March 6, 2012

Publishing News

Forbes, Bloomberg Face Off on World’s Richest Lists
Bloomberg’s launch of Billionaires Index, updated daily, was timed to steal thunder from Forbes’s Fortune 400 and new 262-page issue tracking 1,000+ billionaires, says Post. Forbes fighting back by announcing Billionaire Wealth Ticker with daily updates on 100 richest, plus plan to later this year have profiles of 130K richest updated in real time on its site.  

Conde Nast, MSLO Tablet Apps Among Best-Rated
By McPheters & Co.’s iMonitor service, which rates tablet apps based on design, functionality, use of rich media. Top-rated among U.S. brands include Allure, Bloomberg Businessweek+, Golf Digest, GQ, Martha Stewart Everyday Food, Martha Stewart Living, National Geographic, Newsweek, People, Self, Wired. 

Bloomberg Expanding Tech Coverage
Launching tech vertical (going live today), new blogs, creating original video content. 
Fast Company

Time Magazine, Foursquare Partner on Political Conventions
Time will offer Foursquare users who check in from Republican and Democratic national conventions access to editorially curated list of must-attend events, convention tips and historical facts. 

Publishers Increasing Profits Despite Lower Sales
Both AAP data and financials from individual publishers increasingly point to publishers finding ways to improve earnings, margins despite slight declines in total revenue, as increases in digital sales fall short of offsetting print sales declines. 
Publishers Weekly

Independent Publishers Helping Indie Book Retailers
Algonquin, Sourcebooks among those creating programs to help indie bookstores increase e-book sales. Some indie retailers think they may need their own reader device to gain meaningful share.

Publishers Weekly 

Tablets’ Distractions Affect Book Reading
Tablet links to videos, apps, the Web etc. “tempt” e-book readers. Some publishers concerned that the altered reading experience could make books lose share to other media; others hopeful tablets will win new book readers. 


Retail News

Tesco: Fresh & Easy Must Generate Returns
Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told Financial Times that reaching break-even on Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in U.S. (expected this year or next) must be followed by generating strong returns, which is “where we are starting to focus our efforts now.” 

Nash Finch Buys Bag ‘N Save Chain
NF’s U Save Foods subsidiary acquires 12-store chain (locations in Omaha and York, Neb.) from private owner.  

Supermarkets Launch Tornado Relief Efforts
ValuMarket, Martin’s, Kroger among those partnering with Red Cross on fund-raising and other disaster-relief efforts. P&G’s Tide and Duracell also lending assistance. 

Winn-Dixie Shareholders to Vote on Bi-Lo Merger
On Friday. Merger expected to close shortly after an affirmative vote. Unclear whether headquarters will be in W-D’s Jacksonville, Fla. location or Bi-Lo’s Greenville, S.C. location; some presence in both locales expected. 

Post-Recession Consumer Behaviors: Retail Plusses, Minuses
Continuing recession-driven consumer behavior changes, reduced net worth likely to continue benefiting private labels. “Aspirational” purchases could continue to be delayed, though some delayed big-ticket item purchases likely to pick up with economy, says WSJ analysis. 

Moody’s Upgrades Roundy’s Debt Rating
From negative to stable, based on reduction in existing debt following IPO. 
Supermarket News

Tests Find Carcinogens in Caramel-Colored Sodas
Center for Science in the Public Interest says its tests found higher-than-allowed levels of 4-MI in some samples of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr Pepper sodas. PepsiCo said it’s switched to a caramel coloring with lower 4-MI levels in California and will roll out to rest of country. CSPI again petitioning FDA to ban colorings that contain 4-MI.

Apple Leads ‘Most-Admired’ Companies
Apple leads Fortune’s new list of 50 companies named as most-admired by business people. Others in top 10: Google, Amazon, Coca-Cola, IBM, FedEx, Berkshire Hathaway, Starbucks, P&G, Southwest Airlines. Costco at #20, Wal-Mart #24, Target #25, Whole Foods #28. 

Venture to Bring NFC Mobile Commerce to Millions of Checkouts
Agreement between VeriFone Systems and Isis (joint venture among AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless) will integrate Isis Mobile Commerce App in current, future NFC-enabled product lines. VeriFone is in use by 70% of the top 200 retail companies in the U.S.; 1M+ NFC-capable VeriFone MX Solutions systems already deployed in the U.S.  

March 8 Designated ‘What’s on MyPlate?’ Day
6,000 USDA partners and Produce for Better Health Foundation to run promotions to raise national awareness of Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, MyPlate icon. 
Progressive Grocer

Coupon Provider Launches Facebook Tool has launched “Like Rewards,” integrated into Catalina’s multi-channel offerings. Helps Facebook users find deals faster; lets marketers better measure in-store impact of Facebook relationships. 

Kmart Offers Double Coupons Through March
Rewards members who buy $25 or more in grocery and drugstore merchandise can redeem double the savings value of manufacturer coupons, up to $1. 

NPD: Shoppers Mastering ‘Showrooming’
Finds 15%-20% of consumers now visiting retailers to assess look/performance of items that have tech element and a fairly high price tag (electric knives, sewing machines, power tools, hairsetters, etc.), then comparison shopping and buying online. But NPD says retailers can leverage this in-store traffic through cross-channel efforts that capture the purchases on their own sites. 
Marketing Daily

Is Amazon Considering an E-Book Policy Change?
Asked by PE if its decision to sell forthcoming biographies acquired by James Atlas through all e-tailers reflects a change in its stance of selling Amazon-published e-books exclusively through its own site, Amazon said to “stay tuned.”

Opinion: Amazon’s Physical Store May Offer Opportunities for Others
Even the giant e-tailer is recognizing that customers sometimes want a real-life, tactile experience. Kyle Priest of digital marketing/tech agency Crown argues that independents should be able to benefit both by differentiating themselves from Amazon and embracing parts of its model. 

Dr. Pepper Snapple Tests 5 New Reduced-Cal Sodas
Like Dr Pepper 10, new versions of 7Up, A&W, Canada Dry, RC and Sunkist have 10 calories per 12-oz. serving. 

Diet Mountain Dew Gets Increased Marketing
The well-performing PepsiCo brand is getting its own tagline, marketing manager, more marketing spend, and is taking over sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR car from Pepsi’s Amp brand. 
Ad Age

Gum Showing Fast Growth
Global gum market projected to show CARG of 4.9% over next five years (5.7% in developing markets), to reach $23.1B by 2017. 

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