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Archive for November, 2013

Balls, Backboards and Now Shoes

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Spalding's Point Forward athletic shoe

Spalding’s Point Forward athletic shoe

SPALDING ATHLETIC SHOES

By Alison A. Nieder | Monday, November 25, 2013

There’s a new shoe on the court.

Spalding, maker of basketball equipment such as backboards and balls is launching a new athletic shoe collection, which will bow next year.

photo

The move to capture a piece of the estimated $13.8 billion athletic shoe market ($75 billion globally), will put the company on track to “become a total solution for the basketball category.”

Spalding basketballs and backboards are found on the courts of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Pro basketball player Mario Chalmers is already on board to endorse the new shoes.

The new footwear collection will feature D30 Pulse Technology, a propriety shock-absorbing design which “cushions and responds to a player’s every move.” Spalding’s “Point Forward” performance shoe has a double wings design inspired by a footwear design from the Spalding archives. The shoes, which will be in stores for Fall 2014, will be retail priced between $80-$120.

Spalding, which is a division of Bowling Green, Ken.–based Russell Brands LLC, hired a pair of footwear veterans to launch the new line. Vice President of Spalding Footwear David Zumbach has held executive positions at Johnston and Murphy, Dockers Footwear, Nautica footwear, Reebok, Rockport and Nike. Spalding’s Vice President of marketing for footwear Steve Sunderland has worked at Ellesse, Kangaroos, Cross Creek Apparel, Reebok and Converse, where was vice president of sports marketing.

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Winter 2013 Greenpeace E-Magazine

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Winter 2013 Greenpeace E-Magazine

As you flip through the pages, please remember that you are Greenpeace.  None of our work to save the planet would be possible without your support.  I thank you again for helping us give the gift of Greenpeace to the world and I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.

For a Green and Peaceful Future,

Phil Radford

Executive Director

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Goodbye Google, Hello Design Thinking NGO

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Posted on November 27, 2013

Karthik Kumar is no stranger to Design Thinking. After majoring in Information Technology for his undergraduate degree, Karthik completed postgraduate work in Business Design, where he focused his studies on design thinking and entrepreneurship. After graduation, he was able to apply the mindset he developed in his studies to improve processes at Google as a Strategist. He credits his ability to empathize as a key skill which enabled him to increase revenue flow and customer happiness.

Karthik Kumar

Karthik Kumar in a “former” life.

While he was happy with his position, “Design Thinking Action Lab,” opened his eyes to new possibilities and prompted him to leave to focus on his passion for Design Thinking. Upon interacting and collaborating with students from around the world, he was inspired by the vast array of perspectives which different people bring to the same problem, and realized he still had much to learn.

Though he has much to learn, he also has much knowledge to spread and is now doing exactly that as an instructor at Design for Change in India. Karthik spends his days teaching students the process of “feel, imagine, do, share,” a slightly modified version of the Stanford d.school’s “empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test.” He believes that it is very powerful to inculcate such thinking at an early age, to enable individuals to recognize challenges and effectively address them.

As part of the program, students from 8th grade onward choose issues which impact them and collaborate to identify and drive solutions. It is exciting to think that there is a growing number of people in the world who take action rather than shrug in helplessness when dissatisfied with the status quo, and we couldn’t be more proud of Karthik for helping to drive that change.

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Thanksgiving online sales top $1 billion for first time

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

 USATODAY

Alistair Barr and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY11:56 a.m. EST November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving online sales came in at $1.06 billion in the U.S., according to Adobe, which analyzed 180 million visits to more than 1,000 U.S. retail websites.

Thanksgiving became a billion-dollar online shopping day for the first time this year as more consumers used tablets to browse for deals from their couches and e-commerce companies ramped up promotions.

Thanksgiving online sales came in at $1.06 billion in the U.S., according to Adobe Systems, which analyzed 180 million visits to more than 1,000 U.S. retail websites.

Thanksgiving Day revenue for leading online retailers rose nearly 40% from last year, e-commerce firm Monetate said in a separate salesreport. The totals reflected this year’s rare convergence of the holiday with the first night of Hannukah.

The increases included a 73.6% rise in revenue from shoppers using tablets, a 50.7% rise in sales to smartphone users and a 39.8% increase in revenues via laptop and desktop computers, said Pennsylvania-based Monetate, which based the findings on data from nearly 30 million online shopping sessions.

Until recently, Thanksgiving was a non-event for shoppers as most physical stores were shut and it was considered rude for family and friends to fire up desktop computers to search for holiday gifts and deals.

However, the rise of tablet computers and smartphones has made it easier — and arguably more socially acceptable — for consumers to shop online as they relax on the couch after the traditional turkey dinner. This trend is known as couch commerce and it has driven a surge in Thanksgiving holiday sales online.

A record 21% of all Thanksgiving online sales came through mobile devices this year, with $152 million spent via tablets and $70 million via smartphones, Adobe said.

Monetate reported that average Thanksgiving Day order value increased 11.8% for leading ecommerce retailers in comparison to 2012.

Amazon and eBay, the largest e-commerce companies in the U.S., performed strongly on Thanksgiving because of heavy promotions that lured more shoppers online.

“Consumers are on the couch doing a lot of their shopping and retailers are a lot more prepared for that this year,” said Scot Wingo, CEO of e-commerce company ChannelAdvisor. “Amazon and eBay do very well from this trend too.”

Online sales combined with this year’s early store openings on Thanksgiving Day and traditional Black Friday sales to propel holiday weekend retail revenue toward new records, National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said Friday. His organization is set to release the results of its annual Black Friday shopping survey on Sunday.

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5 Repair Shops You Can Send Your Jeans To

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

 images (2)

Posted by Darius Lalier on November 30, 2013

Repair 1

It is inevitable that if you wear your raw denim long enough they will need some repairs. Whether it is a crotch blow out, a knee rip or any other damage that comes from wearing one pair of pants all day, everyday; the denim will eventually give.

Thankfully, when this happens there is no need to get rid of your beloved pair of jeans. Rather, there are numerous shops around that specialize in repairing your denim, giving them new life and months more of wear. Below we have highlighted some of our go-to spots for denim repairs.

1. Denim Therapy

Denim Therapy

As some of you may know, we previously wrote an extensive review on Denim Therapy. Their work is always top-notch and their service is undeniably simple. Simply mail your jeans to them, fill out a sheet explaining the areas you need fixed, and in a couple weeks your jeans will be back to you better than new. Having had first-hand experience with them, I can personally attest to the quality of their repairs, which have held up for almost a year now.

In specific, Denim Therapy‘s exclusive “Colour Match” system and darning machine ensures that they will perfectly match your fades and denim shade; making the repair almost invisible. They are located in New York City and will give you the option of dropping your jeans off or mailing them in. Check out theirwebsite for more information.

2. Railcar Fine Goods

Railcar Fine Goods

In addition to making solid denim and dry goods, Railcar Fine Goods has recently opened up a comprehensive denim repair and alterations service. They’ll not only repair or hem their own jeans, but also denim from any brand as well. Their services include chain stitch hemming, cuff repair, darning, leg tapering and waist resizing. All repairs are priced very competitively and are completed on traditional industrial machines to ensure quality, long-lasting repairs. Check out their complete line of services on their website.

3. Detroit Denim

Detroit Denim

Detroit Denim is a relative newcomer to the selvedge denim business, but in addition to their denim line they have now incorporated a comprehensive repair service that provides a variety of repairs at low prices. They do all repairs in-house and the darning services are completed on an industrial Consew207 machine.

Detroit Denim‘s services are incredibly flexible, and they recommend that you contact them prior to sending your jeans so that they can provide an accurate quote for how much your repairs will be; or let you know if your jeans are beyond repair and you’re in need of a new pair. Check out their full range of services on their website.

4. Denim Surgeon

Denim Surgeon

Like Denim TherapyDenim Surgeon is located in New York City and provides in-house as well as mail-in services. Denim Surgeon provides a full range of repair and darning services, from crotch repairs, to knee repairs, to pocket repairs, as well as a full range of tailoring services. Like the other services on the list, all you have to do is fill out a printable form with the repairs you would like completed, mail your jeans and the form to denim surgeon, then wait a few weeks to have your jeans back and better than new.

Denim Surgeon also provides a full range of hardware replacement services, that complement their variety of repairs and alterations. Check out their midtown Manhattan location, or stop by their websiteto see a full listing of the services they offer.

5. Denim Doctor

Denim Doctor

For our readers in the UK, mailing your damaged selvedge denim jeans to New York City isn’t your only option. Denim Doctor is located in Manchester, England and offers a full range of repair and alteration services, as well as chain stitch hems. Denim Doctor looks to have extensive experience in repairing a variety of different brands and styles of selvedge jeans, and looks to be able to complete nearly any repair or alteration that you could need.

Like the others, they stock a variety of denim threads that make the repair blend into your fades, making them nearly invisible. The Denim Doctor takes both mail-in, as well as walk-in orders for repairs. Check out their full range of services and a gallery of completed repairs on their website.

Honorable Mention: Self Edge

Self Edge

Self Edge does not offer a mail-in service, but does offer a full range of repair and alterations services at their San Francisco or New York City locations. They pride themselves on being able to complete any repairs that you can imagine happening; from something as simple as a new hem to replacing a button or zipper or a crotch blow out.

All of Self Edge’s services are completed on a 1950′s Singer Darning Machine that recreates the denim, creating a longer lasting and more authentic looking repair then what would be achieved with a patch. Their work takes 5-8 days, so if you are in town and plan on dropping your jeans off, keep this in mind. Check out their website for more information, as well as our previous article on their San Francisco Darn-It! repair studio.

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Black Friday is big, but online shopping is even bigger

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

USATODAY

 NOVEMBER 30, 2013

Despite stores’ attempts to calm the madness that generally surrounds Black Friday, there was still some fury unleashed by shoppers … and it was all caught on tape.

Hadley Malcolm, Laura Petrecca and Alistair Barr, USA TODAY6:30 p.m. EST November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving openings by some big retailers and robust online sales appear to have reduced the traditional frenzy of Black Friday shopping.

Tens of millions of Black Friday bargain hunters poured into stores from Maine to Hawaii, but so far the nation’s mega-shopping weekend has brought less frenzy as online shopping and early store openings diffused crowds.

More than a dozen major stores from Target to Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving Day and stayed open through Black Friday. And online shopping juggernauts such as eBay and Amazon report significant increases in Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales from a year ago, proof positive that Americans are looking for online relief from retail mob scenes.

E-commerce firm ChannelAdvisor reported that client sales on eBay.com jumped 35% through noon EST on Black Friday, compared to the same holiday last year. Client sales on Amazon.com rose 25% in the same period.

“The internet is now the number one destination for shopping,” said Brent Schoenbaum, a partner in consulting giant Deloitte.

What the nation has seen so far:

– Crowds are big, but reports of violence and ugly scenes at stores are down. Walmart had more than 22 million shoppers on Thanksgiving Day — and about 10 million transactions from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. alone, says U.S. CEO Bill Simon. Sales traffic remained strong on Friday

– A record $1 billion was spent online on Thanksgiving day, according to Adobe Systems, which analyzed 180 million visits to more than 1,000 U.S. retail websites.

– Discounting started earlier in November, causing shoppers to get earlier bargains and reduce pent-up demand;

– Macy’s opened on Thanksgiving for the first time this year. In New York City, at Macy’s flagship in Herald Square, a record-breaking 15,000 people were in line for store’s 8 p.m. opening. “There was a steady stream of humanity coming through the front doors for about 12 or 13 minutes,” said CEO Terry Lundgren.

Among the serious shoppers in Florida was Debra Green. She visited the mall near her Cocoa Beach workplace three times on Friday – including a 7:30 a.m. stopover and a lunch break appearance — to shop at JCPenney, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

“I’ll bet I saved $200. But how can you say you saved when you spend?” Green said as she examined a stack of $14.99 cable knit sweaters (regular price: $29) at JCPenney. “It’s silly. It’s psychological.”

Major retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy had Black Friday deals on the latest gaming consoles from Microsoft and Sony, but supplies were low and the items sold out quickly. That left many shoppers resorting to eBay.com, where such items are often re-sold at higher prices by people who have already bought them.

“EBay is the sales channel of scarcity,” said Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor. “While some retailers had door-buster deals on Xbox One and PS4 consoles, eBay is one of the best places to get one now.”

Most retailers said the store crowds were less frenetic this year.

At Renaissance at Colony Park in Ridgeland, Miss., Sandra Stephens of Baton Rouge said she didn’t feel harried as she checked off her list of stops, including women’s retailer Anthropologie.

“This is the first time in a few years I’ve gone out for Black Friday,” said Stephens, who was in town visiting relatives. “It’s a good feeling to get a head start on Christmas shopping, especially when it’s not too crazy, like it is here.”

Shoppers rest on chairs on Nov. 29 at the Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas.

Shoppers rest on chairs on Nov. 29 at the Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas.  John Locher, Las Vegas Review-Journal, via AP

Overall, the National Retail Federation expects retail sales to be up 3.9% to $602 billion during the last two months of the year. That’s higher than last year’s 3.5% growth, but below the 6% pace seen before the recession.

Still, there was plenty of jostling going on among the first wave of an estimated 140 million people who will shop during the four-day holiday weekend.

Long checkout lines formed at a Target in Colma, Calif., on Black Friday morning. And hundreds waited outside a Kohl’s in American Park, Utah.

There were reports of minor brawls, including one outside a Walmart in Rialto, Calif., where a police officer was injured trying to defuse tensions over shoppers said to be cutting in line.

Separately, the Associated Press reports that police responding to a shoplifting report at a Chicago-area Kohl’s store shot the driver of a car that was dragging another officer outside. The dragged officer suffered a shoulder injury.

As usual, most of the big retail chains — Best Buy, Target and Walmart, to name a few — have increased security in place. Employees were also given crash courses in crowd control.

This year marks the five-year anniversary of a particularly notorious Black Friday: In 2008, a Walmart worker was trampled to death in New York and two men died after shooting each other at a Toys R Us in Palm Desert, Calif.

“It’s all about having a crowd management plan in place,” said Target spokeswoman Jessica Stevens. This includes making sure staff members are assigned to particular areas of the store and bringing in extra security guards. Employees arrived around 7 p.m. and had a last team meeting to get prepared before the doors opened, Stevens said.

The scene was orderly in Palm Desert this year, though. The only complaints were from people who said they had to rush through their Thanksgiving dinners in order to hit the stores.

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Large retailers report strong Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales with focus on big-ticket electronics

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Published November 29, 2013

FoxNews.com

Despite some major retailers luring bargain-hunters with holiday savings since Halloween, major department stores reported strong traffic on Black Friday even though for many, the seasonal rush to attract shoppers began in earnest on Thanksgiving.

The holiday shopping season kicked off much earlier this year, as several retailers opened their stores on Thanksgiving Day optimistic that the added day might increase sales in what is typically the biggest shopping day of the year.

Retailers did not provide specific numbers, but Walmart and Target reported strong Thanksgiving Day traffic in stores and online, noting that shoppers were focused on big-ticket electronics like big-screen TVs and Xbox One, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. They’ve also pushed up discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November, which has led retail experts to question whether the Thanksgiving openings will steal some of Black Friday’s thunder.

The Journal report said Walmart recorded more than 10 million register transactions between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday and nearly 400 million page views on Walmart.com. Target also said sales were among the highest ever online.

Overall, The National Retail Federation expects retail sales to be up 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion during the last two months of the year. That’s higher than last year’s 3.5 percent growth, but below the 6 percent pace seen before the recession.

Analysts expect sales to be generated at the expense of profits as retailers will likely have to do more discounting to get people into stores.

About 15,000 shoppers were at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City right before the doors opened, estimated Terry Lundgren, CEO, president and chairman of the department store chain. Last year, the store had 11,000 people right before the midnight opening.

Lundgren, who was at the entrance, told The Associated Press that the retailer knew it had to open when it found out other competitors were planning to open on Thanksgiving night. He also said it received positive feedback from its employees. “We’re a competitive group,” he said. “It’s very clear they (the shoppers) want to be here at 8 p.m.”

The store was featuring 375 doorbusters, up from last year’s 200. Some of the deals included $79.99 jackets originally priced from $195 to $250, and cashmere sweaters for $39, marked down from 129.

Shelby Wheatley, 17, was with her mother, her mother’s friend and her best friend, who all traveled from Orlando, Fla. Wheatley was looking for a prom dress and wanted to buy it in New York.

“I did Black Friday-but never Thursday–and never in New York,” she said.

As for Thanksgiving, the group celebrated early with family last week.

The Thanksgiving openings are part of retailers’ holiday strategy of trying to lure shoppers in early and often during the holiday shopping season. But the stores face challenges in doing that.

Some workers have petitions on change.org to protest against Target and Best Buy. The Retail Action Project, a labor-backed group of retail workers, also is planning to have members visiting customers at stores including Gap and Victoria’s Secret in Manhattan to educate them about the demands on workers.

Walmart has been the biggest target for protests against holiday hours. Most of the company’s stores are open 24 hours, but the retailer is starting its sales events at 6 p.m. on Thursday, two hours earlier than last year.

The issue is part of a broader campaign against the company’s treatment of workers that’s being waged by a union-backed group called OUR Walmart, which includes former and current workers. The group is staging demonstrations and walkouts at hundreds of stores around the country on Black Friday.

Brooke Buchanan, a Walmart spokeswoman, said the discounter has received “really good feedback” from employees about working the holiday.

The early start to this year’s shopping mayhem did not prevent several reported violent confrontations at stores around the nation that opened up for Black Friday, which is typically considered the biggest shopping day of the year.

A New Jersey man was arrested Thursday in a Walmart and charged with disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on a police officer after allegedly arguing with a store employee over a TV, NBCNewYork.com reported.

In the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, a driver believed to be involved in a shoplifting scheme was shot by authorities after dragging a police officer who was trying to stop him in the parking lot of a Kohl’s department store late Thursday, the Chicago Tribune  reported.

The suspected shoplifter and two additional suspects were arrested, police told the newspaper. Both the driver and the officer sustained injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, according to the report.

At a Wal-Mart in the Southern California city of Rialto, a police officer was injured while trying to break up a fight after a store manager decided to open the doors early, which police said led to the melee,according to the San Bernardino County Sun.

Police said there were three fights at the store, two of which were inside over merchandise and the third outside that left the officer injured. All of the people involved in the fights were taken into custody, the newspaper reported.

In Las Vegas, a customer who had purchased a big-screen television at Target was shot in the leg while walking to a nearby apartment complex, KLAS-TV  reported. The victim was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Meanwhile, the Walmart in White Plains, N.Y. received two bomb threats around 12:30 p.m., causing the store to be evacuated, the city’s police department said. But a search of the store turned up nothing, and it was reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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