• Bezos Denigrates Advertisers As Mysterious Patent Appears
    "Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product or service," Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos remarked at the online retail giant's annual shareholders meeting, held at the Seattle Art Museum. The comment, part of an answer to a question about Amazon's competitors "caused the audience to go silent," writes SeattlePI.com blogger Andrea James. She discovers an unintentional environmental theme running through the meeting. Bezos' green references included the Kindle potentially leading to less paper use down the road, the recent eliminations of dozens of wire ties and hard plastic encasements from its packaging, the use ...
  • FAO Schwarz, Toys 'R' Us Merger Stings Macy's
    It's no secret that the sale of venerable and high-end FAO Schwarz to mass market giant Toys 'R' Us is the talk of the retail world, but writer Lisa Biank Fasiq focuses on the merger's effect on a third retailer -- Cincinnati-based Macy's. While FAO Schwartz has just two stand-alone stores (in New York and Las Vegas), it has a far wider brick-and-mortar presence via boutiques it operates in 260 Macy's locations under a deal completed a year ago this month. While the three dedicated stores will be taken over by Toys 'R'" Us, the Macy's locations will ...
  • How Diapers.com Cleaned Up In A Niche Category
    "Diapers.com's innovative Web strategies have turned customer acquisition and retention into an art form," declares eMarketing & Commerce's headline for Melissa Campanelli's cover story on how Diapers.com was able to create a niche and reach $89 million in sales in just four-and-a-half years. One of the keys, she writes, is the retailer's efficient distribution system, featuring these elements: • Buying quantities by the truckload from suppliers like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson • Offering more economical bulk sizes than many brick-and-mortar stores have space to shelf • ...
  • Colgate Toothpaste Named Most Competitive Brand
    Colgate toothpaste took the top spot in wRatings' 2009 "Most Competitive Retail & Consumer Goods" study, followed by Mountain Dew/Diet Mountain Dew, Budweiser/Bud Light, Vaseline and Kellogg cereals. To arrive at the rankings, wRatings every quarter asks consumers how well companies meet their expectations. The consumer ratings are categorized by nine competitive moats, or barriers to entry, that companies create to protect against rivals taking their customers and, ultimately, their profits. Each W Score blends a company's historical economic profit with its competitive moat scores.
  • Senate Committee Investigates Online Marketing Practices
    In Washington, the Senate Commerce Committee has launched an investigation into an online marketing practice that results in unforeseen monthly charges on Web surfers' credit cards, reports John Eggerton. The charges result from post-purchase pop-ups that offer cash back rewards for joining an online membership service. Webloyalty.com, and Vertrue Inc., described by committee chairman Jay Rockefeller as "two of the leading 'post-transaction' e-commerce marketing companies," have been asked to respond to questions by June 17. Such companies allegedly acquire consumers' billing information through agreements with popular online retail sites like Fandango.com and Orbitz.com.
  • Burger King Stages Family Fun Days
  • Online Brand Hijacking Worries 29.5% of Marketers
  • Private Brands Buoy Best Buy
    Sales of Best Buy's private label brands -- Dynex, Insignia and Rocketfish - rose more than 40% in the fiscal year ended Feb. 28, while overall sales increased just 12%. The private labels, whose increasing popularity is attributed to low prices and innovative design, are profitable for the chain, which has substituted them for entry-level products from such brands as Westinghouse and Polaroid. Private label electronics also help differentiate Best Buy from competitors like Wal-Mart, Costco and Amazon. But the retailer "must walk a fine line in selling its own products and potentially competing with its name-brand ...
  • Charlotte Russe Scores As Fastest Growing In IR 500
    Internet Retailer's latest list of the Top 500 e-commerce sites includes young women's apparel retailer Charlotte Russe at #464, with 2008 web sales of $11 million -- a 633% jump over 2007. That's the largest increase of any of the top 500. During the same period for its brick-and-mortar operations, same-store sales declined 1.5%. The online turnaround was the result of a relaunch "in perfect harmony with the growth of e-commerce," said Emilia Fabricant, president and chief merchandising officer. She added that the brand took a "very focused point of view" in targeting fashion-directed at the 16-22 ...
  • Credit Cards Beat Cell Providers In Billing Accuracy: Survey
    More Americans trust credit card companies to provide accurate bills than they do cell phone operators, according to a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Billing Revolution. Credit card companies were trusted more by 57% of respondents, but there was a wide discrepancy by age -- 65% for those aged 55+, and 52% for 18-34 year-olds. Some 80% of U.S. adults receive bills from both types of companies. The survey also found that 45% of cell phone owners feel it's "at least somewhat safe" to make purchases from them. Of that group, 75% would buy entertainment items, including movie/event ...
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