• Retail Spending Turns Halloweenish
    Halloween is finally upon us, after having haunted the retail aisles since around, oh, the Fourth of July, and the kiddies will be out in force this evening. In fact, "A majority of Millennials aged 15-25 now claim Halloween as their favorite holiday in a survey by social video chat provider ooVoo," as Michal Clements reports on ChicagoNow. Santa's day ran second - 39% - to 51% for the ghouls and goblins and zombies and things.
  • Lands' End May Float On Its Own Again
    Anyone who has ever worked at a startup or worn the green eyeshades of a copy editor will appreciate the tale of how Lands' End got its misplaced apostrophe, as related by Suzanne Kapner in the "Wall Street Journal" this morning. It seems that the first direct mail piece for the incipient company, which was started by Young & Rubicam copywriter Gary S. Comer in a basement apartment in Chicago in 1963, came back from the printer with the error. With just $30,000 in working capital, he could not afford to correct it.
  • Coming: More People Who Live In Google Glass
    Google's tantalizing rollout of its Glass device is moving into new waters with a four-story barge that someday may be a "floating marketing center" garnering eyeballs in San Francisco Bay, as KPIX reports, and the company announcing an expansion of its Explorers market test and a hardware swap-out for interested current users of the $1,500 wearable computers that are not suitable for operating jackhammers or playing pick-up basketball.
  • Profiling Charges Fuel Fury Over Jay Z's Barneys Deal
    The rapper-turned-mogul Jay Z finds himself square in the middle of a tabloid and social media assault over his business association with Barneys New York, which has been accused by at least two customers of racial profiling.
  • Wherefore Jil Sander In The Wake Of Sander's Exit?
    The 69-year-old German-born designer Jil Sander is striking out from the eponymous label she founded in 1968 after a short-lived, but generally well-received, return as creative director. Citing "personal reasons," her exit "raises questions for the brand," as the "Women's Wear Daily" headline perhaps understates.
  • Panera Talks Turkey About Poor Customer Experience
    Panera Bread has been a victim of its own success, co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Ronald Shaich indicated yesterday, and, after a period of "intense self-examination," it intends to address its customers' No. 1 complaints of slooooow lines, screwed-up orders and a multipart plan to "bend the arc of our sales growth trajectory."
  • Ahoy! Amazon, EBay And Walmart Float Shipping News
    Once upon a time not that long ago, shipping news was a staple item in many a daily newspaper so that merchants could keep track of when the vessels bearing their bolts of cloth and barrels of molasses would arrive. Now that the principle way of conveying both goods and information is on the cyberseas, the battle is over delivering goods direct to the customer as quickly and cheaply as possible without losing a ton of money in the process.
  • Netflix' Reviews May Exceed Its Performance
    To riff on Brian Stelter's lede in the "New York Times" this morning, in a world where everyone with a smartphone seems to be a content creator, Netflix' quarterly results released yesterday reinforced the notion that well-executed "content is the new black" - black halo, that is.
  • Appy Holidays! New Tablets Are Upon Us
    Apple, Nokia and Microsoft are each poised to unveil tablets tomorrow that they hope will make it under the boughs of a lot of evergreens this holiday season. Amazon, Google and Samsung recently released their own versions of the devices, points out the "New York Times"' Brian X. Chen, and Reticle Research analyst Ross Rubin tells him that "each manufacturer had developed slightly different approaches...."
  • Cheap Shot: Did Apple's Cook Overestimate The iPhone's Low-End?
    How's this for damning a marketing strategy with faint praise: the late Steve Jobs was right and current Apple management is wrong, according to journalists and pundits analyzing tepid sales of Apple's low-end iPhone: "Last month, [Apple CEO] Tim Cook introduced the colorful iPhone 5c, a less-expensive version of Apple's smartphone, to 'serve even more customers' around the world. It turns out people so far are more interested in its pricier, feature-rich cousin, the 5s," writes Bloomberg's Adam Satariano after pointing out the Apple co-founder famously "emphasized high-end consumer gadgets over cheaper ones."
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