• True Cost Of 12 Days Of Christmas
    Maybe they had a lot of pear trees, partridges, and geese in France during the Enlightenment, but today, if you set out to buy all the items comprising the list described in "12 Days of Christmas" you very well might have to work weekends over the holidays. According to PNC Wealth Management Index the total cost of the dozen presents is now about $107,300, a 6.1% increase versus last year.
  • Fisker Seeks Dance Partner
    Hoping to overcome a string of setbacks and get its product program back on track, battery-car start-up Fisker Automotive is quietly looking to line up a better financed partner. There are no plans to sell the company, stressed founder and Chairman Henrik Fisker, but it appears the firm has recognized it will be difficult to go it completely alone, especially after having the Department of Energy freeze a low-interest loan that was supposed to help bring the maker's second product, the Fisker Atlantic plug-in hybrid to market.
  • Century 21 Takes It To The House
    In football, the term "take it to the house" refers to a great play that oftentimes results in a touchdown. Century 21 managed to take its Super Bowl XLVI commercial to the house, a successful double-entendre for a real estate company whose bottom-line strategy is to sell homes. The Parsippany, N.J.-based Century 21's first Super Bowl commercial in the company's 40-year history translated into winning numbers: Total leads climbed 20% year-to-date (through October) and Web site traffic year-to-date was up more than 40% versus industry Web site growth rate of 4%, according to Bev Thornton, Century 21's CMO. The company …
  • Fuddruckers Gets A Cheeseburger
    Luby's Inc., which purchased burger chain Fuddruckers two years ago, said it will acquire the 23-unit Cheeseburger in Paradise chain. Houston based Luby's will pay $11 million plus "customary reimbursements for cash-on-hand, inventory, and accounts receivable offset by liabilities assumed at closing." Prior-year revenues for those Cheeseburger in Paradise locations were roughly $50 million.
  • Conscientious Consumption Driven By Gen Y
    Corporate giving fell in 2009 in the wake of the Great Recession, according to an annual survey of 144 companies by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP). But in its most recent survey, the firm found that 60% of companies increased giving from 2009 to 2011. Education and disaster relief, especially, saw increases from corporate giving. Experts in corporate philanthropy say that being seen as a good corporate citizen is increasingly viewed as good business. CECP Director Margaret Coady says much of the demand for conscientious consumption comes from young consumers who almost universally had a service requirement to graduate …
  • NHL's Richards Ties With Tees
    The future of the NHL, currently in its second work stoppage since 2004, may be in the hands of federal mediators, but some players are taking matters into their own hands. For example, Brad Richards, forward and alternate captain for the New York Rangers, has found another area of opportunity. The 32-year-old has signed a two-year deal with UnTuckIt, a New York-based designer of men's shirts, Tees and polos specifically made to be worn outside pants, aka untucked, "while still looking smart and polished." Richards will appear in marketing for the brand and already is featured on the company's Web …
  • Will Social Help Sales This Christmas?
    Retailers may have hit record sales over the shopping weekend from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, but the impact of social media campaigns many of them invested in is less certain. Offerpop, which helps retailers including Amazon, Sears and Walmart run social-marketing campaigns, says it saw a 40% increase in social-media campaigns by its clients for the Black Friday shopping weekend compared with last year. But social was less than 1% of online traffic and sales on Black Friday, according to IBM Smarter Commerce, which tracks sales for 500 of the top retail sites. And that's down from last year.
  • Shopping Local Benefits Local
    A new study by CivicEconomics says the money you spend at chain stores quickly leaves the community, while money you spend at local businesses helps make the neighborhood better. Spending local outlets instead of big chains does four times as much good for the community. Money spent at independent outlets is more likely to stay local than that spent at a chain. The study for Louisville found that independent stores recirculate 55.2% of revenues compared to 13.6% for big retailers, and that local restaurants recirculate 67%, while big chains do 30.4%. Supersize that.
  • Chrysler's Francois 'Grand Brand Genius'
    Olivier Franois, the CMO for Chrysler Group, is Adweek's Grand Brand Genius of 2012, part of an awards lineup honoring the 10 most memorable and innovative branding efforts and the marketers behind them.
  • Ouch. Yahoo's Mayer Rips RIM
    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer bought all employees new smartphones. They could choose an Android phone, an iPhone, or Windows Phone. Where's BlackBerry? In an interview, she was terse: "We literally are moving the company from BlackBerrys to smartphones. One of the really important things for Yahoo's strategy moving forward is mobile." Meaning BlackBerry must be, like, a feature phone.
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