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New Harry Potter merchandise soars to stores

BY Allison Cerra

BURBANK, Calif. The boy wizard that has captured the hearts of fans worldwide will be featured in new merchandise with the help of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

In support of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1," in theaters Nov. 19, and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2," opening on July 15, 2011, an array of products will be available at retailers nationwide. With the help of such licensees as Mattel, consumers will be able to enjoy the Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set and Scene It? Harry Potter 2nd Edition DVD Game, as well as the Noble Collection, offering wands, cheese sets and high-end sculpts.

 

“The world of Harry Potter has spawned the most successful film franchise in history and continues to captivate fans of all ages,” said Karen McTier, EVP domestic licensing and worldwide marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “As a result, our impressive roster of committed licensees continues to create products that capture the spirit of the brand and delight audiences around the world.”

 

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Supervalu reports losses for Q2, adjusts guidance

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS A labor dispute at one of its banner stores, employee-related costs and an impairment charge attributed to a net loss of $1.47 billion for Supervalu in its second quarter, compared with earnings of $74 million last year, the company announced Tuesday.

Total net sales for the second quarter were $8.7 billion, the retailer said, compared with $9.5 billion. Second-quarter retail-food net sales were $6.7 billion, compared with $7.4 billion last year, a decrease of 9.7%, primarily reflecting the impact of same-store sales of -6.4% and previously announced market exits, Supervalu noted. Excluding Shaw’s, which was impacted by a labor dispute settled early in the quarter, same-store sales were -5.9%.

The intangible asset impairment charges totaled $1.516 billion after tax, or $7.16 per diluted share.

“Our sales performance continues to reflect a difficult operating environment. As the company moves into the next phase of its business transformation, we remain focused on our customers and taking actions that will better meet their needs. I remain confident that we have the correct strategy in place to achieve long-term success,” said Supervalu president and CEO Craig Herkert.

Supervalu adjusted its guidance from $1.61 to $1.81, as the retailer now expects a net loss in fiscal 2011 in the range of $5.94 to $5.74 per diluted share.

Commenting on guidance, Herkert stated, “It will take longer than originally anticipated to realize the benefit of the marketing, merchandising and operational initiatives that we continue to build upon. Accordingly, we are adjusting our guidance to better reflect this outlook.”

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Target officially unveils Kodak photo kiosks with Facebook connectivity

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Target shoppers now can enjoy social network connectivity at in-store Kodak picture kiosks.

As previously reported in June, Target guests now will be able to create a variety of stunning photo products ranging from standard prints to personalized photo keepsakes, such as Kodak photo books, collages, calendars, holiday and greeting cards, Kodak picture movie DVDs and more.

With more than 500 million users and 3 billion photos uploaded to Facebook each month, Kodak picture kiosks enabled with social network connectivity give Target guests a convenient way to easily print online photos in stores.

“Kodak has always been a leader in innovative photography solutions, and Target is proud to be the first mass retailer to offer this creative solution nationwide,” said Mark Schindele, SVP merchandising at Target. “We know our guests are increasingly sharing their photos online, and Kodak Picture Kiosks with Social Network Connectivity allow them access to their favorite photos along with the convenience of printing the images during their regular Target shopping trip.”

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