Tag Archives: trends

What Happened to The Limited?

19 Jan

After more than 50 years, youth-oriented women’s apparel retailer The Limited has announced that it is shutting all of its 255 stores and will focus on its online business going forward. Some experts, the retailer will be sold or shut in the not-so-distant future.

Click the image to see the sales now available online.


What happened? As reported by PYMNTS.com:

“According to Fortune, Sun Capital Partners sent a letter to investors explaining that it had invested 1.8 times its $50 million investment in Limited stores. The disclosure outlines how the private equity firm will still be able to garner a profit from the investment, despite the fact that the equity value of Limited has been written down to zero.”

“’We have worked very hard and made significant investments over nine years to improve operations and create a sustainable business at the Limited,’ Sun Capital told Reuters in an E-mailed statement. ‘In an increasingly challenging environment for mall-based retail and women’s apparel, we are very disappointed that the company has had to make the difficult decision to close its retail locations.’” 

“All brick-and-mortar locations of the Limited were closed effective Jan. 8. The Limited’s web site continues to display deep discounts and a change in the return policy: ‘All sales are final.’ However, it’s not clear how long the retailer will continue to sell items online.”

 

2017 Global Economics Interview with Hof Prof

5 Jan

Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business Distinguished Professor Joel Evans was recently interviewed by the award-winning Hofstra radio station WHRU about the upcoming 2017 global economy. Here is that EIGHT-minute interview. The views are those of Professor Evans and not Hofstra University.

[Please pardon all the sighs. Professor Evans is not in a state of distress, only in a state of bronchitis. 🙂 ]

 

 

Technology and Planned Obsolescence

27 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we are going to present some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, we cover the topic of planned obsolescence.

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As defined in Evans Berman’s Marketing: “Planned obsolescence is a marketing practice that capitalizes on short-run material wearout, style changes, and functional product changes. In material planned obsolescence, firms choose materials and components that are subject to comparatively early breakage, wear, rot, or corrosion. In style planned obsolescence, a firm makes minor changes to differentiate the new year’s offering from the prior year’s. With functional planned obsolescence, a firm introduces new product features or improvements to generate consumer dissatisfaction with currently owned products.”

In recent years, NO company has applied planned obsolescence more than Apple. Yes, this practice has led to rapid advances in the technology of music players, tablets, and smartphones. But, does Apple’s philosophy also spur consumers to buy new product versions that they don’t need?

Apple has recently been criticized for its planned obsolescence strategy. Do YOU agree with this criticism?

Consider these observations by Catherine Rampell, writing for the New York Times:

“The new software and recent app updates from Apple offer fancy new features that existing users want; maybe the battery is sealed with tiny five-point screws for aesthetic considerations. Perhaps, but this isn’t the first time that tech analysts and random crazies on the Internet have noted that breakdowns in older Apple products can often coincide with when upgrades come onto the market. Many have taken this as evidence of ‘planned obsolescence,’ a term that dates to the Great Depression, when a real-estate broker suggested that the government should stimulate the economy by placing artificial expiration dates on consumer products so people would buy more.”

“There is, however, a simple way to effectively render an old product obsolete without fleecing your existing customers. Instead of degrading the old model, companies can offer innovations in the new model that make upgrading irresistible. Apple succeeded at doing this for a while, offering new iPhones that included major improvements. In the past, consumers were so excited about the cool new features, like Siri, the voice-activated interface, that they may not have minded (or even noticed) if their old phones started to deteriorate; they planned on upgrading anyway. This time around, that’s less true. The iPhone 5S and 5C offer fewer quantum improvements. Consumers are more likely to want their old phones to continue working at peak condition in perpetuity, and to feel cheated when they don’t.”

[Note from Evans on Marketing: Many consumers still believe that Apple practices planned obsolescence with its latest lines of phones, tablets, and computers. In 2016, for the first time in years, had a quarterly sales drop. Do YOU agree or disagree?]

 

 
Click the image to read more.

Illustration by Kelsey Dake

 

Congratulations Hofstra Marketing

26 Dec

The Marketing Faculty in the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University is proud that our programs are included in TWO new 2017 rankings by College Choice, which “is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. We publish rankings and reviews that make choosing the best college easier, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.”
 

Top 50 Bachelor’s in Marketing Programs for 2017

“Marketing managers—as well as their close cousins, advertising and promotions managers—generate interest in products and services. They work with just about everyone in an organization to do one thing really well: getting the word out! That’s not always as easy as it sounds. In order to get the word out, marketers have to understand what their promoting as well as the demand that’s out there for it—or in some cases, isn’t out there at all!There’s also the question of competition—in order to succeed, you have to know your enemy, and marketers will have intimate knowledge of their competitors’ products and services as well in order to best position themselves for success. They are also media wizards who use all sorts of mediums and platforms to get their message out.”

“There’s good news for the future of this profession, too. Nearly all sectors of marketing are slated to grow between 5 and 9 percent over the next several years according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and pay continues to look rewarding with median annual wages holding steady between $95,000 and $130,000 per year. Not too shabby!”

Number 36: “Through Hofstra’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business, students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing. Dual degree programs are also available, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at an accelerated pace. Regardless of the degree program, Hofstra’s Department of Marketing & International Business provides exposure to award-winning faculty, internships with well-known companies in a variety of industries, and study abroad options.”

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Top 35 Master’s in Marketing Programs for 2017

“From building an entire brand ethos to developing a network of relationships with people equally committed to innovative and sustainable progress, a career in marketing has literally innumerable possibilities. The degree can be applied to nearly every aspect of the business industry as well as the non-profit, government, health, and education sectors. Whatever your passion, marketing can be easily combined with it.”

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 19 percent growth in marketing research analysis in the next ten years, and a 9 percent growth in marketing management. On average, those with bachelors degrees in marketing make around $62,000 annually; however, for those who go on to get a masters degree—either in marketing specifically, or a MBA with specialization in marketing—those numbers easily double. In juxtaposing the job growth with the return on investment, it becomes clear that obtaining a graduate degree in marketing will serve you now and in the long run.”

Number 29: “Marketing graduate students, working toward a Masters of Science in Marketing, at Hofstra University take classes on distribution, internet marketing, social media utilization, marketing across cultures, analytics, customer behavior, innovation and new product marketing, business-to-business marketing, and sustainability marketing. Most notably, Hofstra students are prepared to become leaders in middle- to upper-level positions in an range of business settings. The program at Hofstra is unique in its emphasis on diversity and global perspective. Students are taught to communicate effectively, whatever the setting, to work well in teams, and to evaluate the social and ethical responsibilities of marketing in business organizations. They are also able to work and study outside of the traditional classroom and participate in several of real-world projects.”

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Best Business Decisions Ever?

19 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we are going to present some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, we cover our MOST popular post ever.

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In 2012, a book titled The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time was published. This book is by Verne Harnish (CEO of Gazelles) and the editors of Fortune.

As Fortune’s Brian Dumaine said:

“Once in a great while a leader makes a truly game-changing decision that shifts not only the strategy of a single company but how everyone does business as well. These big decisions are counter-intuitive — they go against the conventional wisdom. In hindsight, taking a different direction may seem easy, but these bet-the-company moves involve drama, doubt, and high tension. What made Apple’s board bring back Steve Jobs to the company?”

“What motivated Henry Ford to double the wages of his autoworkers, and how did that change the American economy for the next century? Why did Intel decide to spend millions to brand a microchip? The following stories, adapted from the new book The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time, provide the background to these pivotal moments. You’ll learn how these groundbreaking decisions have shaped the thinking of today’s top leaders.”

 
Click the image to read the introduction of the book. [Please note: Since the publication of the original post, Fortune has removed its excerpts. However, the book introduction may be accessed from Amazon. After clicking the book cover below, wait for the pages to fully load; then scroll down to the introduction (which starts at p. 27). It is VERY interesting.]


 
What other “big” business decisions would YOU cite besides those noted?
 

What Is the State of Global Fashion?

6 Dec

Around the world, the fashion industry — at all levels and for all segments — is a key driver of the global economy. It generates trillions (that’s trillions 🙂 ) of dollars of revenue and employs millions of workers.

Recently, McKinsey & Company released a detailed report on the global fashion industry. Here are some of its findings:

“Fashion is one of the past decade’s rare economic success stories. Over that period, the industry has grown at 5.5 percent annually, according to the McKinsey Global Fashion Index, to now be worth an estimated $2.4 trillion. In fact, not only does it touch everyone, but it would be the world’s seventh-largest economy if ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP.”

“Yet, 2016 was one of the industry’s toughest years. Terrorist attacks in France, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and the volatility of the Chinese stock market have created shocks to the global economy. At the same time, consumers have become more demanding, more discerning, and less predictable in their purchasing behavior, which is being radically reshaped by new technologies. It’s against this backdrop that McKinsey has teamed with the Business of Fashion to shine a light on the fragmented, complex ecosystem that underpins this giant global industry.”

“So what will change in 2017? No one would put money on volatility and uncertainty lessening. Nonetheless, our report finds that fashion companies are hopeful they can improve their performance through a combination of organic growth and leveraging new technologies. Successful companies will invest more to nurture local clientele: 2017 will be the year of organic growth by deepening relationships with existing clients, rather than through geographic, channel, and store-network expansion. And digital innovation will go behind the scenes: digitization will be the key to supply-chain efficiency, lowering procurement costs, and the enhancement of sourcing opportunities.”

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To access the full report, click on the image below.

 

Not Trying to Keep Scaring You About Online Security, But …

30 Nov

Yes, we at Evans on Marketing have made a number of posts about about online security, privacy, identity theft, and related issues. We’re not really trying to scare you, but we are trying to get you to be more alert and to protect yourself better online. That’s why we we’ve posted several tips, such as: 1, 2, 3 (a short video quiz),  and 4 (video tips).

So, here’s another alert for YOU!!  🙂 

Recently, AV-Test, a nonprofit organization that monitors online security, published its latest report. To grasp the highlights of this report more easily, TechRepublic has summarized what it considers to the top four points made by AV-Test:

  1. “Android is becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats — While the majority of malware deployed in 2015 and 2016 targeted Windows, the most widely-used operating system in the world, Android is increasingly under fire as well. Malware attacks on Android platforms jumped from about 3% in 2015 to nearly 7.5% in 2016. Though it seems like a fairly small percentage jump, it represents an increase of millions of attacks, and marks ‘a significant trend away from Windows and towards Android,’ the report stated.”
  2. “Mac’s security fortress is just an illusion — Many Apple Mac users believe that the devices cannot be infected with a virus—even those using Macs in the enterprise, the report stated. And compared to Windows, the number of malware programs attacking Apple’s Mac platform is tiny: Just 819 malware threats targeted Macs in 2015. [Due to the small percentage of Macs in the marketplace — which remain at a 7.5 percent market share as of the date of this post.] However, that does not mean that these attacks were not serious. Plus, attackers would not need to program a large number of malware applications to obtain data from Mac users, as they rarely have antivirus solutions installed, the report said.” [Is this YOU?]
  3. “The rise of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) — A new cyber risk comes in the form of potentially unwanted applications (PUA), which are deployed by the advertising industry to track personal information on user and movement patterns, and to then display personalized advertising without the consent of the user. PUA represented nearly one-third of the online risks in 2015, the report stated, and are steadily increasing.”
  4. “The top 10 Windows malware of Q1/Q2 2016 — More than 85% of malware attacks occurred on Windows machines in 2015, with that number dropping to 67% in 2016. Some 12 million new Windows malware programs enter the market each month, the report found. Here are the top 10 malware for Windows to keep an eye out for.”


 
Click here to access the full AV-Test report. Click here to access the TechRepublic synopsis.
 

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