In a move meant to increase energy levels and help meet deadlines, The Times in London is piping old-fashioned typewriter noise into the newsroom, where many of its journalists are too young to know what those sounds are. Robert Siegel speaks to Patrick Kidd, the editor of The Times Diary, about the mechanical sounds.
Urban Outfitters is struggling: Following a 5.2% tumble in the first quarter, Urban Outfitters' sales slipped another 2.4% in the second. Its Anthropologie and Free People stores took up the slack, but the Urban Outfitters brand continues to disappoint. Comp sales fell by 10 percent. In a statement, the company blamed a 194 basis point decrease in its gross profit rate on "underperformance at the Urban Outfitters brand."
In a move bound to irritate coffee drinkers, Starbucks is canceling some Gold Account memberships over compliance issues, saying it needs proof that the coffee drinkers are over 13. Customer service reps are said to be instructing irate fans to open new loyalty accounts. "The whole thing was handled poorly and their age excuse doesn't add up since my birthday was on file," says the GeekWire tipster. "I don't know what happened, but I don't believe the story I was told."
RadioShack is dialing in Defense Mobile Corp., a 100 %-veterans staffed mobile service company to be the exclusive national retailer for Defense Mobile's new nationwide 4G LTE mobile services. RadioShack will offer Defense Mobile's branch branded mobile services to the 51.6 million members of the U.S. military community, including those actively serving (including members of the Reserve and National Guard), veterans and their family members, Brands include ARMYmobile, NAVYmobile, AIRFORCEmobile, MARINESmobile and COASTGUARDmobile, and will be sold initially in 2,500 RadioShack stores, and all company locations by 2015.
Disney Enterprises, which owns the ABC Network, has filed three patents for drone-powered entertainment strategies, including using unmanned flying vehicles to move giant puppets. If the House of Mouse gets its way, it will use a variety of drone - different from the kind the military uses to kill people - as a warm and fuzzy machine to propel Tinker Bell.
A new report from the Food Marketing Institute shows just how differently demographic segments shop, with Gen Y-led changes dominating food retailing. Traditional supermarkets are feeling pressure from new competitors, including upstarts focused on natural and organic goods and big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target that have expanded their grocery offerings. And all are scrambling to adapt to millennial shoppers, who are most likely to shop around specific recipes, shun processed foods and chase food trends.
Michael Jordan, Nike's stellar shoe salesman, is trying another sport: tennis. The basketball legend was courtside at the U.S. Open this week as Roger Federer, his Nike teammate, started the tournament in a new pair of sneakers. It was said to be Jordan's first U.S. Open, and Nike promoted the event with a video of the two superstars plinking around on a piano, with Federer's $200 shoes selling out quickly.
You know you want to: GoPro is selling the Fetch harness, a camera mount designed specifically for dogs. Using either a chest or back mount, it fits animals between 15 and 120 pounds, and has special adaptations for short-legged pooches, like corgis.
Marketers pour gazillions into big-ticket event sponsorship, from the Olympics to the U.S. Open. But it doesn't always pay off: A study conducted by Global-WebIndex showed that nearly 38% of consumers thought MasterCard sponsored the World Cup - Visa was the official sponsor - though it hadn't been one since 2006. PRWeek dishes the pros and cons.
After 13 years, Volvo has finally updated its big XC90 SUV, which will reach showrooms next April. It's the first all-new model developed under the ownership of Zhejiang Geely Holdings, the Chinese carmaker that purchased Volvo from Ford Motor Co. back in 2010, but not the last: The company says it plans to introduce at least nine all-new models between now and 2019.