Amazon on Top in Harris Reputation Poll

Amazon took the top spot in the 2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient Rankings.

Disney ranked high at No. 5, and Netflix, at No. 21, beat out fellow tech giants Google and Apple, ranked Nos. 28 and 29, respectively.

Among mass merchant/consumer electronics retailers, Costco (No. 17) topped Best Buy (No. 46), Target (No. 49) and Walmart (No. 69).

According to Harris, the Reputation Quotient is “technically designed to understand how a company is perceived in modern culture.” The measure takes the top most visible companies (for good or bad reasons) and evaluates them across six dimensions of corporate reputation attributes to arrive at a corporate reputation ranking. If a company is not on the list, it does not necessarily suggest that they have either good or bad reputation, but rather they didn’t reach a critical level of visibility to be measured.

The Weinstein Co., which has been embroiled in executive Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault scandal, and Takata, with its infamously defective airbags, came in last on the list at Nos. 99 and 100, respectively.

Apple, Disney and YouTube Top Millennial Brands in New Report

Apple, Disney and YouTube, respectively, ranked as the top three most “intimate” brands among millennials, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. Brand intimacy leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.

“We were surprised and pleased to see YouTube as an addition to the top three most intimate brands for millennials this year,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “We believe its rise is due to our culture’s continued need for escape and the brand’s immediate, diverse content, personalities and growing offerings in movies and live TV. YouTube is clearly an established ritual in the lives of many millennials today.”

By comparison, in MBLM’s 2017 report, Disney placed first, followed by Amazon and Netflix.

The other brands that rounded out the top 10 were Target, Amazon, Nintendo, Google, Xbox, Netflix and Whole Foods.

The age group of 18-24-year-olds had a slightly different mix of top companies. The top 10 for that group were Apple, Amazon, YouTube, PlayStation, Starbucks, Nintendo, Google, Netflix, Coca Cola and Walmart.

The report analyzed the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the United States, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. The full report will be released on March 13, 2018.

Target Eyeing Packaged-Media Consignment Business Model

Big box retailer Target reportedly is planning to sell music CDs and DVDs on a consignment basis – rather than the typical wholesale bulk business model. The retailer would only pay studios for titles sold. Separately, Best Buy is stopping selling CDs this summer.

Citing sources, Billboard reported the national retailers are bowing to ongoing consumers trends away from packaged media and toward digital and subscription streaming services such as Movies Anywhere and Netflix.

Packaged media’s decline at Best Buy has been ongoing for years. CEO Hubert Joly cut back shelf space on DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies shortly after joining the consumer electronics retail chain in 2012.

Entertainment sales, which include packaged media, generated $509 million (6%) of third-quarter domestic sales – up 4.1% from the previous-year period. The percentage hasn’t changed much over the years.

For Target, the move underscores the retailer’s exit from digital retail three years ago when it shuttered — after 18 months — the Target Ticket platform with more than 30,000 movie and TV titles. At the time, Target transferred all digital consumers to CinemaNow – the digital retail platform once owned by Best Buy.

Target Ticket didn’t survive despite the retailer giving Redcard holders a 5% discount on purchases, excluding rental.

Meanwhile, Target announced that winter holiday sales from November through December grew 3.4% across its core merchandise categories, including home, apparel, food & beverage, hardlines and essentials. Entertainment wasn’t among them.

F.Y.E. Holiday Sales Slump 12%

The For Your Entertainment (f.y.e.) retail chain Jan. 4 reported a 12% decrease in winter holiday sales to $72 million for the nine-week period through Dec. 31, 2017, compared to $81.8 million in the previous-year period.

One of the last (primarily mall-based) entertainment retail chains in operation, f.y.e. saw segment revenue drop 21% when factoring in 7% decline in operating stores.

Corporate parent Trans World Entertainment Corp. said f.y.e. sales were further impacted by an underperforming box office, lower mall foot traffic, in addition to declining market demand for packaged media, among other factors.

“This negatively impacted our lifestyle categories as well,” CEO Mike Feurer said in a statement.

The CEO said f.y.e remains in the midst of “continued structural challenges” while redoubling efforts to differentiate entertainment merchandise and consumer experience.

“[We remain] focused on rightsizing our expenses and inventory levels,” he said.

Meanwhile, ecommerce subsidiary, while sells merchandise largely through Amazon, saw revenue increase 42% to $36 million from $25.3 million last year.

Consolidated sales decreased 7% to $108 million, compared to $116.1 million last year.

For the 11 months in the fiscal year, consolidated sales increased 26% to $406 million from $322 million. F.Y.E. sales declined 15% to $248 million from $291.7 million. revenue topped $158 million.