Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I hope tomorrow night's Terriers finale is not the final finale

It seems like me and about 487,996 of my closest friends are hooked on this show and everyone else thinks it's about dogs. Too bad. Donal Logue's performance as Hank -- the recovering alcoholic divorced ex-cop with a schizophrenic sister and an interesting knack for leading people right to their death -- is amazing. He does bad things! He's still likable! He looks strangely sexy in reading glasses! Like I said: amazing!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coty's buying spree: first Philosophy skincare, now OPI nail products

From Bloomberg: "Coty Inc., the seller of perfumes by Sarah Jessica Parker and Vera Wang, is close to buying nail-care company OPI Products Inc. for about $1 billion in cash." So Coty will own both Sally Hansen and OPI brands, while adding another product line that is not a fragrance.

Quick! What do you think of when someone mentions Coty? If you answered "the iconic Airspun Face Powder box which may or may not have been designed by Rene Lalique obviously," we can be friends!

I guess video of someone calmly looking at a monitor wouldn't make for compelling Black Friday news

Confusing numbers. The "average shopper spent $365.34 -- up more than 6 percent from a year ago," but the increase seems to be overwhelmingly in online purchasing: "Online sales surged 9 percent to $648 million on Black Friday....At the malls, however, another survey by research firm ShopperTrak found that Black Friday sales rose a disappointing 0.3 percent to $10.69 billion." I don't know how that averages out to 6% but it's interesting that TV news cameras still camp out at stores for the fights and stampedes.

All the hype, all the loss-leaders, all those sleep-deprived clerks and no real uptick in business.

UPDATE: Every Black Friday detail you could ever wish for here. Two highlights: "the number of people who began their Black Friday shopping at midnight tripled this year from 3.3 percent last year to 9.5 percent in 2010. In fact, by 4 a.m. nearly one-fourth (24.0%) of Black Friday shoppers were already at the stores" and retailers drove "'traffic early in November and in doing so some might have thinned Black Friday spending a bit.'"

Maybe Budweiser's "Real Men of Genius" spots have finally run out of people to mock

Once, they made lighthearted fun of wrestling costumes and toupees -- things we can all laugh at -- now, with "Mr rolling cooler cooler roller" and "Barbershop," they seem to belittle targets that aren't that deserving of ridicule. Does it all seem meaner to you? Less funny? Or maybe just tired?

LATER: I just heard "Overly loud car stereo player guy" and am now re-thinking this entire post.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Selling luxury vs selling status

Profits at Tiffany's are up and it's not because of that shabby little counter they set aside for silver: "Demand has been strongest among Tiffany's wealthiest customers, who drove 'double-digit' percentage gains in sales of items priced above $500, the company said. Meanwhile, sales of lower-priced silver trinkets have been declining -- a signal of 'diverging' patterns of consumer spending." You say "diverging spending patterns," I say "the rich get richer." Tomato, tomahto.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why won't anyone buy Tom Hicks' hockey team?

It really can't improve prospects for a Dallas Stars sale when everyone's still in court re-hashing the bankruptcy of his baseball team: "As a condition of [Major League Baseball's] loaning the Rangers $15 million in June 2009 to meet payroll...Hicks agreed to finalize the sale of the team in order to ensure repayment. And when Hicks asked for another $25 million in November to address an 'additional cash flow shortage,' MLB insisted that Hicks select a winning bid by December 15 because there seemed to be no sense of urgency on his part....'Tom Hicks appeared to use the bidding process merely as an avenue to solicit members of the various bidding groups to provide funding to him so that he might retain control of the club.'"

Then there's the Liverpool soccer team, the sale of which Tom Hicks wrecked so completely that it left his business partner's NASCAR team facing bankruptcy too. Seriously. And fittingly, while team payments were delayed, haulers were stuck in Texas.

Good news, though! Mark Cuban is interested in the Stars. Wait! Didn't he try to bid on the Rangers? But in such a weird, half-assed way, everyone -- or just me? -- wondered afterwards just what the hell he was up to? Related?

Oh I don't know. It's all pretty messed up. Maybe, when everything's taken into account, we need to be very, very thankful for Jerry Jones.