OPERATIONS

Survey: Women seek value, connection

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis — Female consumers are looking for value and deeper connections, according to results of the fifth annual “What Women Want” survey. The study, conducted by Ginger Consulting, indicates that women are responsible for or influence $7 trillion of annual purchases in the U.S., including 85% of all consumer and business purchases and 60% of automobile purchases,

Specifically, the survey shows that 36% of women hunt for value in every purchase they make and use social media for personal reasons, but not for checking in at stores or restaurants (71% do not like to use social media this way). Forty-six percent of women want to take frequent vacations.

"It’s less about experiencing the thrill that comes from extreme couponing," said Beth Perro-Jarvis, principal, Ginger Consulting. "Instead women have been trained by retailers never to buy at full price. Retailers need to learn from J.C. Penney’s mistake and give her a discount, a coupon, a value."

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Penney’s ‘Hitler’ tea kettle billboard causes social media uproar

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penney on Tuesday turned to social media to deny that a tea kettle being advertised on a billboard on the 405 Interstate near Culver City, Calif., is intended to represent Adolf Hitler.

The buzz started when some motorists took pictures of the huge billboard advertising the tea kettle, part of the retailer’s new Michael Graves Design collection. They posted the photos, claiming that the kettle’s lid, asymmetrical handle, and saluting spout made it look like Adolf Hitler. The photos quickly went viral, ending up on several web sites, including the popular Reddit forum.

Penney responded to the uproar with good humor, using Twitter to proclaim:

“Certainly unintended. If we designed the kettle to look like something, we would’ve gone with a snowman.”

To see the billboard, click here.

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Brookstone names executive chairman

BY Staff Writer

Merrimack, N.H. — Brookstone announced the appointment of William E. Watts as the company’s new executive chairman of the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Watts has been a partner of J.W. Childs Associates since June 2001. Previously, he was president and CEO of GNC from 1991 until 2001.

Brookstone also announced the appointment of James M. Speltz , GNC’s president and CEO, as a director of the company, and the resignation of Jackson Tai as the non-executive chairman of the company. He will remain a member of the company’s board of directors.

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