Eye-on-Retail 1/14/13: FTC Stops Green Claim; NRF Expo Kicks Off


Happening Now:  The National Retail Federation (NRF) kicks off its 102nd annual Convention and Expo in NYC @ Jacob Javits Convention Center, January 13-16.  We’ll be reporting on highlights all week.  Read more:  https://events.nrf.com/annual2013/public/MainHall.aspx?ID=13380&sortMenu=101000 


“Retailers gather for industry’s ‘mini Davos’ ” by Andria Cheng at Market Watch.  “The retail industry’s biggest brainstorming session has begun.  A record 27,000-plus attendees are congregating for a four-day convention where they’re shopping for technology, exchanging ideas and listening in on 100 educational sessions and keynote speeches. The conference, hosted by the National Retail Federation, features speakers including Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.  Among those attending are 6,500 U.S. retailers, including Starbucks Corp., Whole Foods Market and Macy’s Inc., a 60% jump from 4,000 last year, said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.”  Read more:  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/retailers-gather-for-industrys-mini-davos-2013-01-14


“How technology is closing the gap between mature and emerging retail markets” by Margaret Case Little at NRF.  “Veteran BIG Show speaker and renowned consultant on the Brazilian retail market, Marcos Gouvêa de Souza (GS&MD), focused on the differences between the mature retail markets (of the United States and Western Europe) and emerging retail markets of South America. Gouvea de Souza pointed out the disparity between economic growth rates between developing and mature economies and the even bigger disparity between retail growth rates between the two as well. Weighted for population age, he says, Brazil’s retail sector grew at 8.1% versus 2.1% in mature markets. The opportunities for Brazilian retailers, global brands and global retailers are immense.”  Read more:  https://blog.nrf.com/2013/01/13/how-technology-is-closing-the-gap-between-mature-and-emerging-retail-markets/


One Thing We Know Facebook Is Working On” by Cadie Thompson at CNBC.  “From a Facebook smartphone to developing its e-commerce presence, there’s no shortage of rumors as to just what Facebook will roll out next week. But there’s growing certainty that the social giant will eventually get into the search business, if not next week, sometime this year, analysts said…”There’s been a general approach to the Yahoos of the world, MSNs of the world, where eventually you want to keep the eyeballs on your site as long as you can,” Bajarin said. “So think of it this way, Facebook is really going in the direction of creating a destination page that people come to where they can get a lot of things—not just social networking—shopping news sports weather as well as search because search becomes the glue.”  Read more:  https://www.cnbc.com/id/100370112


“CMO Predictions For 2013 — Part 2: Ford, Heineken, CVS”  by Brandon Gutman at Forbes. “Rob Price, Chief Marketing Officer of CVS/pharmacy recounted how at the end of 2012 we saw “omnichannel” take center stage as one of the biggest buzzwords in the industry. Price feels that in 2013 we’re bound to see the marketer’s role evolve to become the advocate for the individual customer, regardless of which channel they are using to interface with your brand. At CVS/pharmacy, Price and his team are working to unlock all dimensions, regardless of channel, to truly personalize the customer experience. This starts with a digital interface that fuses preferences and insights from the ExtraCare savings and rewards program. It means personalizing the physical store environments through a store clustering effort to tailor products and services.”  Read more:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2013/01/10/cmo-predictions-for-2013-part-2-ford-heineken-cvs/


“Amazon, Macy’s, Sears Fined For False Bamboo Claim” at Sustainable Business.  “The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seems to be serious about stopping false green marketing claims – it fined four high-profile retailers for falsely claiming that clothing, fabrics and textiles were made from bamboo fiber.  Amazon.com, Leon Max, Macy’s and Sears (and its Kmart subsidiaries) have agreed to pay a total of $1.26 million in penalties to settle FTC’s claims that they violated the Textile Products Identification Act (Textile Act) and FTC’s Textile Rules.”  Read more:  https://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/24454


“Canada: Target’s next bull’s-eye” by Thomas Less in the Star-Tribune.  “Target’s close attention to detail — right down to the local cuisine — reflects the gravity of what is arguably the boldest project in its 50-year history. Beginning in March, the chain will open the first of 124 stores in Canada, its first expansion beyond the United States. The move also is Target’s first big step at becoming a global retail force.  But Target’s international ambition has less to do with bragging rights than basic survival. Not only is Target running out of room to grow, but recession-worn American consumers haven’t been as eager to open their wallets, much to the benefit of low-priced competitors like Wal-Mart and Amazon.”  Read more:  https://www.startribune.com/business/186633251.html


“CONFIRMED: Rite Aid And Family Dollar Have Axed News Corp’s Troubled In-Store Ads Division”  by Jim Edwards at Yahoo Finance.  “The news doesn’t sound dramatic unless you know the context: News and Valassis have been locked in a years long war for domination of the supermarket/grocery business, a battle which has so far cost News $656 million in legal settlements over allegations that it used antitrust tactics to drive competitors out of the market.  Since that settlement, News was sued by Dial Corp, alleging its tactics kept prices higher than they should be for in-store advertising and newspaper coupons. We speculated that suit could — and that’s a highly qualified “could” — lead to a full-scale mutiny of News’ in-store clients.”  Read more:  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rumor-did-news-corp-just-181906656.html  


“Bass Pro Shops ends (logo) dispute with Valrico company” by John Cascio at Fox 13 Tampa Bay News.  “Bass Pro Shops is ending its dispute with The Simple Life Outfitters over its logo. It had claimed the small Valrico shop’s image was too similar to their own.  “He goes, ‘My name is Johnny Morris,’ and it didn’t register at first who it was,” Morris said.  In a gutsy move, company founder John Morris walked into Kelly Morris’s store Saturday to apologize. He and his wife were on a fishing trip in Fort Myers and had just learned of the dispute involving his company.  He felt moved enough to make things right face-to-face.  “He stuck his hand out and shook my hand, and he said, ‘I just drove up from Fort Myers. Me and my wife thought we should say we’re sorry for what my company has done for his family,'” Morris said.”  Read more:  https://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/20578094/2013/01/14/bass-pro-shops-ends-dispute-with-valrico-company


“Enrique Ostale Named President and CEO of Walmart Latin America”.  “Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced that Enrique Ostale, president and CEO of Walmart Chile, formerly D&S, has been named executive vice president, president and CEO of Walmart Latin America, where he will oversee Walmart’s operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6116675&access=EH


“American Water Heaters connects smart water heater to Lowe’s Iris smart home solution”.  “The connected water heater will allow homeowners to use a smartphone or tablet to set water temperatures and operating modes, including activating the money-saving “Vacation” mode while away. Iris also will share diagnostic information regarding water heater operation with the homeowner. An optional leak detection sensor will be available to notify homeowners in the event of a water leak.  Future developments include integrations that will provide homeowners with information on energy use, as well as connect with electric utilities’ demand response systems—the much-discussed “smart grid.” This reporting will enable homeowners to conserve power in exchange for utility rebates. The “Smart Port” that delivers this connectivity is already available on the Energy Smart line of water heaters.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6116835&access=EH