Gasoline prices are hurting Wal-Mart's business as people are driving less. The Wal-Mart Stores CEO Mike Duke said Wal-Mart is seeing declines in buying at end of the month and a spike in the beginning. He said the company wants to move into New York because New Yorkers spent $195 million at the stores outside the city.
Film star Angelina Jolie will get £4.5 million for being central to a campaign for the French fashion label Louis Vuitton. Annie Leibovitz will, reportedly, shoot the campaign in coming weeks. Ads will appear in newspapers and magazines in the country later this year. The deal puts Jolie on top of the cash heap. Gwyneth Paltrow gets £1.9 for her Estee Lauder deal and Nicole Kidman has received £2.5 million per year to be the face of Chanel perfume.
A third of traffic to quick serve chain Red Robin's website is coming from mobile devices. The company realizes it needs to build on that. The company now has a mobile Web site that has directions to stores and an opt-in for future marketing. A new Customizer iPhone app lets users choose menu items and calculate nutritional values. A campaign, "Answer the Call," that launched this year includes mobile elements to tout value-priced options.
Cupcakes have been the fad for a while now, but pies and fruit tarts are coming back. Seventy percent of consumers eat dessert once a week, according to a Technomic report. Retailers say desserts sales stayed strong in supermarket during the recession.
Ford Motor reported its best first-quarter earnings since 1998 when it recorded huge profits on big SUVs. But now the results are from the opposite end of the spectrum: cars like Fiesta and Fusion. The company says it is determined to keep that up, gasoline prices and supply issues from Japan notwithstanding. And CEO Alan Mulally says he won't use incentives to do it even if market share drops, which actually happened last quarter. The company earned $2.6 billion, a $466 million increase over Q1 last year, though share slid from 16.5% to 16%. The results beat analyst expectations. Edmunds.com …
Actor and cookbook author Gwyneth Paltrow has inked a deal that makes her the new face of Coach, Inc. The brand, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, will feature Paltrow in its Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 international campaigns.
A new Nielsen survey of U.S. cellphone consumers in the first quarter this year found that 31% will buy a new smartphone and that Android is their first OS choice. Second place was Apple's iOS with 30% of those surveyed saying they wanted an Apple smartphone. BlackBerry was distant third with 11% of consumers saying they wanted one.
Netflix has 23.6 million customers because of a first-quarter growth that was big enough to push the company past traditional subscription companies like Showtime and Comcast. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company ended March with an additional 3.59 million subscribers.
It appears global tourism is heading back to pre-recession levels as a report released this week shows a sharp increase in travel spend by Visa card holders. Americans with Visa cards spent $31 billion last year in other countries, a 6% growth over 2009. Foreign Visa card holders traveling to the U.S. spent $34 billion, an 18% increase according to the report, "Tourism Outlook USA."
One hotel near Boston, The Seaport Hotel, is taking a new sustainability-marketing approach by doing its part to help slow Colony Collapse Disorder, a disease among honeybees that has been vastly reducing their numbers. The hotel has included some 90,000 hived bees as long-term guests and is using their honey for dishes.