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Retail

Mexican Wal-Mart Under Fire for Allegedly Hosting In-Store Cockfight

walmart chickenIt’s going to take more than “clean up in aisle seven” to wash this one away.

Wal-Mart Mexico, or Walmex, has come under fire for allegedly hosting a cockfight in its Boca del Rio store in order to promote a soda company.

What happened to good old fashioned free samples?

If the allegations are proven true, the retailer could face fines of up to 96,000 pesos ($7,240), as cockfighting is illegal in Boca del Rio.

A Walmex spokesman, Antonio Ocaranza, said the the promotion was not actually a cockfight, as the roosters weren’t armed with blades, no betting took place, and none of the roosters were harmed.

“It wasn’t a cockfight,” Ocaranza told Bloomberg. “There wasn’t anything that would be in violation of any game regulations.”

Photos of the event (below) depict the penned roosters looking agitated and appearing to attack one another…so, there were cocks, and they fought, but it wasn’t technically a “cockfight” because the birds weren’t wielding weapons? Lovely, then. Read more

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Barbie Plays Dress Up for Latin America

barbies

They are the world.

Since Barbie hit the shelves in 1959, Mattel has been diligent in discovering news ways to make money from its greatest creation. Barbie has grown an extended family from different parts of the world or has entered the corporate world to capitalize on any array of wardrobe accouterments.

According to her official websiteBarbara Millicent Roberts has had close to 150 careers, represented more than 40 different nationalities and collaborated with more than 75 fashion designers. With one Barbie sold every 3 seconds somewhere in the world, she remains the world’s most popular doll and a powerhouse brand among girls of all ages.

Only one small problem: On the way to global domination, Barbie forgot that a new outfit doesn’t automatically mean a new culture … and then Mattel (may have) offended parts Latin America with a few tactful stereotypes.

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Abercrombie Drops Logo from Clothing, Deprives Bros Everywhere of Identities

abercrombie-and-fitch-clothes-for-womenThanks to changing tastes of the teen demographic and the landslide of bad press the company has received over the past year, the Abercrombie & Fitch brand no longer wields the same power it once did. With sales continuing to flounder, the clothing retailer has decided to abandon its time-honored tradition of plastering its name and logo on virtually every piece of attire it sells, effectively robbing rich frat boy types of their identities.

“In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing,” Mark Jeffries, CEO of A&F told investors on a conference call.  And in a note to investors Thursday, Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, noted that “it’s taking time to win back customers.” But he believes that the merchandise changes are “gaining traction.”

While much of the brand’s weakening can likely be attributed to the recent Abercrombie-only-wants-pretty-and-cool-kids-wearing-their-clothes controversy, this branding shift is also about keeping up with the changing preferences of teens, who are more interested in standing out as individuals (while all wearing the same trendy top from H&M or Forever 21) than fitting in under a universally-recognized logo. Read more

Nordstrom Ads Feature Models with Disabilities, Generate Goodwill

Image via press.nordstrom.com

Fact: At least one-third of Nordstrom’s advertisements feature models of color and/or models with disabilities.

For Nordstrom, this isn’t just a commitment to diversity—it’s a commitment to accurately reflecting its shoppers. It’s also a smart move.

According to Meg O’Connell, a partner at the consulting firm Global Disability Inclusion, people with disabilities represent a significant marketing opportunity, with $225 billion in discretionary spending.

“Companies that understand this will have an advantage,” she says. “[Nordstrom] is a leader in this space and has been a long-standing supporter of disability inclusion not only in their advertising but also in employment and accessibility in their stores.”

The company has been using models with disabilities since 1997 and regularly advertises in minority publications including Essence, Latina, and Ability magazines.

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Urban Outfitters (Again) Pulls Ganesh Products After Offending Hindus

Ganesh

Another day, another retailer offending members of a major religion by co-opting one of its most revered symbols.

Unlike the recent case of designer Roberto Cavalli and a design that just happened to very closely resemble the symbol used by Sufi Muslims to denote God, this one involving Urban Outfitters‘ pillow covers can’t quite be addressed with a completely unbelievable “but we didn’t know!” statement or the “third party vendors!” explanation used to dismiss stories about Amazon, Sears and Walmart selling posters of a concentration camp.

The issue here, as reported by BuzzFeed, is that Urban Outfitters carried pillows bearing the clear image of Lord Ganesh as part of a series created by an artist who does not seem to belong to the Hindu faith.

This isn’t the first time UO has stepped in the (metaphorical!!) elephant dung, either…

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Q&A: What’s the Best Way to Respond to Bad Reviews?

These chefs might seem to be reading their negative Yelp reviews for the first time, but anyone adept in the reputation management field knows how to gauge sentiments online.

We all know that such reviews have great influence, even though many are written by amateurs who may have had a few too many before deciding to bring down a business’s rating over one proverbial fly in the soup.

So what’s the best way to respond to these negative reviews? We spoke to Karan Chaudhry–CEO of “leading provider of instant feedback solutions for restaurants and retailers” DropThought–to learn more.

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RadioShack Soon to Be Disconnected from NYSE

radioshack stock

First, it was the birth of “big box” electronic stores. Then, it was that whole “shacking up with Lance Armstrong” blowing up in its face (see what I did there). Followed by obliterating brand loyalty for “The Shack.”

Things were looking like a brighter horizon was coming for the Fort Worth, Texas-based iconic brand, thanks to a genius Super Bowl commercial (see below). And then absolutely nothing happened after that. So much for momentum.

Today, we discover an even more somber state of affairs for what was America’s favorite electronics store — its stock is selling for $1 per share, and faces almost certain peril and de-listing from the NYSE.  Read more

Frank & Oak CEO Discusses Its New Branding Tool: Owned Print Media

Logo-Frank & Oak Oak horizontal

No, that headline isn’t a joke: Frank & Oak, a Montreal-based men’s fashion/lifestyle brand that came into the world as a digital business, recently decided to put its brand in print.

The project launched at the end of May, with the first issue of biannual magazine Oak Street available for purchase online and at select coffee shops and other venues. The premiere contains editorial pieces on everything from the expected (men’s fashion) to the very unexpected (trends in humane fishing and artisanal coffee) with more on the blog.

For context, Frank & Oak has received quite a bit of media attention from both general publications and tech blogs since launching in 2012 thanks both to its status as a mobile commerce-turned brick and mortar retailer a la Warby Parker and its custom apps.

The decision to launch a lavish print mag feels especially unusual for such a forward-thinking business. We asked Ethan Song, CEO and co-founder of Frank & Oak, to explain the strategy behind it.

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Sam’s Club Is First Retailer to Adopt ‘Safer’ Credit Card

The_interior_of_a_Sam's_Club_location_thumb

Someone in the retail industry has finally made the decision to start catching up with the rest of the world.

Sam’s Club–provider of gallon-sized mayonnaise jars, 64-count TP packs and enough toothpicks to build all four major New York City bridges–became the first big retail name to announce the adoption of a “safer” credit card for regular customers.

Maybe they wanted to skip ahead of the competition–or maybe they were inspired by eBay’s friendly suggestion that all shoppers might want to change their damn passwords after its massive data breach.

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Impulse Buying Reaches New Level: Now You Can Add Things to Your Amazon Cart from Twitter

#AmazonCart_ Add it Now. Buy it Later. Shop from within Twitter. - YouTube-1As if the “buy with one click” option wasn’t dangerous enough, now Amazon is allowing customers to add items to their shopping carts via Twitter by using hashtags.

“No more switching apps, typing passwords, or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter,” says a female voiceover in an ad explaining the new feature (after the jump), and it’s clear from her exasperated tone that such tasks have obviously been the most inconvenient, exhausting, intolelrable parts of consumers’ lives. Finally, our cries for relief have been heard!

Once you link your Amazon to your Twitter account, whenever you see an Amazon product link in a tweet, you can add it to your cart by replying to the tweet with hashtag #AmazonCart. It’s basically another virtual way to make impulse purchasing even easier than grabbing that candy bar at the Target checkout.

Aside from impulse purchases, though, this just seems to us like one of those “improvements” that might actually be less convenient than the traditional process. Read more

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