Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unveiled an environmental labeling program for the products it carries, in a step that could redefine the design and makeup of consumer goods sold around the globe but also boost costs for suppliers and customers.
While private labels have existed for some time, the recession proved to be the inflection point for them to become a true force in the marketplace.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, often dubbed the Oracle of Omaha, has seen the future of fashion in the most unlikely of places, bearing a "Made in China" label better known for its cheap than chic. "I threw away the rest of my suits," beams Buffett in the 2007 video, adding that he and Microsoft founder and Bill Gates are fans of Chinese suit maker Trands and would be great salesmen for the company based in the northeast Chinese city of Dalian. Trands is one of a handful of emerging Chinese brands that someday hope to take on the likes of Gucci, Armani and Prada in the lucrative luxury goods market. Sales of luxury goods in China grew 12 percent in 2009 to $9.6 billion, accounting for 27.5 percent of the global market, according to Bain & Co. In the next five years, China's luxury spending will increase to $14.6 billion, making it the world's No. 1 market.
It seems as though the first era of digital music may have come to an end. Napster died, P2P lived in some black market twilight zone, streaming services on ad-supported revenue were suffocated by unsustainably high licensing fees, and subscription services sputtered along, never quite capturing the imaginations of music fans. 2009 ended in a flurry of acquisitions (LaLa, iLike), launches (Vevo) and shutdowns (iMeem), which dramatically rearranged the digital music landscape. When the dust finally settles, expect digital music to begin anew. With that in mind, here are my five predictions for music in 2010.
Street fashion designer Rick Klotz has announced that he's going to forsake any brand logos or names on his Freshjive products next year. Is it an anti-branding move, or something more? I say something more.