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June 13, 2019

Publishing News


Conde International Launches Vogue Business Talent
FIPP: "Condé Nast International announced the launch of Vogue Business Talent, a curated recruitment platform for professionals seeking opportunities with the world’s leading fashion brands. The new platform, launching with selected opportunities in London, New York, Paris, Milan and Hong Kong forms part of Vogue Business, the online B2B publication launched in January 2019. The platform enables companies to showcase their career opportunities, tell brand stories that resonatewith prospective employees, and manage responses to their advertised roles, addressing issues of both quality and volume.“Condé Nast International has long united the world’s leading fashion brands with exceptional talent” says Wolfgang Blau, president of Condé Nast International, “from identifying emerging designers, to training the next generation of professionals at the Condé Nast Colleges in London and Madrid. Our new Vogue Business Talent platform will tap into Condé Nast International’s unrivalled network on all continents to support the fashion industry in finding the right talent. ”Candidates can create a professional profile on voguebusiness.com/talent to explore a selection of curated roles and be discovered by the world’s leading fashion brands. Registered users can network and learn from Vogue Business Talent brand partners and the platform’s community of professionals via live events and meetups.Vogue Business Talent is headquartered at Condé Nast International in London and led by Alistair Williams, a marketing and employer branding expert and former director at Guardian Jobs.“We aim to unite the best international talent with the most exciting companies,” says Alistair Williams. “Our platform builds on the quality journalism of Vogue Business and creates a valued resource for our partner brands to communicate their culture, values and employer proposition to reach that elusive, high-quality talent. For talent, there’s the opportunity to discover roles, be discovered by exclusive companies and be part of the wider community with associated events and benefits.”The Talent platform is the second project from the Condé Nast International Business Development team, following Vogue Business. It reflects the growing global online recruitment market – projected to reach US$34.5bn by the end of 2023, according to Orbis Research. Developed over six months, Vogue Business Talent’s beta offering was tested with 10 selected brands, including Matchesfashion.com, Harrods, Louis Vuitton and Pink Shirtmaker, and attracted over 8,000 international professionals.“Vogue Business Talent was developed using audience research and feedback from both fashion professionals and brands. This allowed us to get to know our audience intimately and build something they value, while staying true to the Vogue DNA of discovering and celebrating talent,” says Ciara Byrne, director of business development at Condé Nast International"...
 
FIPP 

Meredith Announces Employee Excellence Winners
Meredith release: Meredith Corp. announced the 2019 winners of its editorial and marketing employee excellence awards, recognizing achievement during the past calendar year. Each winning group receives $3,000 in prize money to divide among its nominees. Industry experts in the marketing and editorial fields unaffiliated with Meredith served as judges. Among the editorial winners: Katie Holdefehr, Lauren Phillips, Stephanie Sisco for Cover of the Year, for InStyle's August 2018 "Real Simple Home" issue cover. Release lists all of the winners.
 

Big Agency Forecasts Downgraded for 2019
MediaPost: "The global advertising marketplace will expand 4.4% in 2020, according to a consensus of two leading ad agency forecasts. But the outlook for 2019 has been revised downward to a growth rate of about 3.5%. GroupM today revised its worldwide media-spending forecast for 2019 down to a growth rate of 3.4% vs. the 3.6% rate it projected in December 2018. On Wednesday, Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) revised its 2019 global ad-growth projection down to 3.6% from the 3.8% rate it projected in January. While DAN also revised its 2020 outlook down two-tenths of a point to +4.1%, GroupM revised its 2020 outlook up three-tenths to a 4.7%, making the two-agency consensus about +4.4% for 2020. “While the economic foundations supporting the advertising industry are somewhat fragile at this time, growth trends are holding up for now,” GroupM Global President of Business Intelligence Brian Wieser wrote in a blog post."
 

Axel Springer Selling to KKR; Will Merge Business insider, eMarketer in 2020
MarketWatch: As expected, PE firm KKR & Co. has agreed to buy German media company Axel Springer for 6.8B Euros ($7.7B)… Friede Springer, widow of the media company's namesake founder who controls 42.6% of the company's shares, and Chief Executive Matthias Döpfner, who owns 2.8%, will retain their shares and continue to be involved in Axel Springer to the same extent as before, the company said.The size of KKR's stake will depend on how many minority shareholders accept its offer"... Reuters: "Axel Springer said on Thursday it would combine the operations of its two main U.S. units, millennial-focused financial news site Business Insider and market researcher eMarketer. The news comes as private-equity house KKR readies an offer to buy out minority shareholders in Springer for 63 euros a share, supporting its main owners who want to take the company private and pursue long-term growth.Insider Inc. and eMarketer Inc. will join forces on Jan. 1, 2020, and Insider CEO Henry Blodget will head the merged operation, Springer said in a statement"...
 

Harlequin Unveils New Film,TV Arm
PW: "In a move to bring its content to more screens—big and small—Harlequin has launched Harlequin Studios. Harlequin CEO and publisher Craig Swinwood said the studio will aim to "expand the reach and breadth of our author franchises to grow beyond the book market while cultivating new fans through the development of a robust movie catalogue.”To be overseen by executive v-p Brent Lewis, Harlequin Studios will draw on IP currently under the publisher’s umbrella, which includes over 30,000 books. The goal of the studio is to better position these titles to be adapted for film and television. To that end, Harlequin Studios has already struck a deal with Canada’s CTV Network, which will adapt the publisher’s content into a series of over 20 made-for-TV movies. The movies will appear on the network’s Drama channel and, per Harlequin, account for over 40 hours of programming that will air in “a Harlequin-branded program block""...
 

Twitch: Favorite New Platform for Publishers
Digiday: "Publishers have been playing more with Twitch — and even, believe it or not, making money off it.As the Amazon-owned live video platform grows its sales team, publishers like The Washington Post, Cheddar and BuzzFeed have invested in creating specific shows catered to the platform over the last year. Publishers said Twitch is useful not only as a way to grow audience numbers but also to learn from a community that’s quite active in the comments. Publishers also can benefit from Twitch’s direct monetization options including in-stream ads and subscriptions"...
 

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:




Retail News


Jet.com Employees Merged Into Walmart.com
Yahoo Finance: "Jet.com will no longer have a dedicated president as a result. As part of the reshuffling, current Jet.com President Simon Belsham will exit in August. Strategy and management of Jet.com will fall to Kieran Shanahan, who currently leads Walmart’s food and consumables business online. A source close to the matter said there will be no layoffs. The Jet.com website is also expected to stay open. Its headquarters will still be based in Hoboken, NJ and not relocated to to Walmart’s base in Bentonville, Ark. “Jet continues to be a very valuable brand to us, and it is playing a specific role in helping Walmart reach urban customers. The focus has largely been on New York so far, and we’re looking at other cities where we might bring together Jet’s expertise and the scale and operating model of Walmart. More to come on that,” Lore said. The world's largest retailer acquired Jet.com in 2016 for $3B in cash. While some on Wall Street viewed the purchase price as lofty at the time, there is no denying the impact Lore and the Jet.com folks have had on Walmart since the deal closed. Not only have the Jet.com people infused Walmart’s once slow-moving digital ranks with fresh thinking and speed, but Lore has fueled a rollout of Amazon-attacking same-day delivery services while meaningfully improving the online and mobile shopping experiences.Walmart’s online sales have surged pretty much every quarter after the Jet.com deal closed. So, having their team work closer with Walmart may not be a bad thing at all"...
 

PG Annual Report: Labor Issues Top Grocers' Concerns
PG: Advancements in technology and evolution in the way consumers shop continue to disrupt all levels of retailing. But amid the rapid change, grocery executives responding to Progressive Grocer’s annual survey say that the issue keeping them up most at night is labor — namely, the recruitment, retention, diversity and training of their workforces.It’s the second year in a row that talent issues have topped this list after rising from second place in 2017 to first in 2018. About three-quarters of all respondents named talent as their No. 1 concern, evenly shared among larger and smaller operators... The second most-important issue overall our respondents named was benefits, up from No. 7 a year ago, though it’s clearly more of a concern for smaller operators than larger ones. Likely reasons? A Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and a growing nationwide movement to increase the minimum wage. Competitive threats is in third place, where it slid from its No. 2 spot a year ago. Clearly this continues to be a leading concern among traditional retailers grappling with cross-channel competition, overstored markets, growth among hard discounters like Aldi and Lidl, and the acceleration of ecommerce — which leads right into top concern No. 4: keeping up with advancements in technology"...
 

PG Annual Report: Tech Innovations Now a Top Priority
PG: "Technology remains a key concern, hitting No. 4 on the list of issues that keep retailers up at night in Progressive Grocer’s Annual Report, with 42% citing keeping up with technology as a key concern.Two-thirds of retailers indicated that they planned to increase their technology spend in 2019 to keep up with the rapid pace of change in the industry as consumers increasingly shift their lives online or into the digital realm. Technology upgrades also ranked second for shoppers’ suggestions for investments, according to a PG consumer survey.One of the areas generating the most buzz is the rise of autonomous delivery vehicles. Several grocers, both large (Kroger, Walmart, Stop & Shop) and small (independent grocer BFL Grocery) are preparing to introduce autonomous delivery vehicles in their markets. E-grocer Amazon is testing Scout, a cooler-sized delivery robot. Nearly 8% of retailers indicated that they planned to invest in autonomous delivery vehicles, which should be a wise investment, as more than a quarter of consumers surveyed by PG expressed a desire for their grocery store to offer delivery via autonomous vehicles.Retailers are also turning to technology to determine eco-friendly delivery routes. Farmstead, an online grocer, recently announced its new Sustainable Routes program, which groups together neighbors to receive their groceries on the same day in the same delivery window while offering customers three delivery windows a day. The goal is to get delivery vehicles off the road and reduce carbon emissions.Additionally, Postmates delivery service has introduced Postmates Party, which allows users to see who in their area is ordering from which retailers and to group their deliveries together. Users get free delivery and can feel better about the environmental impact, and Postmates can reduce delivery costs"...
 

Kroger, Ocado Break Ground on First Automated Warehouse
PG: "The Kroger Co. and U.K-based online grocer Ocado have broken ground on an automated customer fulfillment center in Monroe, Ohio, the first of 20 CFCs planned in the U.S. The CFC is a high-tech warehouse, referred to as a "shed," with digital and robotic capabilities designed to improve the experience for Kroger customers. The Ohio location is 335,000 square feet, costs $55M and is bringing more than 400 jobs to the area"...
 

Loblaw Teams With Microsoft on Digital Transformation
SN: "Count Loblaw Cos. as the latest major grocery retailer to partner with Microsoft Corp.Canada’s largest food and drug retailer is leveraging the IT giant’s cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help power its digital transformation, with a focus on developing a more personalized experience for customers, according to Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada.“ To help support their multi-year transformational journey, Microsoft is partnering with Loblaw as they strive to unlock new opportunities with AI, machine learning, data and the cloud,” Peesker said Tuesday in a blog post.Loblaw joins the top five U.S. grocery retailers by sales — Walmart, The Kroger Co., Costco Wholesale Corp., Albertsons Cos. and Ahold Delhaize — as Microsoft cloud customers.The Redmond, Wash.-based tech company unveiled sweeping partnerships with Kroger and Albertsons in January and with Walmart last July to use its Azure cloud platform to help drive their digital initiatives. Costco adopted Azure as its hybrid cloud platform in 2017. Other food and drug retailers using Azure include Walgreens Boots Alliance, which announced a partnership with Microsoft in January, and Giant Eagle.Peesker said Loblaw worked with Microsoft to integrate its AI technology into the retailer’s PC Optimum loyalty program to tailor deals and offers to members based on their online preferences.“We’ve partnered with Microsoft to create digital experiences that not only meet our customers’ expectations, but exceed them,” said David Markwell, senior vice president of information technology at Loblaw.A key objective was to “democratize” customer data stored in siloes, a project that Loblaw and Microsoft were able to accomplish in 90 days, according to Markwell.“With the data already collected but separated into different customer experiences, it made sense to move it all to the cloud and to leverage AI tools to drive results,” Markwell explained. “With AI, I see this democratization of knowledge and ability to make decisions being moved out into the business units.”Using Azure to securely store and process data, Loblaw redesigned its customer data by disassembling the siloed information and then anonymizing and aggregating it to build a feature to customize offers to PC Optimum members at scale.“It allowed us to cross-pollinate user experiences and deliver it to millions of people at once,” said Peter Danforth, vice president of loyalty program strategy and management for Loblaw. “What AI enables us to do is make a decision at a scale that was just impossible before.”By using Microsoft’s cloud and AI solutions to redefine the customer experience, Loblaw was able to develop more personalized deals, making a stronger connection with its shoppers.“Predictive AI can help us to communicate on a one-to-one basis with each customer or provide relevant offerings to each customer,” said Jenny McConvey, director of targeting support and systems at Loblaw.Loblaw is realizing internal benefits from Microsoft’s platform as well. Open-source cloud solutions, for instance, have lifted barrier between departments and enabled staff to work faster and collaborate in new ways. “It’s taking subject matter experts from different areas and bringing them together to work on one project,” noted McConvey.The cloud solutions also have allowed Loblaw to provide its digital teams with a familiar technology toolkit and help them build new skills, including a machine-learning practice"...
 

Walmart, Levi Among Those Helping Employees Build Emergency Funds
WSJ: "A growing number of employers are helping workers start emergency savings accounts, reflecting concern over the impact money problems are having on productivity levels and workers’ ability to retire.Companies including Levi Strauss & Co., SunTrust Banks Inc. and Kroger Co. are encouraging employees to fund emergency accounts, in some cases by offering them cash and other incentives. Others are diverting a portion of employees’ paychecks into rainy-day funds related to their 401(k) plans.The aim: encourage employees to get their finances in order on all fronts"...
 
Wall St. Journal (paid sub req.)

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:


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