After years of testing, research scientists in Illinois have created a new fabric from corn. Tate & Lyle, the food-ingredient company behind the breakthrough, is building a plant in Tennessee, and should have the fabric in commercial production this fall.
The corn-based fiber will be used by DuPont Co. to make Sorona, a supersoft, stain-resistant fabric that executives say “could be the next nylon.” Continue Reading Science breakthrough: new corn-based fabric
Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain based on revenue, posted an increase in prescription drug sales during the third quarter, citing the Medicare drug benefit program as the source.
The company reported a 14 percent increase in third-quarter earnings with a steady expansion program. New stores are on record pace, with 475 opened during fiscal 2006, and plans for 500 more in fiscal 2007. Continue Reading Baby-boomer members are Walgreen’s darlings
When three major retailers — Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s — began eliminating their petite departments, women protested. And it seems like more than a few retailers have noticed.
Petite sizes hit the retail scene in the early 1990s to meet consumer demand, but were far from stylish. Retailers are just now beginning to understand the petite market. Continue Reading Retailers re-evaluating how best to reach petites
Customers who prefer the self-checkout in stores can now take care of themselves at many major hotel chains, which are offering do-it-yourself kiosks.
Thirty-seven Hiltons provide self-service machines for guests to check flight information and print out boarding passes, as well as check themselves into and out of the hotel. Continue Reading Hotels following airports, retailers into self-service
The red Easy Button has made Staples the runaway leader in office retail.
The five-year branding campaign began in 2001 and has helped make Staples a $16.1 billion business. In 2005, the company’s profit was up 18 percent to $834 million. Second-place Office Depot booked 2005 earnings of just $274 million, an 18 percent slide, and OfficeMax posted a loss of $73.8 million. Continue Reading An ad campaign made easy for Staples stores
During the past 18 months, Wendy’s, the No. 3 fast-food chain, has faced challenges ranging from new product flops to marketing nightmares. Perhaps it’s still recovering from the 2002 death of a marketing icon, founder Dave Thomas, who appeared in more than 800 commercials.
Thanks to the rollout of its Frescata deli sandwiches, April was the first month during the past 14 that saw sales growth compared to a year earlier. While sales grew just 0.4 percent at stores open at least a year (known as same-store sales), the psychological boost for Wendy’s was huge. Continue Reading Rollout flops, marketing woes pin down Wendy’s
The discount cards cluttering consumer’s key chains play a vital part in getting the coupons and products shoppers want while boosting sales at supermarkets and drugstores.
These loyalty cards are used as research tools for what’s called “data mining,” the same tool used by the National Security Agency in culling through Americans’ telephone records to uncover terrorist plots. Continue Reading ‘Data mining’: Marketing tool or invasion of privacy?
When RadioShack Corp. closed 480 stores, the company’s plan was to freshen its merchandise offerings. Part of the new look will include a return to selling televisions, flat-panel TVs, that is.
Televisions were phased out of RadioShack’s in 2002 to make room for smaller items. And the electronics retailer has no illusions about how long it might take to lure in its new target market. Continue Reading Will flat-screen TVs boost RadioShack's flat sales?
The National Retail Federation welcomed a study showing that it costs retailers $6.8 billion annually to collect state and local sales taxes across the nation. The group says the study could help merchants in their long-sought goal of receiving appropriate compensation for the collection costs.
The study, conducted by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, found that retailers’ cost of collecting sales tax – from training personnel to filing paperwork – amounts to an average of 3.09 percent of the amount of tax collected, or $6.8 billion annually nationwide. Continue Reading Price of collecting sales tax approaches $7 billion
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will start selling build-your-own-computer components in more than one-third of its U.S. stores this month.
While the discount retailer has been blamed for bankruptcies in sectors ranging from groceries to toys, analysts say it is unlikely that Wal-Mart will pose much of a threat to the likes of Dell Inc. Continue Reading Dell likely not sweating Wal-Mart’s custom PCs