FINANCE

Bed, Bath & Beyond offers $2 million share buyback after poor Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Union, N.J. – Following a difficult first quarter of fiscal 2014 where it missed Wall Street estimates on both profits and sales, Bed, Bath & Beyond has authorized a new $2 billion share repurchase program.

The company said it expects to complete the new buyback during its fiscal 2016.

"Our board authorized this new share repurchase program based upon its continued confidence in our company’s long-term growth potential, financial outlook and cash flow generation,” said Steven Temares, CEO and member of the board of directors. “We also believe this is an opportune time, and method, to return value to our shareholders. In addition to providing value to our shareholders through share repurchase programs, our strong operations should allow us to continue to invest in our infrastructure and maintain our ability to take advantage of opportunities as they may arise.”

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FINANCE

Survey: Global consumers embrace mobile, simpler payments

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – Consumers around the world are accepting of mobile technology and think technology should make payments easier and more connected, according to a recent 15-country survey from PayPal.

Survey results show that in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the majority of the population has already embraced mobile payments. In China, 90% of respondents pay from their phone, followed by Russia (85%), Brazil (nearly 70%) and Turkey (60%). Even in China, however, where mobile is mainstream, 35% of respondents wish paying by phone were easier. The world is ripe for continued innovation.

In the U.S., 54% say that small local businesses like farmers markets and local shops can benefit from mobile or online payments, and 49% believe American entrepreneurs overall would benefit from an easier flow of money.

In addition survey results show that 70% of the world thinks technology should make payments simpler, connected and faster, with more choices and opportunities. Specific results include that in Singapore (73%), China (72%) and Australia (51%), the majority of people want technology to help them avoid long lines. European shoppers are more fed up with having to wait for someone to take payment or having to get cash to complete a purchase, with Spain (55%), Italy and Russia (53%), France and Turkey (41%) and the U.K. (39%) reporting the highest levels of dissatisfaction.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Pizza Hut launches omnichannel movie promotion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – Pizza Hut is launching an omnichannel summer promotion tying in to the upcoming release of the Aug. 8 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” live action film. In addition to a custom national television spot and special menu items, the promotion features a number of digital components.

To kick off the promotion, Pizza Hut will host a #TBTMNT (Throwback Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) promotion on its Twitter and Instagram channels where fans are encouraged to post their old turtle memorabilia or turtle costumes for chances to win gift cards and other prizes. There will also be online videos and the box topper for Cheesy Bites Pizzas will feature an augmented reality experience for customers at home. Consumers will have a chance to unlock extended footage from the movie and additional content through an interactive AR experience.

All digital assets will also be housed on a new Tumblr page hosted by Pizza Hut. The page will provide an arena for fans of pizza and the Ninja Turtles to showcase memories and stories related to the Turtles and Pizza Hut. Furthermore, Pizza Hut will include an exclusive online only "hidden menu" that features unique Cheesy Bites Pizza recipes inspired by the personality of each Ninja Turtle.

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