FINANCE

American TV & Appliance to close doors

BY Dan Berthiaume

Madison, Wisc. – American TV & Appliance, an 11-store electronics chain with locations in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, is preparing to go out of business. The company is closing stores Feb. 18 and 19 to mark down prices and will launch its going-out-of-business sale at all locations on Feb. 20.

In a brief press release, American TV said difficult economic conditions during the last five years led to the decision to close down. The release also said employees were given advance notice of the closure and will receive compensation with benefits through an unspecified notification period, with most working throughout the closing process.

Media reports indicate the company will lay off close to 1,000 employees and listed assets of $72.56 million and liabilities of $54.7 million in a receivership petition.

“While this is a sad moment, it is also a proud moment,” Doug Reuhl, president and CEO of American CEO, said in a news release. “It’s a moment to be proud of our efforts and to be proud of what we have delivered to the community.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Gap launches omni-channel spring campaign

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Launching Feb. 18 "Lived-In,” Gap’s global marketing campaign, features magazine, outdoor and social components. These include Gap’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram communities, with the hashtag #LivedIn.

In addition, in partnership with Vogue magazine, Gap created a tactile fabric print ad for their March issue, which includes a fabric logo made from the cotton of a worn-in tee. The campaign includes Trinidadian-born American recording artist Theophilus London; English singer-songwriters Birdy and Anna Calvi; American actors RJ Mitte and Julia Garner; Swedish photographer Lina Scheynius; and American singer-songwriter and record producer Ernest Green (performing under the stage name Washed Out). Each artist was photographed by David Sims. The campaign was developed in Gap’s Creative Center in New York in partnership with Peterson Milla Hook.

"We are proud of our tradition of finding emerging talent from around the globe and sharing them with the world in an authentic and meaningful way," said Seth Farbman, Gap’s global chief marketing officer. "For 45 years, Gap has celebrated individual style, and as demonstrated through ‘Lived-In,’ there’s just something about a well-loved denim jean or washed out cotton tee that truly expresses a person’s character."

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REAL ESTATE

Apple opens first South America store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cupertino, Calif. – Apple opened its first South American store in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb. 15. Brazil is a leading global market for smartphones and media reports indicate more than 1,700 customers attended the opening of the store.

The new Apple store is located in the VillageMall upscale shopping center in the Rio de Janeiro borough of Barra da Tijuca. The store has a single floor, pavilion-style design with a curved glass exterior. The layout is split concept with one half of the store dedicated to product demo and the other half to sales and services. Apple already operates a Brazilian iTunes store.

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