If you walked into a restaurant and saw yourself in a photo on the wall, maybe you’d be flattered, or perhaps slightly embarrassed if it’s not a great likeness. You also might not really care. One California woman has had a bit of an extreme reaction to seeing herself on the wall at Chipotle, and is suing the company for $2.2 billion. [More]
Ideally, companies choose to lessen their environmental impact because it makes financial sense, not because it makes them feel good–which is a good thing, since companies don’t have feelings. Today, FastCompany published a slideshow that looks at 12 ways the mega-retailer is trying out various green initiatives. Some of them are more about selling the concept of green to consumers, which is dumb, but the ones that deal with shipping, energy consumption, and market creation are pretty impressive.
Update 2: Sprint has also announced that it is waiving fees, retroactive to Wednesday. (Thanks to changebumpin!)
Update: MSNBC has updated their article, and they say that AT&T has announced it will waive fees for donations, and apply the exemption retroactively to those who have already donated. (Thanks to Mathew for the heads up.)
On our last visit to IKEA earlier this summer, we noted with sadness how there was a certain GAP-like feeling about a lot of the merchandise, by which we mean it seemed dull and forgettable. But maybe we’ve been approaching shopping at IKEA the wrong way.
American Express and Discover will no longer bill customers who exceed their credit limits, according to company spokespeople. The creditors aren’t eliminating the fees because they care about their customers. No, they’re providing what American Banker calls “the first concrete examples of how a new law will restrict issuers’ abilities to turn a profit.” The new CARD Act that Congress passed in May requires consumers to opt-in before they can exceed their credit limits. Since overlimit fees, which can reach $39, aren’t very profitable for creditors, they decided to ditch the fees altogether.
Mattel’s revenues are down by 19%. Toy sales from summer movies and flagship product Barbie and Hot Wheels are down. However, the company reported today that profits are way up. So what explains the profits? Blame a visit from Price Hike Barbie.
Best-practices guru Joel Spolsky thinks Circuit City imploded because of their terrible customer service, not any “recession” or “macroeconomic conditions” nonsense. To prove his point, he looks at thriving New York electronics retailer B&H, which succeeds because they understand that stellar service leads to healthy profit margins.
Exxon has set another record for profitability, with $45.2 billion in 2008, up from $40.6 billion in 2007. As prices fell in the fourth quarter, however, Exxon’s income fell 33 percent. [NYT]
EBay today announced that their net earnings fell 31% last quarter. You’d think in this economy, shoppers would be drawn to the potentially lower prices of eBay—after all, Amazon apparently did just fine. Are the headaches of dealing with eBay/PayPal outweighing the potential savings? [WSJ]
Over a quarter-million passengers were bumped from flights in the past eight months, a number that is set to grow as airlines try to boost anemic profits by slashing fleets. The Department of Transportation requires airlines to compensate bumped passengers with cash or vouchers, but savvy passengers can leverage their situation to negotiate heftier payments…
Exxon made $11.68 billion in the second quarter, says the AP, which is “the biggest profit from operations ever by any U.S. corporation,” but that wasn’t quite enough to please investors, who were disappointed.
You Starbucks haters out there can rejoice, because the company just posted its first quarterly loss EVAR “of $6.7 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with a year-earlier net profit of $158.3 million, or 21 cents per share.” Store closures and restructuring are to blame, as well as the fact that nobody can afford anything anymore. [Reuters]
Colgate-Palmolive has reported a 19% increase in quarterly profits, and says it’s partially due to price increases (but also greater volume sales and a weak dollar). [Reuters]
Like Zubaz pants before them, Crocs seem to be well on their way to assuming their rightful place of honor in the bad fad hall of fame as the company slashed its sales forecast and announced that it would be closing a plant in Quebec due to decreased traffic in its US stores.
For the retail managers lurking here: an analysis of data from a “US specialty retailer” shows that not reducing staff during lean times leads to an increase in profit margins. [The Times South Africa]
Costco has announced that their 2nd quarter profits are up 31%! That’s a lot!