Tag Archives: Retail

Retailers Fight Exile From Gmail In-Boxes

Reporting for the New York Times Claire Miller and Stephanie Clifford address Gmail’s new inbox interface and its effect on retailers.

For Google, it’s another moneymaking avenue (note the ads that look like e-mails that now appear at the top of the promotions folder). Also, the company says it wants to fix e-mail overload.

Yet any tiny change that the Internet giant makes has cascading effects for businesses across the Web.

“I don’t like it,” said Ada Polla, chief executive of Alchimie Forever, a skin care brand. “My guess would be that you might log on to your Gmail 20 times a day, and look at promotions once a week.”

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Jeff Bezos Is Bad News

Writing in The New Republic Senior Editor Alec MacGillis takes an informed and critical stance against the purchase of The Washington Post by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

…let’s not kid ourselves here: The company that made him one of the richest men in the world has had a less than benign impact on our nation. It has devastated the publishing industry, from the big presses to the small booksellers. It has exacerbated the growth of the low-wage economy, to the point where the president feels the need to celebrate an increase in warehouse jobs that will pay barely more than minimum wage. (Fun fact uncovered by the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. two years ago: Instead of paying for air-conditioning at some Pennsylvania warehouses, Amazon had just stationed paramedics outside to take the inevitably heat-stressed workers to the hospital.)

More generally, Amazon has embodied, more than any other of the giants that rule our new landscape, the faster-cheaper-further mindset that scratches away daily at our communal fabric: Why bother running down to the store around the block if you can buy it with a click? No risk of running into someone on the way and actually having to talk to them, and hey, can you beat that price? No thought given to the externalities that make that price possible…

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How Dick’s Sporting Goods Can become less limp: Great Commercial, Lackluster Brand

It’s hard not to get amped up to rapid fire athletic feats set to the theme of Rudy.

This new commercial stirs up our inner beast, but once we realize the ad is for Dick’s Sporting Goods…the climax becomes a harsh letdown.

I’m glad Dick’s spent money on a polished and compelling ad.  It’s one of the better commercials I have seen in a while.

But why does the brand not inspire the way the commercial does?

A problem facing big-box stores is an utter lack of loyalty. Perhaps you swear by a certain pair of Reeboks or can’t live without your Under Armour longsleeve. Dick’s only happens to sell those things, it doesn’t make them. The store’s prices are rarely as low as what you can find online. Is their customer service so outstanding that you would forgo cheaper options?

According to Forbes, the company is looking to focus more on sport equipment and to increase its online sales, which currently amounts to only 6% of total revenue.

For student athletes on a budget, or adult consumers trying to pick up some sneaks or a racket, Dicks could become the go-to online source. If the company tweaks its image a bit, it could harness the allure of physical prowess — the way Nike and Under Armour do.

1) Change that hideous Logo. It looks like it belongs to a 4th grader’s “sports” themed bunk
bed. Give us something primal, something harsh, something that resembles human exertion.
2) Sign a baller athlete to rep the brand. Make me want to go to to your store, check out
your site, and buy your things. We look up to athletes and will spend money to be like
3) Change your name, or stop going by your full name. DSG is less vulnerable to puns.

Right now Dick’s is just a giant box. It sells sports goods, among other things, and resonates about as well as Rooms To Go or CompUSA (= barf). With some work, though Dick’s can avoid being just another store, like The Sports Authority, and instead become something closer to that Untouchable commercial.

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