J.C. Penney Co. Inc. will begin offering targeted discounts at certain times throughout the year, a major change for the company that had planned to get rid of those brand-compromising programs. The reintroduction of targeted discounts is aimed at luring shoppers who were turned off when the discounts disappeared last year. The department store chain also plans to add price tags or signs for more than half of its merchandise to show customers how much they're saving by shopping at the chain. The company has been revamping stores, merchandise and strategy under former head of Apple's retail division, CEO Ron …
People who own a Rolls-Royce don't need much, but Rolls-Royce itself does: something sporty to vie with maybe the Bentley Continental GT. On March 5 the automaker is going to unveil something along those lines at the Geneva Motor Show. Here comes the RR Wraith. "Rolls-Royce Wraith will draw superlatives when it is unveiled in Geneva," says Torsten Mller-tvs, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a statement to the brand's dealers. "Expect the boldest design, the most dramatic performance and the most powerful Rolls-Royce that has ever played host to the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine."
Now, PSA Peugeot Citroen is studying a compressed air hybrid system that it might soon offer in one of its subcompact hatchback models. Peugeot isn't the only manufacturer looking at hybrid-air technology. Ford explored the concept for use on some of its bigger truck models. But as a statement from Paris indicates, the European maker is seriously moving ahead on a technology that would skip costly batteries and, it contends, might be able to deliver fuel economy nudging into the 80 mile per gallon range.
Bob Evans Farms Inc. has agreed to sell the 145-unit casual-dining Mimi's Caf to Le Duff America Inc. for $50 million. Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans said the sale to the Dallas-based division of Groupe LeDuff would allow it to focus on its 565 family Bob Evans restaurants. LeDuff America, which owns and franchises the Bruegger's Bagels, Brioche Doree and La Madeleine Country French Caf concepts, as well as the Timothy's Coffee and Michel's Baguette brands, agreed to pay $20 million in cash and note of $30 million. The company expects the sale to be completed in 45 days.
United Colors of Benetton is aligning the social issues it features in brand advertising with its product campaigns for the first time, through activity starring both a trans-sexual and disabled model.
After some experimental failures, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. is offering Cracker Barrel-branded food products at grocers and other outside retail outlets for the first time. "Our research shows that our guests would like to be able to purchase Cracker Barrel products in places other than just our restaurants and retail stores, and we believe that there is opportunity here to meet that desire," the company stated in an email.
Conversion tracking makes it easier for Facebook to show that an ad displayed on the social network led to a sale-even an ad seen days or weeks ago. Facebook rolled it out to all advertisers in a little-noted move last week. It lets Facebook link sales to ad campaigns, showing in aggregate which ads generated the most response. Google has long had similar features, along with Google Analytics, a dashboard for doing deep analysis of users' actions on a website. Who wins?
The relationship between the Chicago Cubs and the rooftop businesses overlooking Wrigley Field is bitter. George Loukas, who owns three rooftop clubs and other businesses in the North Side Wrigleyville neighborhood, threatened to sue the team if it erects billboards in the outfield that block rooftop views into the stadium. He and other rooftop owners have an alternative to outfield signs the Cubs say they want to help pay for a $300 million renovation of the 99-year-old ballpark. They offered to let the Cubs place signs on their buildings and forego all the revenues the signs would generate.
Warc has released its latest Global Marketing Index (GMI), a monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry. Marketing budgets have increased in January for the first time since May 2012, which marks only the fourth time in the last 16 months. The Americas shows the strongest growth, but the not so good news is that marketers in Asia Pacific and Europe continue to cut budgets because there is an underlying sense of caution by marketers in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, particularly within the Eurozone.
Adidas, Hugo Boss and Superdry are among a number of brands set to launch a virtual fitting room function aimed at improving the online shopping experience for customers. Shoppers can use the tool, created by Fits.me, to enter their measurements including height, weight, bust, hip and waist size to see an an accurate reflection of what a particular item will look like on them. It uses robotic mannequins to model garments and photographs each item to show how clothes fit all size and shape combinations.