• Influencers, Bloggers, Not Really Trusted By Consumers
    "Despite their high profile, influencers and bloggers are among the least trusted sources of shopping recommendations. So are tech-related sources such as Alexa," begins a Chain Store Age article citing an Oracle study. So just who do consumers actually trust? Family members (picked by 77%) and friends (by 75%) -- more than any other source.
  • Elizabeth Taylor's 'Green Goddess' Rolls-Royce Up For Auction
    What's a used car worth? When it's a 1961 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe owned by a Hollywood legend -- with "a dashboard of exotic Carpathian elm burl wood" -- it's expected to sell for $1 million to $2 million, according to The New York Times. The last sale of a Silver Cloud 11 fetched $600,000 to $700,000. But this version has "something no other Rolls-Royce had: a little love logo." It was bought when Taylor was married to the singer Eddie Fisher, and  "the couple’s initials — E and E, for Elizabeth and Eddie — were discreetly painted …
  • Walmart, Ellen DeGeneres Named In Artist's Copyright Suit
    "Walmart and Ellen DeGeneres are being sued over their collaborative EV1 line" by New York artist Julian Rivera, who "claims his 'love' design was copied without permission on the clothing," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Whither Amazon's Grocery Ambitions?
    The purchase of  Whole Foods two years ago "seems to have only whetted [Amazon] executives’ appetites" for making a mark in the grocery industry, reports The New York Times. "The company is now quietly exploring an ambitious new chain, probably separate from Whole Foods, that...would be built for in-store shopping as well as pickup and delivery," and "with a smaller area dedicated to fresh shopping." There would be a "hub-and-spoke approach where one store serves as the warehouse and commissary for others."
  • Minivan Sales Fade, SUVs Gain
    Minivan sales "declined 13% over the past two years and fell an additional 16% through June of this year, the worst half-drop since the industry's downturn in 2009," according to research cited by The Wall Street Journal. "SUVs, many of which now offer seating for seven or more people, are attracting many would-be minivan buyers who want a more ruggedly styled vehicle, analysts and dealers say."
  • Pepsi Needs A Gatorade Comeback
    Pepsi is making "Gatorade comeback plans that will be closely watched by the company's investors and executives in other industries," since it makes up "more than 15% of the company's beverage sales, according to Euromonitor," reports The Wall Street Journal.  The company "needs to look beyond Gatorade's heritage as an athletic elixir. It already has a foothold as a hangover cure, a sweet treat in children's lunchboxes and something to keep construction workers cool on a summer day."
  • DOJ OKs T-Mobile, Sprint Merger
    The Department of Justice approved the long-pending merger of No. 3 carrier T-Mobile with No. 4 Sprint after the two agreed to sell Sprint’s prepaid wireless business to Dish Network to create a fourth wireless carrier. "The deal faces one last hurdle in the form of a lawsuit by state attorneys general," Brian X. Chen reports in a piece looking at what the deal means to consumers. For one: the Sprint brand is expected be absorbed by T-Mobile.
  • Bergdorf Goodman Gets Some Satisfaction
    So here's two names you probably never thought would appear in the same sentence: The Rolling Stones and  Bergdorf Goodman. Starting Aug. 24, the luxury Manhattan department store will retail a collection of items  inspired by and celebrating The Rolling Stones, including  Laduree macarons featuring the Stones logo. It's all in honor of the second half of the group’s No Filter Tour.
  • Forever 21 Faces Outrage Over Freebie Diet Bars
    Some customers receiving plus-size clothing orders from Forever 21 were outraged by a surprise snack inside: Atkins diet bars. A few tweeted their displeasure, wondering if they had been singled out because of their size. Not so, said the retailer: "The freebie items in question were included in all online orders... for a limited time and have since been removed."
  • Creating The Brand That Is Leonardo DiCaprio
    Brand managers who want to learn from Hollywood: Check out "His Brand Is Excellence": How Leonardo DiCaprio Became Hollywood's Last Movie Star," in The Hollywood Reporter for tips on how the superstar -- now newsworthy because he's in the just-opened "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood -- developed a career "offering that rare blend of prestige...and box office prowess." For one: "Instead of following up the blockbuster [that was 1997's 'Titanic'] with a tried-and-true formula of tentpoles or high-concept thrillers, the Los Angeles native eschewed box office glory to work with the top directors in Hollywood." In other words, go …
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