With retail sales flat last month, Macy's said yesterday that it would be taking about 150 of its stores slightly upscale, Walmart announced a free-shipping program like Amazon Prime (without the music, video or other perks) and J.C. Penney posted a smaller loss than analysts expected as outgoing CEO Mike Ullman told analysts that the faltering chain is "switching gears from defense to offense."
Richard Branson, who never seems to run out of new ideas for extending the Virgin brand name, yesterday posted a blog item about his latest venture - Virgin Sport, which "aims to change the health and wellness game for good." Mary Wittenberg, who for a decade has led New York Road Runners (NYRR), which conducts the TCS New York City Marathon among other events, will be its CEO.
The parent companies of Stop & Shop and Hannaford and other U.S. supermarkets - Netherlands-based Royal Ahold NV and Belgium-based Delhaize Group, respectively - confirmed this morning that they are in the early stages of merger talks that would create the fifth-biggest supermarket chain in the States.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut, has acquired a more than 9% stake in the Seattle-based online retailer Zulily, it disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday, a day after it elevated COO Daniel Zhang to the CEO position as it seeks to expand its presence in global markets.
Amarin, a small pharmaceutical firm based in Dublin, Ireland, that makes a fish-oil pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with high levels of triglycerides, and four physicians have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in New York seeking the right to discuss off-label uses of its drug with physicians based on its right to free speech under the First Amendment.
Enjoy, the brainchild of Apple Store mastermind Ron Johnson, is hitting the ground in the San Francisco Bay Area, Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn - you know where - with its specialized troops personally delivering high-tech products to customers and then spending an hour helping them get booted up and running at a location of their choosing.
A "whatever-it-takes" sales culture at Wells Fargo bank, where managers allegedly "hound, berate, demean and threaten employees" to meet quotas and salespeople not only use "pernicious and often illegal sales tactics" but also open accounts without approval, is getting its day in court.
Panera Bread yesterday announced that it is implementing a "No No List" of ingredients for its offerings that is based more on what consumers say they want - and don't want - than on hard scientific proof that they are bad for you.
Dean Foods, the largest milk producer in the country, is consolidating its dozens of regional brand names under one label - DairyPure - backed by a national print and television campaign that launches today, according to extensive reports on CNBC.com and the "Wall Street Journal."
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk late yesterday touted his company's new Tesla Energy rechargeable lithium-ion battery units for homes, businesses and utilities as a breakthrough in solar storage that could help to change the "entire energy infrastructure" and "wean it off fossil fuels," as the press kit puts it. The news release also reinforces the positioning of the enterprise as "not just an automotive company" but as "an energy innovation company."