Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Olympic Gold for Coke, McDonald’s and Visa

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rings1When is Olympic sponsorship money well spent? A Performance Research poll shows it may depend on how the funds are used.

Coke, McDonald’s and Visa dominate consumer awareness when it comes to the Olympics, according to a study by the Rhode Island-based research firm that evaluates the sponsorship industry.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans polled confirmed the Olympic sponsorship of Coke and McDonald’s, followed closely by 66 percent for Visa, Performance Research said. Those three companies also were listed as having consumers’ favorite Olympic TV commercials and doing the most to support the Games.

“They start their advertising early and they’re continuous with it,” Performance Research President Jed Pearsall said of the three companies’ success. “They’re always reminding people they’re Olympic sponsors.”

TJX blames Canada … and its Olympics

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OLYMPICS-ICE HOCKEY/There is always something getting in the way of rising sales.  In the United States, retailers blamed record-setting snow on the East Coast for curbing a spike in February sales

Up in Canada, people were too riveted watching their athletes win a record 14 gold medals, as well as flying moose and beavers, at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in February to go shopping.

Finding the humor in it all

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There are very few things to laugh about in the retail world at the moment, but JP Morgan analyst Brian Tunick did a great job of adding some humor to what was a difficult week, especially for Gymboree.

Gymboree gave a bleak forecast for its first quarter, saying regulatory changes related the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act passed by the Congress in August 2008 will impact sales and gross margins in the first half of 2009. The act required the Consumer Product Safety Commission to begin enforcement of new lead and phthalate standards for children’s products on Feb. 10, 2009.

Check Out Line: Warnaco CEO sees Olympic gold for Speedo

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phelps.jpgCheck out Warnaco Inc’s Olympic dreams.

Clothing company Warnaco got to boast about the strength of its Calvin Klein jeans and underwear business last week when it reported much better-than-expected earnings and raised its full-year outlook.

Now the company, whose stock rose 6 percent yesterday to a new 52-week high, says it is feeling “the Phelps factor” as U.S. Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps racks up the gold medals in Beijing, at times while wearing the company’s new Speedo LZR suit.

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