Category Archives: Brands

The Shift in Black Friday

In 2015, the retailer REI first announced that its stores would be closed on Black Friday. This was a dramatic message at the time, as the day after Thanksgiving is known to be the most popular shopping day of the year, with stores offering competitive sales. From then, the store continued in its path of shutting its doors on Black Friday, making the decision on a year-to-year basis. Now, however, the company has announced that every aspect of the business will be closed on Black Friday every year. This includes all 178 of its retail stores, its call centers, headquarters, and distribution locations – giving a paid vacation day to 16,000 employees.

In recent years, the excitement of Black Friday has been slowly waring off.  The younger generation is less willing to wake up at the crack of dawn and wait outside on line for hours to get a good deal. Additionally, many companies have extended their “Black Friday sale” to the days leading up to Thanksgiving, or the days after – leaving less pressure to shop specifically on that Friday.

Following REI, a new trend has been noted with retailers choosing to “Opt Outside.” The movement prioritizes spending the day outdoors, creating experiences, and basically doing anything other than shopping. The CEO of REI, Eric Artz, says: “Opt Outside has always been about prioritizing the experience of our employees, choosing the benefits of time outside over a day of consumption and sales. When we first introduced this movement, it was considered revolutionary for a retail brand, but we felt it was the right thing to do for our members and employees.”

While most retailers are still open for business on Black Friday, the change in thinking is revolutionary and sure to continue shifting trends in consumerism as the years go on.

PepsiCo Will Open Its Largest US Facility

In a time where unemployment is on the rise, news about companies expanding or opening new facilities is exciting. Last week, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) announced it will be opening a massive manufacturing facility in the Denver High Point development zone. The 152-acre area will house a 1.2 million-square-foot factory, creating an estimated 250 jobs.

The company has set high standards for the new facility. The plant is slated to reach 100% renewable energy, achieve top quality water efficiency, and minimize use of plastic. It is expected to be the largest and most sustainable PepsiCo plant in the US.

In a statement put out by the president of PBNA’s West Division, Johannes Evenblij expressed his excitement over the plans and appreciation for its location. He stated, “We’re thrilled to call Denver, a city that shares so many of our values, home to PepsiCo’s most sustainable US plant location. With the High Point facility serving (as) a model for the future of PBNA’s supply chain, we’re eager to continue deepening our dedication to Colorado through positive impacts such as new job opportunities and more sustainable business solutions.”

The combination of new employment prospects with efficient and healthy business practices yields positive opportunities for growth. It will be exciting to follow the progress of PepsiCo’s newest endeavor.

Kellogg to Split into Three Companies

The famed food manufacturing company Kellogg has announced that it will be splitting into three independent companies. The first will consist of Kellogg’s (K) North America cereals, the second is snacks, and the third is a new “pure-play plant-based foods company,” a shootoff of its MorningStar Farms brand.

The announcement from the 116-year-old iconic business comes a decade after Kellogg acquired Pringles. That sale was the beginning of a shift from a focus on cereals to snacks, following people’s tendencies to eat on the go and between meals.

In explaining the company’s decision, CEO Steve Cahillane affirmed that the move gives the chance for each spinoff to unlock its full potential. In an effort to grow shareowner value, splitting the business into individual entities enables each to realize the possibilities of its specific product line and reach appropriate financial goals.

The snack breakoff is destined to be the largest of the three, with over $11 billion in sales last year – 60% of sales coming from Pop-Tarts, Nutri-Grain, Cheez-It, and Pringles.

The new business split up is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

Neil Cole Iconix Founder Introduced A New Online Shopping Experience

Neil Cole, the award-winning branding pioneer, founder of the Iconix Brand Group changed the way people shop online when he founded Next Retail Concepts – shoppers experienced an immersive experience online – and could actually feel like they are in the store. We’ve all shopped online, virtually the entire world understands how online shopping works and probably experienced doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic. But not everyone has been able to have an immersive experience of feeling like you’re in the store and actively shopping while online. As Neil Cole Iconix founder explains, “Our proprietary technology transforms the traditional eCommerce landscape within our innovative platform to create exciting and engaging immersive shoppable experiences that tell a brand story. This is a dynamic new way to shop.” Neil Cole launched the platform originally with Fred Segal and Mastercard, the shopping experience premiered at 29Rooms in Los Angeles and enabled shoppers to browse the physical store at Fred Segal with features that are similar to Google’s Street View. A shopper virtually enters a store and to navigates throughout the physical space to products of interest and clicks on products for details. Explaining how unique Next Retail Concepts is, Neil Cole said, “This experience engages the user on a deeper level and tells a better brand story. It’s like a virtual pop-up that you get to navigate yourself through to create a unique, personalized journey.” The future of shopping has arrived – and it’s certainly looking exciting!