Posted tagged ‘Retail’

Graco Recalls 1.5 Million Strollers

January 20, 2010

1.5 million strollers that were made by Graco Children’s Products are being recalled after reports of children’s fingers being cut when the canopy is opening or closing.

You can obtain a complete list of the model numbers of recalled strollers and travel systems by visiting the CPSC’s Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/.

Also, if you have one of the recalled items, be sure to contact Graco at 800-345-4109 to receive a free protective cover repair kit. The company’s Web site is http://www.gracobaby.com/.

I’ll have to call my wife. I know that Graco is the only brand that we ever buy!

From MSNBC:

The recalled strollers are Graco’s Passage, Alano and Spree strollers and travel systems.

They were made in China and sold at Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Fred Meyer, Sears, Target, Walmart, Meijers, AAFES, Navy Exchange, Burlington Coat Factory and other retailers for between $80 and $90 for the strollers and between $150 and $200 for the travel systems.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Wednesday morning after Graco received seven reports of children being injured when their fingers got caught in canopy hinge as it was being opened or closed. Two children’s fingers were cut and there were five reports of children losing their fingertips.

Advertisements

Ford Posts Profit of Nearly $1 Billion

November 2, 2009

Ford, the only automaker to dodge direct government aid and bankruptcy court, surprised investors this morning with a net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter.

Where did that come from???

From the Associated Press:

The automaker said Monday earnings were fueled by U.S. market share gains, cost cuts and the Cash for Clunkers program, which drew flocks of buyers to showrooms this summer. Ford’s shares rose 68 cents, or 9.8 percent, to $7.68 in morning trading.

The latest results signal that Ford’s turnaround is on more solid ground. The company lost more than $14.6 billion last year and hasn’t posted a full-year profit since 2005. While it made a profit in the second quarter, that was mainly due to debt reductions that cut its interest payments.

Ford, based in Dearborn, Mich., reported third-quarter net income of $997 million, or 29 cents per share. Its profit forecast for 2011 was a step above previous guidance of break-even or better for the year.

Ford’s key North American car and truck division posted a pretax profit of $357 million, the division’s first quarter in the black since early 2005. Ford cited higher pricing, lower material costs and increased market share for the improvement.

Excluding one-time items, Ford earned 26 cents per share, blowing away analysts’ expectations of a loss of 12 cents.

The earnings came despite an $800 million revenue drop. But Ford said it cut costs by $1 billion during the quarter, accomplished through layoffs in North America and Europe, reduced pension and retiree health care costs and improvements in productivity and product development.

Walmart Now Selling Coffins

October 29, 2009

Talk about drop dead prices!

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has introduced online sales of caskets.

I’d laugh, but the last time we were in Costco, we saw coffins there too!

It’s Amazing! You can get just about anything there!

From Reuters:

Shoppers can choose from the Lady de Guadalupe steel casket for $895 or a sienna bronze casket for $2,899.00.

Walmart.com spokesman Ravi Jariwala said it is selling the products as a “limited beta test” that launched within the last few weeks.

Wal-Mart has been revamping its merchandise selection in stores and online to expand into categories it believes have high potential for growth.

The funeral service industry generates $11 billion in revenue a year, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. In 2007, the association said the U.S. death rate was 8.0 people per thousand, and that is expected to rise to 9.3 people per thousand by the year 2020.

The caskets do not qualify for Walmart.com’s free site-to-store shipping program, where shoppers can buy an item online and have it shipped to a local store for free.

Burgerville Affordable Health Care Program Featured on FOX & Friends

September 8, 2009

Be sure to check out footage of client Burgerville from FOX & Friends this morning which features President and CEO Jeff Harvey discussing the chain’s affordable health care program for hourly employees.

Under Burgerville’s health care plan, employees who have been with the company for at least six months, and work 20 hours a week, are eligible for health insurance which costs the employee $15 per month. The cost for an employee and children is $30, employee and spouse is $60 and a full family plan is just $90. This coverage comes with no deductible.

Burgerville pays more than 90 percent of the premium for employees and their dependents. The most recent survey by the company found that nearly all of Burgerville’s 579 eligible hourly employees are enrolled.

The Pacific Northwest chain has been able to offer their affordable health care plan for nearly 4 years, and as a result, has experienced reduced turnover, increased long-term retention and increased operational productivity.

Burgerville saw turnover drop from 128% in 2005 to 54% in 2006 (the first year of the program).

Initiatives such as this industry leading health care program, an expanded leadership development training program for employees, the company wide use of wind power, recycling of used trans fat free cooking oil into biodiesel, as well as an expanded recycling and composting program, are all based around Burgerville’s belief that it is good business to adopt practices that are good for their guests, employees, the local community and the environment.

Kindle Application for iPhone Unveiled

March 4, 2009

Odds are that you may not have yet the latest $359 Kindle electronic book reader. But if you own an iPhone or iPod Touch, a new application will let you access the same content on your Apple device.

From the Associated Press:

In a bid to increase its slice of the e-book market, the Seattle-based online retailer plans to roll out a free program Wednesday that brings several of the Kindle’s functions to the iPod and iPhone’s smaller screen.

The program, which can be downloaded from Apple’s online application store, lets iPhone and iPod Touch users read the same electronic books, magazines and newspapers that Kindle owners can buy on Amazon.com. As with the Kindle, the iPhone app lets users change the text size on the screen, and add bookmarks, notes and highlights.

The application does not connect to the Kindle store, however, so users must access the Web browser on their iPhone, iPod or computer to buy the content.

If you happen to have a Kindle and an iPhone, Amazon’s program will handily sync the two so you can keep your place in the same book on both devices.

The Kindle program isn’t the first e-book reader for the iPhone, but it marks the first time Kindle content is available on a cell phone — a move Amazon recently said it would be making, and something that rival Google Inc. is also doing.

Retail Sales in the US…Rise?

February 12, 2009

U.S. retail sales jumped 1 percent in January, reversing a six-month declining trend and defying economists’ expectations by posting the biggest increase in 14 months.

From the Associated Press:

The data are a glimmer of hope for a recession-hit economy, but higher gasoline prices and sales, and buyers snapping up other items on post-holiday discounts, appeared to aid last month’s results. Analysts cautioned that the relief is unlikely to last.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that January retail sales rose 1 percent from December after having fallen for six straight months. Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected January sales to show a drop of 0.8 percent. They plunged a revised lower 3 percent in December, which marked the weakest holiday selling season since at least 1969.

“This is a big surprise, though the net rise in sales is less impressive than it looks because (December and November) were revised down by 0.3 percent each,” Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note. “The headline relief today is welcome but it is unlikely to last.”

The January report shows strong increases in sales of automobiles and in general merchandise stores — the “big box” outlets — though sales by department stores, carrying fewer varieties of items, posted a decline. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is an example of a discounter that has benefited from strapped consumers’ focus on necessities like groceries and on bargains for other items.

Fast Casual Restaurants Emphasizing Value Menus

February 4, 2009

Interesting piece written by Valerie Killifer of Fast Casual, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with on numerous occasions.

It seems that value meals, often priced at $5 or less, increasingly are being launched by fast-casual restaurants such as Moe’s Southwest Grill, Quizno’s and Boston Market.

According to National Restaurant Association, expanded focus on value has become the top trend in full and quick-service restaurants.

From Fast Casual:

Everywhere consumers turn, retailers and restaurateurs are touting the value of a dollar. That doesn’t mean all fast casuals are going by way of McDonald’s and Burger King, but it does mean operators are recognizing the importance of strategically priced menu items.

Quiznos, Boston Market, Togo’s, Daphne’s Greek Café and Moe’s Southwest Grill have all within the past year launched menu items priced at $5 or less.

Fast casual operators have built their businesses and their reputations on quality products, distinctive atmospheres and décor. And more recently, reduced portion sizes have played a role in the shaping of fast casual menu items.

Moe’s launched its Joey Jr. value meal in early January for the price of $4.99. The meal, which features a snaller portion size than its other menu items, includes chips, salsa and a drink.

“We definitely don’t want to compete with QSRs and we feel like, for us, the way Moe’s defines value is the quality of the products as well as the portion size,” said Sara Riggsby, Moe’s director of marketing. “In terms of pricing strategy, it helps people keep us in mind as a place where they can eat affordably, but it’s also not trying to compete with the dollar menu because we’ve got a quality product.”

The Joey Jr. – once a staple on Moe’s kids’ menu – has moved to the adult section, where it will remain until the value meal deal ends in February.

“We found a lot of adults were ordering kids’ meals,” Riggsby said. “We wanted to make it easier on the adults and also provide a kids’ portion, so we reduced the kids’ meal size as well. It also allowed us to lower the price for the kids’ item.”