Stockholm, Sweden-based retailer H&M is launching a U.S. e-commerce site by year's end, and will also expand its catalog operations. The company reported worse-than-expected earnings, including an 11% drop in profit versus 2009. The world's third-largest fashion chain introduced e-commerce in Europe last year.
Chevron Q4 earnings are up 72% on strong oil prices, refining margins and asset-sale gains. The company is the second largest U.S. oil company after Exxon Mobil.
Sara Lee's board says it will split its food and beverage businesses into two companies. The deal is set to close by 2012. The company had rejected two takeover approaches before announcing the split. The food business, with revenue of $4.1 billion last year, will be spun off into a public company keeping the Sara Lee name. The beverage company, which made $4.6 billion in 2010, has yet to be named.
McDonald's has appointed Kevin Newell to be global chief brand officer. He is currently U.S. SVP and restaurant support officer for the company's USA West division. Newell, who starts Feb. 1, fills a post vacated by Steve Easterbrook, who now heads up McDonald's European operations.
Angry about a lawsuit claiming it doesn't use beef as a filling, Taco Bell is filing a counter-suit, and has a new advertisement to that effect. The company said its beef is "100% USDA inspected," and that its meat is a mix of 88% beef and 12% secret recipe.
Old Spice is launching new ads, starting with a 30-second "coming attractions" spot, a nod to the star's -- and the campaign's -- popularity. A fan will get to be the first to show the commercial on his/her own social network page.
The Morrisville, N.C.-based company is laying off 1,700 middle managers in the U.S. Lowe's says it will add 8,000 to 10,000 weekend sales assistants to boost staff during busy periods.
Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Co. is rolling out a private-label beer called Big Flats 1901 at more than 4,600 of the chain's 7,655 U.S. locations. The price? Fifty cents per can. The beer brand is made by Novato, Calif.-based Winery Exchange.
Celebrities in ads are great ... for the celebrities. Use a cute kid or animal instead of a star and your ad will resonate a lot better, say University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire marketing professors. They professors say their research involved all 538 Super Bowl ads that aired from 2000 to 2009. Their research finds that humor, animals and product category have endured for 20 years as high predictors of popularity. New to the list are children and limiting the amount of information shared about a product.
Nestle SA researchers are trying to develop new kinds of food that are designed to trick the part of the brain involved with sensations of satiety. The foods would make people feel full earlier, and stay full longer. The company says products based on the research on the human enteric center of the brain could be on shelves within five years.