Category Archives: Business News

Nobody Loves Whole Foods Market–Except Everybody

Being a central location to purchase natural and organic food for decades has helped establish Whole Foods Market as a formidable competitor in the area of all-encompassing supermarkets. With that brand has come the inevitable criticisms of higher prices or catering to a select market.

However, the fact is that each time a new Whole Foods opens up, the surge of excitement at its opening is able to be sustained. That leads to profits, with margins that are much higher than those whose revenues may dwarf the company.

That level of success has led Whole Foods to offer a new spinoff supermarket concept known simply as 365 by Whole Foods Market. The idea behind it seeks to grab hold of the elusive millennial market, emphasizing technology-based ways to purchase items and offering new takes on the dreaded prospect of waiting in line.

Of course, that market was likely already attracted to Whole Food’s nature-friendly approach to making sales. The standard openings still resonate with all audiences, further increasing the more than 1,200 stores that make up the company.

Despite the clamor, Whole Foods has been struggling when it comes to the stock market. For whatever reason, the company’s brand hasn’t been good enough to offset a stock price drop of over 50 percent from its previous high.

However, much like music and entertainment that isn’t always universally loved, Whole Foods Market still has the cache to look ahead with excitement toward the future, with profts that continue to roll in.

How Mercedes Benz is Using an Innovative Strategy to Market its Cars

Luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz, has been recording impressive sales since the turn of the year. This is despite the fact that the automobile industry has experienced a minor slump this year. The iconic German car manufacturer has set the pace as in the luxury car segment.

Since the year started, Mercedes has sold a whopping 28,528 cars, which is a company record. The number exceeds last year’s figure by more than 3.6 percent. Owing to this, Mercedes has emerged as the top brand in the luxury car division. By achieving this feat, Mercedes has managed to beat other established carmakers such as BMW, Lexus and Audi.

The Strategies

According to the Business Insider, Mercedes has slowly been coming up with different car models, which suit the specifications of motorists. Its recently-introduced S-Class Cabriolet, SLC Roadsters and SL models, have been well received in the market due to their class and comfort. They have also been marketed as the go-to luxury car models. This has endeared them to many potential buyers.

The other strategy that Mercedes has successfully used, is coming up with models that fulfill the desires of car buyers. After conducting market research, the carmaker discovered that most luxury car buyers prefer SUVs and crossovers. Basing on this, it develops models that have a ready market. This sufficiently explains why it has recorded high sales. Its lineup is by far, more superior than that of other car makers. If these record sales are anything to go buy, Mercedes is poised to take over the automobile industry in coming years.

Pizza ATM Becomes a Reality at Xavier University

Picking up pizza just like you pick up money at an ATM sounds like a bizarre marketing concept for a company. Yet a firm based in France is working with Xavier University in Cincinnati to do just that and satisfy the impulsive hunger cravings of students on campus.

That company, Paline, will begin offering pizzas on August 10 that have been prepared by Xavier’s dining hall staff before then being placed in a refrigerated vending machine just outside the hall. In order to make sure that the complaints about “cardboard pizza” aren’t heard on a daily basis, that dining staff was under the supervision of a French chef who helped train them for approximately 40 hours.

That preparation includes each pizza first being made with vegan dough and then partially baked by the staff. The dining hall’s own tomato sauce is then made, with eight different toppings added. At that point, the pizza is placed inside the machine.

Each order of a pizza is expected to take three minutes. A customer will have a large touch screen in front of them to select the pizza they want, with payment options being either a credit card or the student’s debit card.

Once that’s complete, the ready-made pizza heads into a convection oven inside the machine, cooking the pizza at 475 degrees. When those three minutes are up, the pizza slides into a box and comes out through a slot. Each pizza will cost $10, with each machine stocked with 70 pizzas.

Employees Offered Buyouts by AMC Networks

Things are not going very well lately for AMC Networks or the people who own stock in the company. This is because the stock has dropped a hefty 20 percent so far in 2016. This is not a surprise to many people familiar with the TV industry. A huge chunk of AMC’s profits the past six years has come from the massive ad revenue that their hit show “The Walking Dead” has been able to generate. The zombie series is still averaging an excellent 13.2 million viewers for every episode. The problem is that this number is down significantly from when the show was at its peak. In fact, ratings are down eight percent from 2015. That is a tremendous amount of advertising dollars that AMC is no longer taking in.

This has caused AMC Networks to look for ways to save money. A total of 200 people who work for the company were offered buyouts that were voluntary. A spokesman for the company said that they believe 20 to 30 of those people will accept the buyouts that were offered to them. The company wants to avoid the drastic measure of laying off employees because of the bad public perception of their financial stability that it will create. Low viewership of the freshman series “Preacher” is another reason for the poor revenue so far this year. AMC was banking on the show being a hit and a cornerstone of their lineup. However, the viewers have not shown up as they had hoped.

Google Spending Large Sums to Woo Europe

As reported in a recent article for The New York Times, Google has spent around $450 million on projects in Europe as a part of its soft lobbying efforts to improve its image. Google has been struggling with the public perception of it in Europe as an American company that has barged in and refuses to play by the same set of rules as everyone else.

Google has been accused of breaking antitrust regulations, failing to pay taxes and not protecting online privacy rights. While Google has publicly rejected all of these claims, it has been working hard to improve the overall company image. Google has been lobbying especially hard in Brussels and has also spent large sums on direct lobbying. This is because Brussels is the site of many of its regulatory problems in recent years. In 2014 alone, Google spent about $4.2 million on political lobbying efforts in Brussels. During the same time, Google spent about $17 million on direct lobbying in D.C. It remains to be seen whether these expenditures will have any effect on whether Google will face charges.

Some of the initiatives that Google has recently funded in Europe include music concerts sponsored by YouTube, digital training courses for high school teachers in Ireland and a virtual reality exhibit at a museum in Belgium. European governments have been more than happy to receive the fruits of Google’s soft lobbying efforts because there have been plenty of funding gaps thanks to the sluggish economy of late.