Leaf Food's plant-based business, played down the idea that alternative meats will eat into meat sales, saying the substitutes were “additive”. “We don’t see this as a replacement. People want options,” he said. 

 
animal-based  Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  brands  Burger_King  CPG  Danone  diets  digital_strategies  food_tech  hamburgers  Impossible_Foods  Kraft_Heinz  laggards  Maple_Leaf_Foods  McDonald's  meat  Nestlé  new_products  plant-based  rollouts  shifting_tastes  start_ups  tribes  Unilever  vegetarian  vc  venture_capital 
may 2019 by jerryking
Rihanna to lead new LVMH fashion house
May 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew in Paris.

Pop star will launch a new line of ready-to-wear luxury clothing, footwear and accessories brand named Fenty, becoming the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH. This is significant because it is one of the most high-profile creative tie-ups to date between a celebrity and a luxury group, and illustrates the lucrative potential of celebrities to draw attention — and sales — through Instagram (Rihanna has 70.5m followers). .....LVMH said Fenty would be “centered on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision . . . including commerciality and communication of the brand”....Rihanna joins other singers such as Beyoncé in launching her own clothing line.....
accessories  apparel  beauty  brands  celebrities  creative_class  digital_influencers  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  Fenty  footwear  greenfields  Instagram  luxury  LVMH  music  partnerships  singers  clothing  clothing_labels 
may 2019 by jerryking
Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  warning_signs 
april 2019 by jerryking
The Missing Piece in Big Food’s Innovation Puzzle
April 1, 2019 | WSJ | by By Carol Ryan.

.......In truth, they are becoming reliant on others to do the heavy lifting. Specialist food ingredient companies like Tate & Lyle and Kerry Group work with global brands behind the scenes to come up with new ideas. These businesses can spend two to three times more on innovation as a percentage of turnover than their biggest clients.

One part of their expertise is overhauling recipes. Ingredients companies can do everything from adding trendy probiotics to taking out excess sugar or gluten. Nestlé got a hand from Tate & Lyle to remove more sugar from its Nesquik range of flavored drinks, while Denmark’s Chr. Hansen helped Kraft Heinz switch from artificial to natural colors in the U.S. giant’s Macaroni & Cheese......Another service food suppliers offer is coming up with successful innovations to help revive sales. Nestlé’s ruby chocolate KitKat, which has become very popular in Asia, was actually created by U.S. cocoa producer Barry Callebaut, for example.

=============================================
See also, "For innovation success, do not follow the money"
07-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Michael Schrage "There is
no correlation between the percentage of net revenue spent on R&D
and the innovative capabilities of an organisation – none,"...Just ask
General Motors. No company in the world has spent more on R&D over
the past 25 years. Yet, somehow, GM's market share has
declined....R&D productivity – not R&D investment – is the real
challenge for global innovation. Innovation is not what innovators
innovate, it is what customers actually adopt. Productivity here is not
measured in patents granted but in new customers won and existing
customers profitably retained..
customer_profitability  Big_Food  brands  flavours  food  foodservice  health_foods  healthy_lifestyles  ingredients  ingredient_diversity  innovation  investors  Kraft_Heinz  large_companies  Mondelez  Nestlé  new_ideas  R&D  shifting_tastes  start_ups  Unilever 
april 2019 by jerryking
5 Ways to Value Your Collection, Whether It’s Fine Wine or Shrunken Heads
March 1, 2019 | The New York Times | By Paul Sullivan.

Collectible assets include wine, spirits, coins, trading cards as well as more unusual items, like lighters, belt buckles and even shrunken heads. These collections cost money and time to assemble and certainly have a value to their owners, but can they be considered legitimate investments? That depends on the market.

For many collectors, the only option to buy, sell or even value these assets is through online auction platforms like eBay or enthusiast sites, but for others, their possessions are treated as fine art.......the market for collectibles, which are often valued in the millions of dollars, may not always be so easy to weather. It can experience sudden surges that put desired items out of the reach of true collectors or it can collapse, wiping out the gains speculators thought they had made.

In an economic slowdown, how these investments are treated depends on supply and demand as well as unpredictable forces like fashion and popularity.....Collectibles can be broken into categories determined by provenance, rarity and even a moment in time. Here are five issues to consider when weighing the investment potential of your collection.....
(1) The standouts in the crowd - Leading the pack are high-quality items that have broad name recognition.
(2) High risk, high reward -
(3) Not all collectibles are investments- jewelry is not an investment....because the market is driven too much by changing fashion.
(4) Obscure and difficult to sell - establish the value of esoteric collections by using third-party appraisers. But insurance companies like A.I.G. value these collections by their replacement value, not by the price someone would pay for them.
(5) A market downturn - =hether it’s shrunken heads, 1,000 bottles of wine or sheets of trading cards, a ready buyer may not be available — or may want to pay much less (i.e. a step change in the valuation).
collectibles  collectors  high-risk  howto  obscure  valuations  AIG  auctions  assets  brands  eBay  economic_downturn  esoteric  fine_arts  high-end  high-quality  investing  investments  passions  step_change  unpredictability  wine  whisky  online_auctions 
march 2019 by jerryking
Tyson Made Its Fortune Packing Meat. Now It Wants to Sell You Frittatas.
Feb. 13, 2019 | WSJ | By Jacob Bunge

Tyson’s strategy is to transform the 84-year-old meatpacking giant into a modern food company selling branded consumer goods on par with Kraft Heinz Co. or Coca-Cola Co.
.....Tyson wants to be big in more-profitable prepared and packaged foods to distance itself from the traditional meat business’s boom-and-bust cycles. America’s biggest supplier of meat wants to also be known for selling packaged foods........How’s the transformation going? Amid an historic meat glut, the company’s shares are worth $4.9 billion less than they were a year ago—and are still valued like those of a meatpacker pumping out shrink-wrapped packs of pork chops and chicken breasts....Investors say the initiatives aren’t yet enough to counteract the steep challenges facing the poultry and livestock slaughtering and processing operations that have been the company’s core since....1935.....Record red meat and poultry production nationwide is pushing down prices and eroding Tyson’s meat-processing profit margins. Tariffs and trade barriers to U.S. meat have further dented prices and built up backlogs, while transport and labor costs have climbed. .......The packaged-foods business is itself struggling with consumers gravitating toward nimbler upstart brands and demanding natural ingredients and healthier recipes........Tyson's acquisition of Hillside triggered changes, including the onboarding of executives attuned to consumer trends. Tyson added managers from Fortune 100 companies, including Boeing Co. and HP Inc., who replaced some meat-processing officials who led Tyson for decades. The newcomers brought experience managing brands, understanding consumers, developing new products and building new technology tools, areas Tyson deemed central to its future......A chief sustainability officer, a newly created position, began working to shift Tyson’s image among environmental groups, .....Shifting consumer tastes have created hurdles for other packaged-food giants, such as Campbell Soup Co. and Kellogg Co. .... the meat business remains Tyson’s biggest challenge. In 2018 a flood of cheap beef, fueled by enlarged cattle herds, spurred a summer of “burger wars,” meat industry officials said. .......investment in brands and packaged foods hasn’t insulated Tyson’s business from these commodity-market swings. ........The company is also trying to improve its ability for forecast meat demand..........developing artificial intelligence to help Tyson better predict the future.........Scott Spradley, who left HP in 2017 to become Tyson’s CTO, said company data scientists are crunching numbers on major U.S. metropolitan areas. By analyzing historic meat consumption alongside demographic shifts, the number of residents moving in and out, and the frequency of birthdays and baseball games, Mr. Spradley said Tyson is building computer models that will help plan production and sales for its meat business. The effort aims to find patterns in data that Tyson’s human economists and current projections might not see. ......Deep data dives helped steer Tyson toward what executives say will be one of its biggest new product launches: plant-based replacements for traditional meat,
Big_Food  brands  Coca-Cola  CPG  cured_and_smoked  data_scientists  forecasting  Kraft_Heinz  meat  new_products  plant-based  predictive_modeling  prepared_meals  reinvention  shifting_tastes  stockpiles  strategy  sustainability  tariffs  Tyson 
february 2019 by jerryking
Ikea looks to launch sales platform that would include rival products
February 12, 2019 | Financial Times | Richard Milne in Almhult.

Ikea is exploring the launch of an online sales platform offering furniture not just from the famous flat-pack retailer but also from rivals as part of its big transformation...........

Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, added: “It is also about how you connect. If you take home furnishings, for instance — how you connect communities, how you connect knowledge, how you connect the home. It’s not only furniture, it’s paintings, it’s the do-it-yourself part. There are many different constellations that can and will evolve over the years to come.”
Alibaba  Amazon  brands  clothing  e-commerce  experimentation  fashion  furniture  home-assembly  Ikea  leasing  opportunities  platforms  retailers  third-party  Zalando  rivalries  digital_strategies  Torbjörn_Lööf  coopetition 
february 2019 by jerryking
Brands Invent New Lines for Only Amazon to Sell WSJ
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Annie Gasparro and Laura Stevens.

Amazon gets exclusive products, while brands receive faster customer feedback, marketing support and increased sales.......To build a big line of exclusive products on its site, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.95% is pushing other brand manufacturers to do most of the work.

The online retail giant is asking consumer-goods companies to create brands exclusively for Amazon after finding that developing them on its own is too costly and time-consuming.....Amazon’s initiative is the latest example of the e-commerce giant flexing its muscles in order to offer the lowest prices and widest selection, as it seeks to cut into the market share of big-brand manufacturers.....Manufacturers generally benefit from selling their products through a range of retailers. Also, they risk cannibalizing higher-margin sales of their main brands by offering comparable products under different labels. But those entering deals with Amazon view the arrangement as a golden opportunity.

In exchange for creating exclusive products, the brands get help launching their products on Amazon.com, faster customer feedback when testing new products, marketing support, and, of course, revenue from the sales. They also can appear at the top of search results—a big draw given that Amazon’s platform lists an estimated 550 million items......Speed was paramount. “We had to take what would normally be 12 to 24 months of development to 90 days,”....Amazon, on its own, has been quietly adding to its in-house brands in recent years. Analysts estimate the site now offers more than 100. ....Amazon sometimes promotes its own brands higher in search results on its site, like “Amazon’s Choice” and sponsored items, or as default results in voice searches using Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.

In-house brands often generate a higher profit margin for retailers, including Amazon, and can draw in customers because they can’t find those brands elsewhere. But developing a new brand and formulating products takes time..... the program offers manufacturers a way to “launch brands and products directly to Amazon customers.”

Amazon is increasingly important for consumer-product manufacturers. It now accounts for roughly half of all sales online,.....Amazon’s program also can be used for “orphan brands” that manufacturers have stopped selling or that never made it to market.....Amazon has no issue going full-court press on private label, and pursuing all these brands. If the quality and pricing architecture don’t fit and they have to pivot, they’ll do so,” said Todd Mitchell, president of Compass Marketing Inc., which works with Amazon. “They’re not limited to the constructs of shelf space.”
accelerated_lifecycles  Amazon  brands  cannibalization  CPG  e-commerce  exclusivity  fast-paced  in-house  manufacturers  new_products  orphan_brands  private_labels  product_development  product_launches  shelf_space  speed 
january 2019 by jerryking
Godiva indulges global coffee craving with café rollout
DECEMBER 16, 2018 | Financial Times by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Alistair Gray in New York.

Godiva, the Turkish-owned Belgian chocolate brand, is to roll out 2,000 cafés as part of a plan to multiply revenues fivefold over the next six years — the latest sign of a coffee craze in the global food and drinks industry..... to raise capital to fund the expansion, Godiva and its bankers at Morgan Stanley have been in talks with several potential strategic investors about a possible $1bn-plus transaction....The New York-based group already has 40 cafés, including an outlet in Harrods, London, after an initial pilot launched in Istanbul and Shanghai in 2010. Yet Ms Young-Scrivner, a former Starbucks executive, said the company believed coffee consumption would continue to grow and a larger chain of Godiva outlets was “a natural extension”. Coffee and tea, she said, “pair really well with chocolate”.....Godiva’s 1,500-2,500 sq ft cafés will start appearing in big cities around the world from next spring, when the first is due to open in New York. About a third of the outlets are planned for North America, a third in Asia and a third in the rest of the world. Their menus will feature hot chocolate, cookies, affogato, chocolate-dipped strawberries and croiffles, a sweet or savoury cross between a croissant and a waffle..........The second part of Ms Young-Scrivner’s plan includes expanding Godiva’s distribution in grocery stores. The company estimates its share of the US packaged chocolate market at just 2 per cent and plans to expand the distribution of its chocolate bars and packages aimed more at self-indulgent snacking than at the premium-priced gift market where it has long focused.

Godiva was watching with interest the growth of cannabis-infused chocolates and drinks, which has prompted several large consumer groups to explore investments in cannabis companies, but this was “not a priority” for the company, Ms Young-Scrivner said.
brands  cafés  chocolate  coffee  Godiva  high-end  rollouts  expansions  cannabis  self-indulgence 
january 2019 by jerryking
Muhtar Kent: bottling Coca-Cola’s secrets for success
January 6, 2019 | Financial Times Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.
beverages  brands  CEOs  Coca-Cola  exits 
january 2019 by jerryking
Tristan Walker on the Roman Empire and Selling a Start-Up to Procter & Gamble - The New York Times
By David Gelles
Dec. 12, 2018

Tristan Walker founded Walker & Company, a maker of health and beauty products for people of color, in 2013. On Wednesday, the company was acquired by Procter & Gamble for an undisclosed sum. The deal represents a successful exit for Mr. Walker and his investors. It also signals an effort by Procter & Gamble, the maker of Gillette, to reach new markets with its shaving products. But while many start-up founders make a hasty exit after getting acquired, Mr. Walker is planning to stay on and grow Bevel, his men’s shaving brand, and Form, his women’s hair care brand. “We’re a team of 15 with very grandiose ambitions,” he said of Walker & Company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., but will move to Atlanta as part of the deal. “We want this company and its purpose to still be around 150 years from now.”

What’s that book you’ve got there?

It’s “Parallel Lives” by Plutarch. I’ve really been getting into Greek and Roman mythology. I’m reading something right now about the history of Rome during the 53 years when they really came into power, and this idea of the Roman state growing, the Greek state growing, and the differences therein fascinate me beyond belief. I’ve just been devouring it for the past few weeks now.

Walker attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. And from there, he got to see how the other half lived. It completely changed his life. He got to see what success could look like. He got to see what wealth was. And it completely changed his worldview.

How so?

I would walk down the halls and see last names like Ford, go to some classes and realize they’re Rockefellers. These are names that were in my imagination. It taught me the importance of name and what that can mean, not only for you but your progeny. When I started at Hotchkiss, I didn’t know what a verb was. So I spent all of my time in the library studying. I spent all of my time thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

What are your priorities as you keep building the company?

I’m dedicating my life to the demographic shift happening in this country. Not only for Silicon Valley. Not only for business. But for this country’s competitiveness. It’s changing. And folks need to respect that and they need to celebrate it.
African-Americans  Bevel  biographies  books  demographic_changes  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  exits  Form  insights  long-term  P&G  Romans  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  Tristan_Walker  wealth_creation  black-owned  brands  consumer_goods  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
P&G Buys Walker & Co. to Expand Offerings to African-Americans - WSJ
By Aisha Al-Muslim
Dec. 12, 2018

Procter & Gamble Co. PG +0.19% has acquired Walker & Co. Brands as the consumer-products giant looks to serve more African-Americans with health and beauty products.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Walker sells grooming products for men under the brand Bevel and hair-care products for women under the Form Beauty brand.

Walker will operate as a separate and wholly owned subsidiary of P&G, continuing to be led by its founder and Chief Executive Tristan Walker, ......Last year, Anglo-Dutch consumer products firm Unilever PLC acquired Sundial Brands, a New York-based hair-care and skin-care products company predominantly targeting African-Americans, for an undisclosed sum. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio.
African-Americans  Bevel  black-owned  brands  exits  hair  P&G  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  Tristan_Walker  Unilever  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
Luxury Brands Buy Supply Chains to Ensure Meeting Demand
Nov. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By Mark Ellwood.

The luxury markets are booming to such an extent that brands look to ensure they can meet demand by buying companies that supply their raw materials.

In the last six years, David Duncan has been on a buying spree. This Napa Valley-based winemaker and owner of Silver Oak Cellars hasn’t been splurging on fast cars or vacation homes, though. He’s been buying up vines — close to 500 acres in Northern California and Oregon.

It’s been a tough process, at times: He almost lost one site to a wealthy Chinese bidder. It was only when he raised his offer by $1 million that he clinched the sale at the last moment. At the same time, Mr. Duncan also took full control of A&K Cooperage, now the Oak Cooperage, the barrel maker in Higbee, Mo., in which his family had long held a stake. These hefty acquisitions are central to his 50-year plan to future-proof the family business against a changing luxury marketplace.

As Mr. Duncan realized, this market faces what might seem an enviable problem: a surfeit of demand for its limited supply. The challenge the winery will face over the next decade is not marketing, or finding customers, but finding enough high-quality raw materials to sate the looming boom in demand. Though there might be economic uncertainty among the middle classes, wealthier consumers are feeling confident and richer because of changes like looser business regulations and lower taxes.
affluence  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  brands  competitive_advantage  core_competencies  future-proofing  high_net_worth  high-quality  luxury  raw_materials  scarcity  supply_chains  sustainability  vertical_integration  vineyards 
november 2018 by jerryking
How Canada's Serruya Family Made Some $300 Million Off A Bunch Of Faded Food-Service Brands
Jun 19, 2016, 07:15pm
How Canada's Serruya Family Made Some $300 Million Off A Bunch Of Faded Food-Service Brands

Amy Feldman
Forbes Staff
ice_cream  private_equity  Toronto  franchising  cold_storage  brands  foodservice  Serruya 
october 2018 by jerryking
How Tech is Drawing Shoppers Back to Bricks-and-Mortar Stores - WSJ
By Rebecca Dolan
Sept. 12, 2018

Robin Lewis, "The New Rules of Retail"

E-commerce’s disruption of malls is impossible to deny, but sometimes shopping in stores is the only way to guarantee quality before you buy. The question: Will these technologies help you make the most of the trip?
books  brands  bricks-and-mortar  customer_experience  e-commerce  high-end  innovation  Nike  retailers  technology  mobile_applications  Nordstrom 
september 2018 by jerryking
Anti-Algorithm Fashion
Sept. 10, 2018 | The New York Times | By Vanessa Friedman.

Some fashion brands are displaying an increasingly confident adherence to their own ideas about what the world should look like now.

They make what they want, in the way they want. If that means getting rained on, so be it. If that means they lose audience members to shelter, well, O.K. It sounds like a small thing, but it’s getting harder and harder to find. The industry bends toward compromise. There’s a lot of pressure these days to design by algorithm. We know too much about buying habits and likes, and the result is an insidious bias toward giving people what they have already indicated they want. It may be safe, and easier to sell, but it’s antithetical to the whole point of fashion, which should be about giving people what they never knew they wanted — what they couldn’t imagine they wanted — until they saw it. There’s a clarity to such commitment that keeps people in their seats, a ruthlessness toward pandering to the prevailing winds (or rain) that is itself desirable.
====================================================
Excerpt from 'A whole new mind: why right-brainers will rule
the future' By Daniel H. Pink. "Indeed, one of design's most potent
economic effects is this very capacity to create new markets... The
forces of Abundance, Asia, and Automation turn goods and services into
commodities so quickly that the only way to survive is by constantly
developing new innovations, inventing new categories, and (in Paola
Antonelli's lovely phrase) giving the world something it didn't know it
was missing.
analog  fashion  messiness  inspiration  algorithms  apparel  brands  clothing_labels 
september 2018 by jerryking
Mattel turns to Hollywood to boost brands
September 7, 2018 | Financial Times | Alistair Gray in New York YESTERDAY.
Mattel  Hollywood  brands  toys  entertainment  films  movies 
september 2018 by jerryking
Is Thomas Goode a sleeping giant of British retail?
August 31, 2018 | Financial Times | by Horatia Harrod.

200 year old Thomas Goode & Co is a homewares powerhouse.... Outfitted in morning suits, the staff — many of whom have worked at Thomas Goode for more than two decades — are solicitous and impeccably well-informed. There’s only one thing lacking. Customers....Johnny Sandelson, is the property entrepreneur who acquired the store for an undisclosed amount in July 2018. .....Sandelson has set himself the task of waking the company up — and it’s going to take more than just turning on the lights. What is required is a 21st-century overhaul....Thomas Goode sells more over the phone than it does online, for the simple reason it has no ecommerce platform. Some 40 per cent of its £5m in annual sales comes from special orders — a loyal client outfitting their new yacht or private jet — but oligarchs alone are unlikely to keep the business afloat....The plan, Sandelson says, is to democratise. “Fortnums did it, Smythson did it. Those great British brands reinvented themselves to become relevant to the affluent middle classes, but Thomas Goode didn’t.”.......Sandelson hopes that, in an age of experiential retail, the shop’s peerless service will entice a new generation of customers. He’s also eyeing up collaborations to reach those for whom the Thomas Goode name has little resonance.......Parts of the business that had lain dormant are to be revived, with an injection of £10m-£15m in investment. There’s a voluminous archive to be mined for designs, and production of tableware in the Thomas Goode name is being restarted at factories in Stoke-on-Trent......Sandelson is committed to a revival. “We’re unashamedly proud of our British heritage and our British brand,” he says. “To honour that, you have to be involved with a very high standard of manufacturing in Britain. There would be cheaper ways of going about things, but the British way stands for quality. Stoke-on-Trent has been producing beautiful plates for 200 years. So it works for us.”....Almost inevitably, the top floors of the South Audley Street flagship are to be turned into luxury flats. “Will we be able to afford a shop of this scale in the coming years?” says Sandelson. “I think the brand is bigger than the premises. I’m pursuing the dream on the basis that the building will be developed over time and we’ll hope to have a space within it.”
21st._century  brands  commercial_real_estate  entrepreneur  experiential_marketing  gift_ideas  heritage  history  homewares  London  luxury  middle_class  property_development  real_estate  retailers  restorations  revitalization  turnarounds  United_Kingdom  Victorian 
september 2018 by jerryking
Amazon set for Prime Day ad revenue bonanza | Financial Times
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Amazon  Amazon_Prime  brands  advertising  e-commerce 
july 2018 by jerryking
What happened to Tim Hortons? The downfall of Canada's brand | World news | The Guardian
Arwa Mahdawi

Mon 9 Jul 2018 12.00 BST Last modified on Mon 9 Jul 2018 12.01 BST
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Tim_Hortons  brands  Canada 
july 2018 by jerryking
JetBlue Tech Execs Tap Startups To Help Airline Innovate - CIO Journal. - WSJ
As digital technology transforms business, enterprises can be at a disadvantage relative to newcomers. One solution is to work with startups, but that can be tricky because of security, regulatory and policy requirements at large companies. CIO Journal spoke to the top technology executives at JetBlue Airways about how they make the relationship work through a corporate venture arm, JetBlue Technology Ventures.

The Silicon Valley-based venture group looks for technology that could add business value within 18 months, as well as that which may have longer, 5- to 10-year payoffs. It has made early and mid-stage investments in 18 startups since 2016.

“Being part of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem is very important for us,” Eash Sundaram, JetBlue’s chief digital and technology officer, tells CIO Journal.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Ms. Simi said JetBlue may have never come across the startups in the venture arm’s portfolio if they had simply made a request for proposals for a specific technology project. Instead, the dedicated venture team vets startups, makes strategic investments and works alongside them to match technologies to JetBlue’s current and future needs.

“It’s been hugely helpful at JetBlue in terms of keeping our thinking fresh and innovative,”
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JetBlue  brands  large_companies  airline_industry  innovation  start_ups  CIOs  machine_learning  blockchain 
july 2018 by jerryking
Nestlé: Betting on big brands
July 2, 2018 | | Financial Times | Ralph Atkins in Zurich and Scheherazade Daneshkhu i
Nestlé  brands  coffee  CEOs 
july 2018 by jerryking
The GE-free Dow is the index our age deserves | Financial Times
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson 8 HOURS AGO

The avatar of American agglomeration is now slimming down to its aviation, healthcare and power businesses. Yet if you ask anyone who grew up around American kitchens or hardware stores what GE makes, they will probably mention fridges and lightbulbs. As its new chief, John Flannery, struggles to reverse the third steep slide in GE’s shares since the start of the century, one challenge he faces is that its brand is freighted with misconceptions. 
...The Dow tracks a mere 30 stocks, compared to the S&P’s 500; the points moves get increasingly meaningless as markets rise, and with no Facebook, Amazon, Netflix or Google it is missing most of the market-moving Faangs.
.......What earned GE its special place in the American imagination is that, in its conglomerate prime, it provided a similar guide to the US’s industrial evolution as it diversified from jet engines to television shows to finance. Even now, the company is as much a bet on healthcare.... as Walgreens,
........the Dow is as much a branding triumph as a GE fridge, and the story it tells best about the US economy is how it has come to be driven by brands........The market-movers of 1896 had solid, descriptive and quietly flag-waving names like Standard Rope & Twine, Pacific Mail Steamship and the North American Company. Today’s biggest businesses, like Apple, Alphabet and Amazon, are not defined by history, geography or even what they do. Instead, they stand as testaments to the rise of intangible assets at the expense of tangible goods — as does the survival of a well-marketed industrial average in a country where services are 80 per cent of GDP. 

The Dow no longer tells us much about American industry. But it still tells us plenty about America.
benchmarks  brands  conglomerates  DJIA  exits  FAANG  GE  indignities  intangibles  misconceptions  symbolism  indices  healthcare 
june 2018 by jerryking
‘You’re Stupid If You Don’t Get Scared’: When Amazon Goes From Partner to Rival - WSJ
By Jay Greene and Laura Stevens
June 1, 2018

The data weapon
One Amazon weapon is data. In retail, Amazon gathered consumer data to learn what sold well, which helped it create its own branded goods while making tailored sales pitches with its familiar “you may also like” offer. Data helped Amazon know where to start its own delivery services to cut costs, an alternative to using United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

“In many ways, Amazon is nothing except a data company,” said James Thomson, a former Amazon manager who advises brands that work with the company. “And they use that data to inform all the decisions they make.”

In web services, data across the broader platform, along with customer requests, inform the company’s decisions to move into new businesses, said former Amazon executives.

That gives Amazon a valuable window into changes in how corporations in the 21st century are using cloud computing to replace their own data centers. Today’s corporations frequently want a one-stop shop for services rather than trying to stitch them together. A food-services firm, say, might want to better track data it collects from its restaurants, so it would rent computing space from Amazon and use a data service offered by a software company on Amazon’s platform to better analyze what customers order. A small business might use an Amazon partner’s online services for password and sign-on functions, along with other business-management programs.
21st._century  Amazon  AWS  brands  cloud_computing  contra-Amazon  coopetition  data  data_centers  data_collection  data_driven  delivery_services  fear  new_businesses  one-stop_shop  partnerships  platforms  private_labels  rivalries  small_business  strengths  tools  unfair_advantages 
june 2018 by jerryking
Is This the Start of Better Airport Shopping in the U.S.? - WSJ
By Scott McCartney
March 14, 2018

In the age of online shopping, retailers are finding that airports can take some of the sting out of declining mall traffic. Travelers have time to kill [JCK: "downtime"] and money to spend when they’re captive inside airport security. Major airports around the world, from Singapore to Dubai, London to Beijing, have essentially become shopping malls with gates.......Airports like duty-free shops because they get a cut of the revenue; luxury-goods makers like the chance to interact in person with shoppers; and customers like the convenience, savings and opportunity for capricious purchases.....“The variety is good,” he says. “I don’t know if the prices are good, but the convenience is.”

Name-brand cosmetics and perfumes especially can be cheaper at the airport, with special packages, quantities and, for some brands, unique products. Other items can be hit and miss.....Airport customer research showed a hunger for high-end retail catering to expense-account business travelers and vacationers dubbed “indulgent explorers,” who are willing to spend on unique items, especially local brands. .......Moët Hennessy, the Paris-based maker of Champagne and cognac, has a boutique in the Dallas duty-free store where it does tastings of rare editions—a spot of cognac before boarding. The unit of luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH sees airport retail as a chance to educate consumers about its brand. ....DFW's duty free mall store has no doors; travelers just wander through. Brands have their own areas, creating a boutique feel. There is some seating upstairs on an open, second level designed for events such as tastings, entertainment and parties that will lure curious passengers.

While online retailing has curtailed some airport retail business, companies say they are still seeing growth—stronger than other traditional venues like malls or Main Streets.
airports  brands  convenience  downtime  duty-free  glamour  high-end  luxury  LVMH  retailers  travel 
march 2018 by jerryking
Imagining the Retail Store of the Future
APRIL 12, 2017 | The New York Times | By ELIZABETH PATON.

What will the store of the future look like? Gleaming robots using facial recognition technology to personalize sales pitches to mood or past spending preferences? Voice-activated personal assistants, downloading the availability, color and fit of any and every garment to your smartphone? 3-D printing stations? No checkout counters when you leave? Holographic product displays on the shop floor that change when a customer walks by? Virtual fitting rooms via virtual reality headsets? Drones dropping deliveries in the backyard or on the front steps?.......is this the sort of shopping experience that customers really want?
Scores of leading retailers and fashion brands increasingly say no.........Farfetch — the global online marketplace for independent luxury boutiques — held a daylong event at the Design Museum in London. There, in front of 200 fashion industry insiders and partners, José Neves, the founder of Farfetch, unveiled “The Store of the Future,” a suite of new technologies developed by his company to help brands and boutiques bridge the worlds of online and offline.......A report by Bain suggests that although 70 % of high-end purchases are influenced by online interactions, stores will continue to play a critical role, with 75 % of sales still occurring in a physical location by 2025.

What may change, however, is a store’s primary purpose. Forget e-commerce, or bricks and mortar, or even omnichannel sales; according to Mr. Neves, the new retail era is one anchored in “augmented retail,” a blend of the digital and physical allowing a shopper to shift seamlessly between the two realms.....Holition is an augmented-reality consultancy and software provider based in London that has worked with some well-known retail brands.......“The holy grail for retailers is creating digital empathy....No one knows what the future will look like....those using technology and data to create bespoke personalized shopping experiences...are more likely to come out on top.”.....boutiques and physical events remained vital “marketing opportunities,” with a more specialized inventory selection and the opportunity for customers to do more than buy merchandise......talks, film screenings and designer meet-and-greets, along with social media lessons, exercise classes and floristry sessions.......“Stores cannot just be row after row of product rail anymore,” he added. . “To survive, they have to tell stories — rooted in a sense of community and entertainment — and have points of view that makes the owner stand out.”.......“Ultimately the use of data to transform stores will separate those who make it to the next step and those who won’t.
reimagining  retailers  physical_place  shopping_malls  cashierless  e-commerce  reconceptualization  future  shopping_experience  brands  fashion  omnichannel  bricks-and-mortar  MatchesFashion  Holition  Yoox  facial-recognition 
february 2018 by jerryking
Big brands lose pricing power in battle for consumers
Save to myFT
Anna Nicolaou in New York and Scheherazade Daneshkhu in London 2 HOURS AGO

The product manufacturers are being squeezed by the big retailers — notably, Amazon and Walmart, which together sell $600bn worth of goods a year. Walmart has long put pressure on suppliers to cut prices. Amazon’s rise has exacerbated the “deflationary impact”, Société Générale says, creating a “much tougher environment in the US”. After Amazon bought Whole Foods in June, the price war grew more intense in groceries, pushing prices to historic lows that punished producers. 

Brand loyalty has suffered in the process. Equipped with the tools to compare prices online instantly, and bombarded with more choices, shoppers are growing more likely to opt for cheaper and discounted products — particularly in categories such laundry detergent and shampoo. To keep their spots on store shelves, brands are having to accept lower prices......Former Amazon employees say the company’s algorithms scan prices across competitors in real time, automatically adjusting its own so it can offer the lowest price. While most big brands have wholesale agreements with Amazon, third-party sellers are prolific on the site, complicating price control further. A 34oz bottle of P&G’s Pantene Pro-V Shampoo & Conditioner was listed by 10 different sellers — nine of them third parties — on the shopping site.

Amazon’s dominance makes it difficult for brands to abandon the platform, or try to sell directly on their own websites. “You have 200m customers on Amazon. If you walk away, there’s 200m people who are going to just buy from your competitors,” says James Thomson, a former Amazon manager who consults brands. “You’re probably not going to win.”

“This is a pretty dire situation,” he adds. “If brands are worried about meeting quarterly targets, they can’t afford to lose Amazon sales.”

Still, “the retailers have nothing to gain by pushing [consumer products makers] into bankruptcy”,
......Consumer goods companies have responded to the pricing pressures by aggressively cutting costs, led by the “zero-based budgeting” model of 3G Capital,
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  CPG  pricing  price_wars  shareholder_activism  Amazon  P&G  Nestlé  win_backs  price-cutting  Nelson_Peltz  shifting_tastes  Colgate-Palmolive  upstarts  Unilever  zero-based_budgeting  3G_Capital  e-commerce  Mondelez  Big_Food 
february 2018 by jerryking
Daring rather than data will save advertising
John Hegarty JANUARY 2, 2017

Algorithms are killing creativity, writes John Hegarty

Ultimately, brands are built by talking to a broad audience. Even if part of that audience never buys your product. Remember, a brand is made not just by the people who buy it, but also by the people who know about it. Fame adds value to a brand, but to build it involves saying something that captures the public’s imagination. It needs to broadcast.

Now, data are fundamentally important in the building of a market. “Big data” can provide intelligence, gather information, identify buying patterns and determine certain outcomes. But what it cannot do is create an emotional bond with the consumer. Data do not make magic. That is the job of persuasion. And it is what makes brands valuable...... Steve Jobs or James Dyson did not build brilliant companies by waiting for a set of algorithms to tell them what to do.

Persuasion and promotion.

In today’s advertising world, creativity has taken a back seat. Creativity creates value and with it difference. And difference is vital for giving a brand a competitive edge. But the growing belief in “data-only solutions” means we drive it out of the marketplace.

If everything ends up looking the same and feeling the same, markets stagnate.
advertising  Steve_Jobs  creativity  human_ingenuity  data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  brands  emotional_connections  persuasion  ingenuity  daring  algorithms 
february 2018 by jerryking
James Quincey, Coca-Cola CEO, on why brands have to take a stand
MAY 21, 2017 | FT | Lindsay Whipp in Atlanta.

Coca-Cola will be going back to its roots, developing and marketing drinks, not distributing them. But even without the bottling operations, the 51-year-old has a complex assignment on his hands.....While its fizzy drinks still account for nearly three-quarters of its sales by volume, according to Beverage Digest, its shares have underperformed those of rivals PepsiCo, which has a snacks division, and Dr Pepper Snapple over the past five years.

Mr Quincey is only too aware of the need for diversification and plans to accelerate investments in start-ups with promise. “The company must be capable of being bigger than the brand,” he says.

That distinction is important. The significant shift in consumer preferences is evident in the brand value of Coca-Cola (as opposed to Coca-Cola the company), which has tumbled from the top position globally, as ranked by BrandFinance, to 27th over the past decade. That represents a decline of more than $10bn to $31.8bn this year.

But what does this difference between company and product mean for the brand? “It’s very difficult to have the name on the door of the company and brand, and not have some overlap in what they stand for,” Mr Quincey says. “You’d have to change the name of the company. It’s not what we’re doing, just to be clear.”....Mr Quincey believes brands have to take a stand in this volatile environment — even at the risk of alienating some consumers. Coca-Cola did this earlier this year, by denouncing publicly Mr Trump’s controversial executive order banning citizens of certain majority Muslim countries from travelling to the US.

“A brand has to stand for something and you have to make the choices of what you want it to stand for, and then stand behind those choices,”
beverages  brands  brand_identity  brand_purpose  CEOs  Coca-Cola  Pepsi  shifting_tastes 
january 2018 by jerryking
In the fashion industry, McShopping has gone global - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
PUBLISHED AUGUST 7, 2017

invaded by the same global chains that have made the shopping streets of the world's great cities all start to look the same. In the main shopping districts of Paris, Madrid, London or Toronto, the invasion of the same global chains (e.g. Zara, H&M, Primark & Uniqlo) that have made the shopping streets of the world's great cities all start to look the same. It's destroying the visual identities of cities once visited for their unique charm.

The cheap-chic revolution has brought affordable fashion to the masses and, thanks to better monitoring of offshore factories, provided millions of decent jobs in developing countries. It also has its downsides. Massive amounts of "disposable" clothing end up in landfills each year. When clothes are this cheap, we don't think twice about chucking what we bought last month for something even trendier. Instead of four fashion seasons, we now have at least 12...... department stores are a dying breed. Those that survive will likely only do so by going global.
Konrad_Yakabuski  fast-fashion  fashion  apparel  retailers  department_stores  brands  globalization  concentration  identity  Uniqlo  H&M  HBC  Zara  Paris  Madrid  London  Toronto  disposability  Primark  uniqueness  J.Crew 
january 2018 by jerryking
Another Arnault Steps Into the Spotlight
NOV. 7, 2017 | The New York Times | By ELIZABETH PATON.

Clos19, LVMH’s first e-boutique and travel experience agency dedicated to Champagne, wines and spirits, had its debut in the United States, via a fizz-fueled soiree in New York. The focus of Ms. Watine Arnault’s brainchild, she said after the party, is on the “art of hosting” in the 21st century.

So what, one wonders, does that entail? Clos19 isn’t exactly an online bottle shop. Yes, you can order crates of LVMH’s finest drinks brands, like Dom Pérignon, Veuve Cliquot, Belvedere or Hennessy, to be delivered to your door in 24 hours. But you can also specify the temperature of the deliveries, and the glassware to go with it. Tastings or consultations with in-house experts will be regularly offered, as is event planning for weddings and dinner parties.

Clos19 also offers access to LVMH cellars or experiences designed around the spirits, including a fire-and-ice tasting in Antarctica or yachting off the Cloudy Bay vineyards in New Zealand. The lowest-priced experience is about $230, with the cost of luxury scaling up from there to dizzying heights.
LVMH  digital_strategies  Clos19  liquor  events  curation  brands  luxury  family-owned_businesses  Champagne  experiential_marketing 
november 2017 by jerryking
From Swiss post to Swedish retail
26 August/27 August 2017 | FT | Tyler Brule

Q: I know you're a fan of Italy, so what do you think will happen to Alitalia [that went into administration in May]? Or do you even care?

A: First, I...
H&M  brands  retailers  Tyler_Brûlé  department_stores  Alitalia  Lufthansa  fast-fashion 
november 2017 by jerryking
The next Coco Chanel will be a coder
Aug. 26, 2017 | The Financial Times. p4. | by Federico Marchetti.

Eager to know what the next big thing in luxury will be? I am utterly convinced that digital talent will be as important to fashio...
brands  CEOs  coding  digital_influencers  digital_savvy  fashion  Instagram  luxury  Yoox 
november 2017 by jerryking
Kenneth Cole on keeping retail fashionable in a modern age
Nov. 2, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY ROBERTSON.

About a year ago, your company announced the closing of all but two of your stores in the United States. Why?

The retail model needs to be re-imagined. We're looking to focus on the brand experience in the virtual universe, and then recreate a new physical experience.

How much of your sales in the future do you envision coming from the brick-and-mortar space?

Everyone is trying to figure it out. The shopping experience needs to be very different. It's happening really fast. It will be an interesting time. A lot of people will not survive it. At the end of the day, you'll have a stronger, more efficient marketplace.

More than three decades into the business, how has your view of advertising changed?

In the past, my goal was to sell my brand. Over the past five years, it seems everybody is their own brand – they wake up every day and curate it on their Facebook, their Twitter feed, their Instagram feed. My goal is to hopefully convince you to allow me to be part of your brand. All of that is changing.
Kenneth_Cole  brands  Susan_Krashinsky  retailers  fashion  bricks-and-mortar  cause_marketing  advertising  store_closings  shopping_experience  physical_experiences 
november 2017 by jerryking
Inside the Decline of Sears, the Amazon of the 20th Century - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner
Oct. 31, 2017 1:48 p.m. ET
186 COMMENTS
Shoppers hunting for this holiday season’s hot toy, the L.O.L. Surprise, may have trouble finding it at Sears or Kmart stores. Worried about the financial health of the retail chains, the company that makes the toy, a ball that children unwrap to reveal small dolls, has reduced shipments to Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD -5.75%

“We cut their credit line and shortened payment terms,” said Isaac Larian, chief executive of toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. “If they pay one day late, we will cut them off.”

Sears once dominated American retailing and helped build famous brands, including Whirlpool appliances, Craftsman tools, Schwinn bicycles and Allstate insurance. Now, bleeding cash and losing shoppers, the 124-year-old company is scrambling to keep suppliers—the lifeblood of any retail chain—from bolting.

To guarantee shipments from LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. , Sears is paying them cash up front for some goods, said people familiar with the matter. Levi Strauss & Co. has stopped supplying women’s jeans to the chain, said another person. At Clorox Co. , “We have certainly adjusted our payment terms,” said CEO Benno Dorer.

A monthslong feud between Sears and Whirlpool Corp. burst into the open last week when the sides couldn’t agree on terms to keep their century-old partnership going. Earlier in 2017, Sears sued two longtime manufacturers of its Craftsman tools to keep them shipping merchandise to stores.
retailers  Sears  Kmart  brands  decline  payment_terms  Whirlpool  Levi_Strauss  Allstate  Schwinn  Craftsman  supply_chains 
november 2017 by jerryking
How Peloton is Marketing a $2,000 Bike Beyond the Rich - WSJ
By Alexandra Bruell
Oct. 25, 2017

When Carolyn Tisch Blodgett joined fitness startup Peloton as its brand marketing lead a year-and-a-half ago, the company’s executives were focused on promoting the functionality of their product -- a $1,995 stationary bike with an attached tablet and a $39-a-month subscription service for access to live and on-demand classes.

What they were missing, however, was a compelling brand story about the bike’s convenience and its role in connecting riders around the country, largely through a leaderboard that displays rider data, said Ms. Blodgett.

“My challenge over the last year-and-a-half has been telling this brand story,” she said. “We wanted to bring the product to life but also the brand.”

Ms. Blodgett also conducted research showing that the company had been targeting a core, affluent audience, but overlooking a less affluent consumer who was willing to splurge on a convenient fitness habit.

Peloton is now shifting gears with a new financing program ($97 per month for 39 months for both the bike and subscription service), an ad campaign that’s more relatable to a diverse consumer base and an NBC Olympics sponsorship.
Peloton  fitness  storytelling  brand_identity  brands  data_driven  connected_devices  subscriptions  overlooked  overlooked_opportunities  functionality 
october 2017 by jerryking
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