• Penney Rings Up A Big Sale: Apple's Johnson Buys In
    The verbs in the heds and ledes of the various stories about J.C. Penney's announcement that Apple's retail guru, Ron Johnson, would become its CEO this fall are a colorful lot indeed: "wooed"(Wall Street Journal); "poached" (New York Times) "nabbing" (Bloomberg). "Every industry has its rock stars, and J.C. Penney Co. just nabbed a big one," gushes Maria Halkias in the Dallas Morning News. And Financial Times goes with the news that shares of the midmarket retailer "surged" more than 17% after the anointment, reaching their highest level since 2000.
  • Daddy Now Wears Hiking Boots
    Blogging in the Los Angeles Times, David Lazarus puts it this way: "Timberland has a new daddy. The purveyor of outdoorsy shoes and duds is being acquired by VF Corp., whose brands include Wrangler denim and Nautica apparel, for about $2 billion." And it sounds like Big Daddy has Street cred, too: "VF Seen Smarter Than Buffett as Shares Surge on Timberland Deal," reads the hed over Tara Lachapelle's and Danielle Kucera's story in Bloomberg. (VF was up 10% to $101.01 yesterday.)
  • Getting Out Of The Rut
    Feel like you're trudging back to the same-old same old this Monday morning? Lucky for us there are several inspiring pieces on innovation and innovators to ponder in the wake of anything more pressing than "The Week on AdFreak" and "Uniqlo's U.S. Positioning Plan" leading the websites of our favorite ad trades.
  • PR Departments Need To Step Into Security Breaches
    Back in the early days of the Internet, I wrote a story for the long-departed print magazine NetGuide titled, "Is It Safe To Shop Online?" The answer was a resounding "yes" to folks who were still reluctant to type in their credit card numbers on archetypal online order forms. It was at least as safe as it was to expose your credit card number to a waiter at, say, the local Red Lobster, or to a clerk fulfilling, say, magazine subscriptions over the touchtone landline. It seems to have gotten less safe since then, not only because hackers seem all ...
  • 'Super 8' Breaks Out Of The Box With Twitter Campaign
    I first heard about "Super 8" -- an ambitious movie epic that's "the kind of film Steven Spielberg used to make" -- when I read my daily email from The Observer's Very Short List (VSL) last evening that was posted at 4:06:03 p.m. EDT to inform me, and many others, of exactly that sentiment. I immediately forwarded the notice to my wife, who has been scouring the Yahoo movie listings on Saturdays for months, it seems, in search of a worthwhile flick that doesn't require a long trip to an art house with rickety chairs and a screen about the ...
  • Critic Gushes About Nintendo Wii U As Stock Market Yawns
    Nintendo yesterday unveiled Wii U, a new gaming platform whose controller contains a tablet-like hi-def screen that can be used to play video games on a monitor or serve as a stand-alone viewing device. The New York Times' Seth Schiesel got a sneak, hands-on peek at the new device a couple of days ago and emerged duly impressed.
  • Fitness And Diet Head Back To The Future
    What did cavemen and ladies not know that we do besides the fact that reality television is a waste of time and that sexting can get you into big trouble politically?
  • Facts Will Soon Descend From The iClouds
    The eyes of the many are upon San Francisco this morning, where Steve Jobs is scheduled to take a leave from his medical leave to address Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. We know that Apple will preview its new operating system, Lion, as well as iOS5 and its new iCloud® service, because it said it would in a rare conference preview press release last week. But we don't know much more-specifically speaking-beyond that. That isn't, of course, stopping people from informing us about what they don't actually know.
  • Wal-Mart Looking To Make A Small Fortune
    What's next? Wal-Mart kiosks? Walmart vending machines? Wal*Mart pushcarts?
  • The Book Remains Open On Borders (And B&N)
    Everybody's playing catch-up to the Wall Street Journal's Mike Spector and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg this morning after they broke the news online last night that a Los Angeles-based private equity company, Gores Group, is negotiating to purchase about 200 of Borders Group's 405 remaining retail outlets as well as its online operation. Borders has closed 226 stores.
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