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Cathy Hotka

Principal
Cathy Hotka & Associates

We have a case in the DC area where a competitor is posting phony, bad review of a carpet cleaning firm. Scathing reviews appear to come from customers, but are posted in cities where the carpet cleaning company isn't located. DC companies generally don't clean rugs for people from...

Lucky has been selling products from its site for years. The partnership with BeachMint sounds like the first of many such partnerships that could benefit from additional exposure.

Having spent a lot of time in a farming town in Iowa, I've always thought that there was a huge untapped fashion...

Remember when a certain canned soup manufacturer got popped for displaying pictures of bowls of soup teeming with noodles, instead of broth?

There's probably no real fix for this issue, except for consumers adopting a healthy skepticism about whether products work or look as advertised. A few years ago Estee...

I'm not a whiner, Ian!...but this is disgraceful, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who'll vote with my feet and avoid BK from now on.

...

Let's take a look at how re-branding has worked before.

FedEx bought Kinko's and re-labeled all the stores as FedEx Office stores. Customers were confused, so now every FedEx Office has a sign out front that says "Kinko's Inside."

If it ain't broke ...

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I've never understood how those roadside Greek diners in New Jersey could have 12-page menus and still turn out absolutely delicious food in a timely way.

One way for chains to add variety to the menu is to add limited-time-only specials, then add them to the regular menu if they're...

The answer to the question is a resounding "nein."

...

It's hard to tell whether consumers are clamoring for McCafe in a bag, but I'd guess that the Kraft deal is pretty sweet for McDonald's.

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Wow, I just put up six jars of bread and butter pickles last evening.

I'll attribute this trend to ubiquitous cooking shows. Millennials take pride in their ability to whip up whatever they want, and canning is part of the home cuisine life cycle. They're not going to post just...

These are common-sense prescriptions from RSR that should ring a bell with retailers everywhere. Suggestions and gift lists are part of the formula that put Amazon on top. RSR's ideas are particularly timely for specialty retailers that sell "splurgy" products, like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table.

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