Consumer Goods

Jeff Kagan | |

This year’s CES 2021 will be quite different than every previous show. It will be very interesting to see how much media and excitement is generated with a virtual show. The Consumer Electronics Show is the biggest event of the year in so many different industries. Players, large and small, are there trying to be heard over the cacophony of noise, events and distractions. So, what can we expect this year?

CES is an important event for so many companies, and I am curious to see the results. This year it will not be a live, in-person event. Instead, it will be a virtual event. I have learned, however, that many companies from around the world will be there in person, holding smaller meetings in hotel suites.  

Reuters | |

U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co said it reported record sales for the 2020 holiday period as consumers stuck at home shopped more online and shoppers in China spent more on jewelry.

The company, which will soon be bought by France’s LVMH , said its overall preliminary net sales rose about 2% for the period Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, compared with a year earlier, with e-commerce sales surging more than 80% during the period.

The 2020 holiday season was unusual as the virus outbreak upended shopping patterns, with more consumers avoiding malls and retail stores and opting to shop online.

Reuters | |

U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co’s shareholders on Wednesday approved a $15.8 billion deal with France’s LVMH, ending an acrimonious dispute between the two luxury retailers that had stretched for more than a year.

At a virtual special stockholder meeting, more than 99% of votes cast were in favor of the deal.

Billionaire Bernard Arnault-led LVMH made the first offer late last year, but as the luxury industry slipped into a turmoil due to the ...

Reuters | |

Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it will extend production of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for TVs and monitors, as stay-at-home trends of the coronavirus pandemic created an uptick in demand.

Samsung Display’s decision to extend LCD production in South Korea for an unspecified period of time overrides its announcement in March that it would end all production by the end of the year to focus on more advanced technology.

Reuters | |

Unilever Plc said it would resume advertising on Facebook Inc, Instagram and Twitter Inc in the United States after pausing in June due to divisiveness and hate speech on the platforms during the U.S. election period.

The consumer goods company said here on Thursday it plans to end the advertising pause next month and would continue to scrutinize the platforms in the post-election period.

Unilever earlier this year joined an advertising boycott against Facebook as part of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign started by U.S. civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who died while in police custody on May 25.

Reuters | |

Tiffany & Co, which is being bought by French luxury giant LVMH, beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly profit on Tuesday as the U.S. jeweler benefited from an over 70% rise in sales in China and a recovery in demand at home.

The results bode well for the upcoming holiday season for the jeweler and other luxury retailers in general, which have been hit hard by the pandemic. They also underscore the growing importance of sales within mainland China to offset dependence on tourism, especially on Chinese tourists visiting fashion hubs like Milan and Paris.

Reuters | |

Best Buy Co Inc held back from issuing a holiday-quarter forecast on Tuesday, saying it was unsure if a sales boom fueled by demand for remote-work computer equipment was sustainable as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the United States.

Shares of the consumer electronic retailer, which has been one of the few retail winners in the health crisis, fell 2.6% before the bell, even as it beat third-quarter sales and profit estimates.

“It is very difficult for us to predict how sustainable these trends will be due to the significant uncertainty related to the various impacts of the pandemic,” Chief Financial Officer Matt Bilunas said.

Reuters | |

Nike Inc said on Friday it would raise its quarterly dividend by 12%, or 3 cents per share, underscoring the financial strength of the world's largest sportswear maker in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nike in September said it expects sales in the second half of its fiscal year ending May 2021 to be “up significantly”, as it bounces back from a slump earlier this year when retailers canceled orders and lockdowns kept people away from stores in key markets.

The company’s share price, up about 30% this year, has more than doubled since its March low as it slashed costs by cutting corporate jobs and targeted online investments.

Reuters | |

Sony Corp’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) console launched in core markets on Thursday to intense interest online, but with first day real-world sales limited to pre-order pick-ups.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a boom in gaming demand, but Sony has made the launch sale online only to maintain social distancing, calling for consumers to “be safe, stay home, and place your order online.”

The next-generation console, which retails for $500, or $400 without a disk-drive, was sold out on major retailing sites in Japan and the United States, with some conducting lotteries to distribute limited stock.

Reuters | |

Microsoft Corp on Tuesday launched two models of its Xbox gaming console, seven years after the debut of the previous version, to capture a pandemic-driven boom in consumer spending on games.

The Xbox Series X - which the company has described as the “world’s most powerful console” - will retail for $499.99 (379.1 pounds) and a lower-priced Xbox Series S will sell for $299.99.

The strategy offers consumers greater choice but the compact Series S faces criticism for being less powerful than the Series X, with less storage capacity and lacking advanced “ray tracing” graphics for titles like Capcom’s “Devil May Cry 5.”