Finish Line and Nike have teamed up for a new back-to-school marketing campaign designed to sell Nike+ running shoes and boost the soft U.S. retail market for athletic shoes. Nike+ shoes, which launched a year ago in partnership with Apple Inc., house a sensor in the shoe’s insole. This collects data, including distance, calories burned and speed, and transmits information from the wearer’s feet to an iPod using a wireless system. The marketing push, which includes in-store displays, television and Internet spots, and free iTunes downloads for trying on shoes, is one of the largest Finish Line has ever done with Nike.… Amazon.com is testing a pilot program in the Seattle area that delivers perishable groceries to consumers. The program expands upon the company’s existing gourmet-grocery and non-perishables businesses.
Cactus Commerce, aQuebec-based software and services company, has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to drive product development, partner ecosystem development, marketing, services and support of the Microsoft Commerce Server Platform. The companies will jointly deliver platform enhancements and complementary solution accelerators, which are software applications that work with the platform to speed up implementations for technology or industry deployment. This will begin in the second half of 2008 and continue through to 2010.
Amazon.com currently leads the first round of investment in AmieStreet, adigital-music site that prices songs of new artists according to their popularity. AmieStreet allows musicians to post songs with a variable-pricing model, which is different from the one-price model used by Apple Inc.’s iTunes Music Store. A new song on AmieStreet.com initially costs 0¢, but the price gradually rises with popularity, to a maximum of 98¢. Amazon said it would open a digital-music store by the end of the year. It plans to sell music from one major record company, EMI Group, and a large number of independent labels.
Sears Holdings ceo unhappy with 2Q
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings today reported net income of $176 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended Aug. 4, compared with net income of $294 million, or $1.88 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended July 29, 2006. The company attributed the decline in its second quarter results from the same quarter last year to lower operating results at both Sears Domestic and Kmart, which were partially offset by improved operating results at Sears Canada.
“We are disappointed with our second quarter results. Our gross margins came under pressure from sales declines and increased promotional activity, and as a result, our net income was significantly below last year and our expectations,” said Aylwin Lewis, Sears Holdings’ ceo and president.
Sears Domestic’s comparable-store sales declined 4.3% for the quarter, while Kmart’s comparable-store sales declined 3.8%. Total domestic comparable-store sales declined 4.1%. The company reported lower sales across most merchandise categories at both Kmart and Sears Domestic, partially offset by increased sales of women’s apparel at both Kmart and Sears Domestic, as well as within consumer electronics and footwear at Sears Domestic. For the quarter, total revenues declined $0.6 billion to $12.2 billion in fiscal 2007, as compared to $12.8 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2006.
Lane Bryant pres. joins Christopher & Banks
MINNEAPOLIS Former Lane Bryant president Lorna Nagler will join Christopher & Banks as president and ceo effective Aug. 31. She will replace Matthew Dillon, who resigned from his position as president and ceo and as a member of the board of directors today. Nagler has also been elected as a member of Christopher & Banks’ board of directors effective Aug. 31.
Nagler most recently served as president of Lane Bryant, a division of Charming Shoppes. Before joining Charming Shoppes in April, 2002, Nagler served as a senior vp and general merchandising manager for apparel and jewelry at Kmart Corp.