Investors liked what they heard from Genesco executives in a Tuesday sales update — despite it coming with a slightly lower profit outlook — and promptly pushed shares of the shoe and hat seller (Ticker: GCO) up more than 8 percent to their highest point in three months. CEO Bob Dennis said Genesco's Lids stores continue to struggle versus a year ago but that e-commerce sales are growing robustly across the company's divisions.
The comparable sales trend so far in January has strengthened, but the planned two-week delay in the commencement of federal tax refunds recently announced by the IRS will likely shift some significant portion of sales from the last week of January into the first quarter of the new fiscal year. Partly as a result of this sales shift, we now expect adjusted earnings per share from the low end to the middle of our most recently announced guidance range for the year.
Nicholas Holland's Populr.me micropublishing venture has moved 700 clients into the beta phase of its product and is preparing to go fully live in January. Soon after, Holland tells Milt Capps, he'll hit the road for up to $2 million in venture capital.
Populr tracks responses to addressees who receive its POPs, and it accommodates embedded media (for example, YouTube and GoogleCharts), but it does not offer e-mail or e-commerce functionality. Holland contends Populr is a complement, rather than a competitor to offerings from such local local companies as campaign marketer Emma or content-management solutions providers Bondware and SiteMason.
A California judge has thrown out a lawsuit by Louisiana-Pacific that said competitor James Hardie Siding Products had infringed on its trademarks and interfered with its business. Nashville-based LP had said that James Hardie's' practice of paying Google to redirect Web searchers who had keyed in LP product names was illegal, but Eric Goldman writes on Forbes.com that District Court Judge Samuel Conti didn't buy it for a second.
Hey trademark owners, want to “own” those consumers? Tough, you can’t. However, you can nevertheless win their fickle dollars by consistently delivering good value to consumers. Pouring shovelfuls of cash into meritless litigation doesn’t really advance that goal. Meanwhile, ten years from now, we’re going to look back at the keyword advertising lawsuits being brought today–knowing all that we already know RIGHT NOW–and scoff at the futility and waste.
Two-year-old Just A Pinch Recipe Club, the brainchild of serial media entrepreneur Dan Hammond, hit a big milestone recently when a Pennsylvania woman posted the 100,000th recipe to the website. That's 30,000 more than the site had last December.
Hammond credits the rapid content growth in large part to the network’s “stickiness.” Users call the site the “Facebook of recipes” and spend upwards of 17 minutes per session with up to 50 percent visiting the site one to three times or more per day. That ranges from 5 to 8.5 hours on average per month, which rivals or even exceeds some of the largest horizontal social networks including Facebook, Pinterest and others.
Brite Revolution announced Wednesday the integration and launch of e-commerce to its existing music discovery and curation website.
Since 2008, Nashville-based Brite has offered free music to subscribers, along with music editorial and exclusive video content. With the addition of e-commerce features, Brite now stands as a “multi-tiered marketing tool for independent artists around the world to acquire and build a meaningful fan base and generate revenue,” Brite officials said in a release.
At no cost, a musician can create a Brite Artist OneSheet — an "at-a-glance" overview of that artist, consisting of photos, videos, social network information and a brief bio, along with an embeddable, commerce-enabled music player that allows fans to stream, download and purchase music. Once created, the artists provide two free songs and can set their own price for everything else. There are no monthly fees or subscription fees for artists using Brite.
With Brite covering credit card transaction fees, artists who sell music on Brite keep a 85 percent of their revenue. Brite’s editorial features, free music samplers and custom video and social content all draw upon Artist OneSheets.
“With iTunes alone holding more than 28 million songs, our current digital music marketplace is saturated with music content,” Winn Elliott, CEO and founder of Brite Revolution, said in a release. “We quickly realized that there is a clear connection between our successful discovery and curation site and putting money directly in the artists’ pocket.”
Local entrepreneurs Paul Ketchel and Clyde Spencer have launched a Web-based service that aims to give self-pay patients and those with high-deductible insurance plans the ability to compare and save on their health care spending.
MDSave lets patients privately compare the cost of medical procedures offered by area physicians, who post their total prices to the site. The service is now available in Tennessee and plans to expand to several other cities in the next year.
“We created MDSave.com to solve two major problems in the U.S. healthcare system,” said Ketchel, who is CEO. “First, to dramatically reduce the cost patients are paying for health care and second, to significantly decrease the long payment cycles medical providers endure waiting for reimbursement.”
Spencer also is managing partner and CEO of Great South Surgical Solutions, which markets medical equipment and lab services. Ketchel is a former lobbyist who is married to the daughter of Marsha Blackburn.
The growing retail trend of showrooming — checking out the goods in person, then buying online — has many industry execs shifting uncomfortably in their chairs. (It's been cited as one of the main reasons Best Buy is struggling.) But MTSU marketing professor Don Roy says companies can take a page from Apple and push to own the shopping experience.
The challenge is how to take advantage of the trend of showrooming instead of falling victim to it. Yes, certain defensive responses can be taken like downsizing square footage and increasing product assortments online. But, play offense, too.
The VitalSource division of Ingram Content Group has begun to work on an e-book system with South Africa's Van Schaik bookselling group, which runs a library division, 55 retail stores and an e-commerce platform. Things should be in place by mid-summer.