• Corona
  • Crayola
  • Mars Retail Group
  • Overstock.com
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
  • Food City

Demand volatility is the number one risk for retailers and consumer product manufacturers with 83% stating that is a concern. Visibility to risk is the challenge for 2015.

SCM World’s 2014 CSCO study asked respondents about their companies’ visibility of potential risks across the retail and consumer value chain. Each respondent was asked to rate visibility within its operations and then further into the supply base and demand channel.

Layering visibility for each of these industries together provides insight into where companies in the consumer value chain have good visibility. As the figure below shows, manufacturers across the board say they have better visibility into their operations than retailers do for themselves and, with the exception of food and beverage, better visibility into the retail channel as well.

Read the full story and check out an infographic on the RM Blog

No matter the product or service you offer, engaging customers is key to growing your business. Luckily, with the popularity of social media, reaching out to potential customers has never been easier. But what are the best ways to connect with your customers in such a saturated market? Interact with your customers with freebies, promos and contests to increase your traffic and create loyal customers.

Read more on the RM Blog.

Beauty blogging is a serious business. The space has grown so large and is so powerful many bloggers are now becoming “celebrities” and are receiving their own television shows and ad dollars from beauty companies around the world. The vast number of these bloggers is growing daily and for beauty companies, answering requests from bloggers for product and even sponsorship money has become a job on its own. Many savvy beauty PR contacts say they are becoming overwhelmed with requests. It seems like it would be easy to look up someone’s popularity and audience reach, but it can become a time consuming chore for beauty companies to navigate the heavy onslaught of product and sponsorship requests. We have created a strategy and tips for beauty companies to vet these requests to quickly determine if they will help the beauty brand grow or just be another free product shipped.

Read the full story on the RM Blog

The business environment is constantly changing and entrepreneurs need to be prepared. Although the business world is becoming more globalized, there also is a push for small local businesses and face-to-face interactions. While emails, texts, chats and video conferences are necessary to do business, in-person interactions can make a difference. According to a study by psychologist and professor at National University of Singapore Richard Arvey, 77 percent of people still believe in the value of offsite meetings.

Although in-person meetings help make a connection, another barrier in the past has been that business payment systems were simply not mobile enough to be used outside of the office environment. This meant that you could make a sale in person, but you couldn't close the deal right then and there. Your clients either had to give their credit card information over the phone or arrange an alternative payment method. That gives enough time for the deal to fall apart.

Fortunately, with the various apps and software systems available today, you can carry everything you need to complete the sale from start to finish. Consider the following mobile payment options:

Read the full story on the RM Blog

Check out this post-MAGIC news from The Joester Loria group.

In a deal brokered by The Joester Loria group, PepsiCo has partnered with Body Rags for the Pepsi and Mountain Dew Licenses. Rounding out PepsiCo’s T-shirt program, Body Rags will offer designs for the Upstairs, Specialty and Ecommerce channels of distribution.

Tapped for their creative expertise and retail relationships, PepsiCo is excited for the freshness that Body Rags brings to both the Pepsi and Mt. Dew program. With creative development fully underway, retail placement is expected as early as March 2015.

I Dream of Jeannie, the beloved-classic American television sitcom featuring Barbara Eden as a genie locked up in a bottle and astronaut Major Nelson, is celebrating 50 years since its first release to American households.  The ensuing comedy is TV history and Sony Pictures Consumer Products is celebrating this iconic TV series this year with a program that is truly magical.

 

Read more: Celebrating 50 years of "Jeannie"

New York City focused its spotlights on toys, games and youth entertainment products last week when the 112th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy marketplace ever held in the Western Hemisphere – opened its doors to nearly 25,000 global play professionals. Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), Toy Fair 2015 grew in size and scope, boasting a record-breaking 421,300 net square feet of exhibit space filled with hundreds of thousands of brand-new, skill-building and cutting-edge toys and games.

Toy Fair sizzled despite frigid temperatures and snowstorms across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard. Buyers, exhibitors, entertainment executives, members of the press, and trade guests from across the U.S. and 91 countries made it to Manhattan for the international toy and game extravaganza, which took place from February 14-17 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Due to a new cross-border affiliation agreement between TIA and CTA, Toy Fair was for the first time hosted in partnership with CTA, serving as a single North American marketplace event to provide U.S., Canadian and global attendees with more targeted business development opportunities, greater efficiency, and added cost-savings.

Read more: Wrapping up Toy Fair

The past year has been inundated with retail breaches including Target, Home Depot and most recently, Chick-fil-A. The Georgia-based fast food company investigated a credit card breach in early 2015, focusing on the point-of-sale (POS) network at some of its restaurants. The breach is thought to have occurred between December 2013 and September 2014. Brian Krebs, an Internet blogger who specializes in banking security, reported that one financial institution claimed that the common thread among approximately 9,000 of its affected customers were purchases at Chick-fil-A restaurants. So what can retailers learn from these types of attacks?

It is important to stress that security breaches of this nature can be caused by a variety of issues - newly discovered software flaws, lax security from a service provider, insider fraud, weak network security and countless other avenues. There is also the possibility that the data which had been compromised did not originate from Chick-fil-A at all. Theft can occur at numerous places along the payment chain. For example, it may be necessary to examine the bank where the electronic transactions were processed.

In one sense, it does not matter how the breach occurred. The fact that credit cards at a major corporation had once again been stolen highlights the threat that all quick serve restaurants and retailers of every size are facing from data thieves. Businesses interested in keeping their networks and data secure should start with simple security measures that can effectively mitigate the growing problem that hackers represent. While nothing is fool proof, the following suggestions could have prevented most (if not all) of the breaches that have garnered so much attention in the past 12 months:

Read the full story on the RM Blog