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Report: Bangladesh factories plan minimum wage hike

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Owners of garment factories in Bangladesh are reportedly prepared to raise the minimum wage they pay workers from 50%-80% and ask retailers to pay at least some of the extra cost.

According to Reuters, factory owners have offered a minimum wage of about $46 per month. Workers have requested a minimum wage of about $102 per month, and the government is expected to order an increase in a middle range of $54-$66 per month. Current minimum wage is about $39 a month.

Whatever amount the minimum wage is increased, factory owners are expected to ask retailers to pay about 5%-15% more than they do now for garments manufactured in Bangladesh. The higher wages come as an attempt to end a series of strikes that have been occurring in Bangladesh since September 2013 and also as several recent disasters in Bangladeshi factories have increased public scrutiny of working conditions there.

Spokespeople for Wal-Mart and H&M said they are working with Bangladesh to review and increase minimum wages at garment factories while a J.C. Penney spokesperson declined comment. Bangladesh is the second-largest garment exporter in the world.

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Toys “R” Us holiday campaign combines digital with TV, radio and print ads

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us 2013 holiday marketing plans include a new TV campaign that will feature a group of real-life children from local New York charities who think they’re going on a field trip, but actually are going to a Toys “R” Us store where they are given free rein.

Featured at the end of each TV commercial and throughout many of the company’s print and online marketing vehicles, is the hashtag, #WishinAccomplished.

The new TV ads, debuting on Oct. 20, are the centerpiece of a fully integrated marketing campaign, encompassing digital, radio and print advertising. Created in partnership with The Escape Pod Agency, Chicago, the spots will air on all major networks and cable stations throughout the holiday season.

To further bring the campaign to life online, Toys “R” Us will feature dedicated social media content, including a special 90-second version of the TV commercial and behind-the-scenes images, on the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/Toysrus.

Now through mid-December, Toys “R” Us promotional activity will be seen across the Web, as the company has increased its investment in digital advertising for 2013. The strategy includes placements on high-impact homepages, including MSN.com, YouTube and Yahoo!, among others.

Those who engage with popular apps, such as Angry Birds, will also see Toys “R” Us ads in-game. And, as a digital extension of the retailer’s broadcast promotions, ABC.com and CBS.com will feature Toys “R” Us ads online as part of a larger partnership with the networks.

The Toys “R” Us YouTube Channel, YouTube.com/ToysRUsOnline, will serve as the go-to destination for kids and families looking to replay the magical moments of the commercials.

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Reports: FTC to approve Office Depot-OfficeMax merger

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly set to approve the proposed merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax after concluding it will not significantly affect competition in the office retailing space. According to multiple press reports, the deal will go through without either company having to divest any holdings.

Office Depot and OfficeMax initially announced their proposed merger in February of this year. The all-stock deal worth about $976 million will combine the second- and third-largest office retailers in the U.S. Neither company has publicly commented on the reports.

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