• Bacardi Pouring $250 Million Into Dewar's Brand
    Bacardi Limited will announce today that it plans to spend more than $250 million on capital infrastructure for the Dewar's brand over 10 years. The move comes as demand for scotch and future growth opportunities have shifted to the premium or super-premium segment, with products such as Dewar's 12 and Dewar's Signature. Plans call for more than doubling the size of the company's facilities in Glasgow, Scotland. Bacardi will build additional warehouses for aging the scotch, a new blending center, additional bottling lines and packing equipment. The company is also finalizing a deal for another 100-acres of land ...
  • Plan For Claiborne: 'Stupid Simple' Or Simply Stupid?
    Since arriving at Liz Claiborne eight months ago, new CEO William L. McComb has outlined a radical plan for weaning the company off its reliance on department stores like Macy's by building hundreds--if not eventually thousands--of its own retail stores. The strategy, McComb says, is "stupid simple": focus on a few promising brands like Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand, market them heavily, and painstakingly control their images in company-owned retail stores and a handful of department stores. The goal is to be more like Coach and Ralph Lauren and less like a lumbering, unwieldy conglomerate. How McComb ...
  • Pet Care Growth Projected To Rise 20% In 2 Years
    After consumer electronics, pet care is the fastest-growing category in retail, expanding about 6% a year. Americans now spend $41 billion a year on their pets--more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world, and double the amount shelled out decade ago. What's more, spending is expected to hit $52 billion in the next two years. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn. reports that 42% of dogs now sleep in the same bed as their owners. Their menu reflects every fad in human food--from locally sourced organic meat and vegan snacks to gourmet ...
  • New Prius Costs 5% Less Than Previous Model
    Toyota is introducing a new "standard" version of its popular gas-electric hybrid for the 2008 model year with a base price of $20,950, which is 5.5% less than the lowest-cost 2007 model (not including destination charges). Toyota also says it will raise the base sticker prices of the 2008 mid-size and Touring models by $150 to $22,325 and $23,220, respectively. The cars will be in dealerships in August. Prius sales in June jumped 83% from a year earlier, and were up 96% during the first half or the year. It remains by far the most popular gasoline-electric hybrid ...
  • Firms Bundling Wi-Fi Ad Space For Major Marketers
    A new generation of ad firms is bundling ad space on numerous local Wi-Fi wireless Internet networks throughout the country for sale to marketers. Wi-Fi networks offer marketers the ability to buy space on key position, such as the welcome page seen by Web surfers. Wi-Fi networks also enable marketers to reach consumers on the go with ads targeted to specific geographic locations. So far, though, the Wi-Fi networks that have mostly drawn big advertisers are those operated by airports and hotels. Brokerage firm Charles Schwab, for example, has bought ads on wireless hubs at more than ...
  • Whirlpool Improves Packaging To Cut Down On Returns
    To reduce returns that cost it millions, Whirlpool has begun a program to cut shipping damage to its appliances, such as its high-end Duet washer and dryer. A team of engineers in India and the U.S. is using direct observation and a super-computer to improve the way the company's appliances are packed, stacked and handled. With once-basic appliances striving for luxury cachet, just the appearance of damage to the packaging of a top-of-the-line refrigerator that can cost as much as $5,000 might prompt a buyer to return it, even if the product itself is unspoiled. For ...
  • Amazon's Free Shipping Drives Success
    Amazon Prime--the $79-annual-fee, two-day shipping program that founder Jeff Bezos introduced to the chagrin of Wall Street two years ago--looks like a linchpin to the company's remarkable run of increases in quarterly sales. Without divulging specifics, Bezos says that Amazon Prime changes the way customers shop, encouraging them to buy across more categories. Amazon is mum about the shipping costs, but Bezo's says the profits it makes on shipping items like expensive digital cameras offset the loses it takes on disposable razors. But the real reason Prime has penciled out is that the company has mastered the art of ...
  • Ludlum Brand Selling Well After Author's Death
    Robert Ludlum the brand has extended after his death in 2001. Since then, 12 books with his name have been released, with a 13th due out in September. Ludlum's estate has borrowed from the examples of V.C. Andrews, dead since 1986 but selling well, thanks to novels in her name written by an uncredited author; Ernest Hemingway, whose estates issued several books after his suicide; and Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler (both quite alive) who diverted from their skin of solo thrillers to create series written in conjunction with, or solely by, others. The Ludlum post-mortem publishing ...
  • Nike, Reebok, Donruss Bench Quarterback Vick
    Facing protests from animal-rights groups, Nike says it is suspending its endorsement deal with Atlanta Falcon's quarterback Michael Vick, while Reebok--the official uniform supplier of the NFL--took the unprecedented step of stopping sales of his No. 7 jersey. Donruss, one of four major trading card companies, has decided to pull Vick's card from any future 2007 releases. Vick pleaded not guilty last week to federal dog-fighting charges in Richmond, Va. In the indictment, he was accused of sponsoring a gruesome operation that often shot, hanged, drowned or electrocuted losing dogs. The Humane Society of the United ...
  • Burger King Branded Potato Chips Due Out In Fall
    Burger King has licensed its brand to Inventure Group, which will bring out a line of potato chips in Ketchup & Fries and Flame-Broiled burger flavors this fall. Inventure manufacturers and distributes snacks under a variety of labels, including a dozen varieties of T.G.I. Friday's-branded chips that are a $100 million retail business. The BK chips will sell in stores in 2-ounce packs for suggested retail prices of $1.29 to $1.40 and in 5-ounce packs for $2.29 to $2.49. One-ounce, 100-calorie packs will be sold in vending machines--and also test-marketed in Burger King stores in the Northeast--as a ...
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