Toys R Us has teamed with startup b8ta on its return to brick-and-mortar retail in an effort to shore up its relationships with vendors that were strained during the toy retailer's 2017 bankruptcy. With b8ta, Toys R Us will focus on experience and analytics in its new stores, and vendors will have more control over product displays.
Barnes & Noble has turned to an independent bookstore veteran to lead a turnaround strategy centered around the idea that acting like an indie bookshop will help differentiate the chain from Amazon. CEO James Daunt has spent the better part of his nearly 30-year career with independent booksellers, and saw success by incorporating a human touch into store locations, tailoring offerings to local communities and operating outside of some standard retail rules.
Apple reportedly is in talks for a $1 billion purchase of Intel's chip business -- a deal that could drive development of 5G iPhones. Apple is still likely to use Qualcomm technology, writes Harry Domanski, but an acquisition of Intel's chip unit could move iPhone production largely in-house.
Kroger has picked DDB New York to be its first advertising agency of record. The agency is expected to help Kroger create a stronger brand identity and support the retailer's omnichannel efforts, like Kroger Ship and grocery pickup.
The US Fashion Industry Association reports that 83% of fashion companies responding to a recent survey intend to reduce sourcing from China because of the ongoing trade dispute between it and the US. The survey also found that US fashion brands paid over $15 billion in tariffs on apparel, home textiles and footwear last year.
Wegmans is pulling single-use plastic bags from two New York stores on July 29 and will continue to offer paper bags for 5 cents each. The company will cut plastic bags from all of its New York locations before a statewide ban takes effect next March.
After revamping the recipe and boosting marketing spend on its Butterfinger brand, Ferrara Candy saw sales for the product rise 17.7% over a recent four-week stretch compared to the prior year. The company is also enjoying an uptick in sales for its Crunch brand after bringing new marketing resources to it, and an update to the Baby Ruth candy bar is expected later this year.
While a one-person injera -- a flatbread used in Ethiopian cooking -- can work in a nonstick pan, a communal-size injera is best made with a special surface. Aman Tsegai's "Rose," which is on Kickstarter now, has a wood body, ceramic base, induction coil and easy-to-clean, removable iron plate.
Subaru, Toyota, Honda, RAM and Ford are the top five brands, respectively, for mass market brand loyalty while Lexus takes the lead for the luxury market, J.D. Power and Associates reports. "Customer loyalty is perhaps the most important metric for manufacturers because it incorporates many factors that lead customers to become brand ambassadors," says J.D. Power's Tyson Jominy.
Dealerships must provide a more seamless experience by ensuring that digital inventory matches in real-time what's available in physical locations to avoid frustrating customers, warned Richard Wallace, former executive at the Center for Automotive Research, at a recent event. Acxiom's John Campos agreed, noting that the data "capabilities are out there; plenty of vendors are providing that integration service, and that really is an ingredient missing from the industry today."
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