United We Pay, Dunkin Donuts Buzzkill and Shacking Down

Are you a frequent big spender?

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

United Airlines has big changes in store for its frequent flier program. Only “frequent” doesn’t accurately describe it.  A better term would be “The Flier Who Spends The Most Gets The Most” program. Like rival airline Delta announced earlier in the year, United Airlines’ reward travel is now based on dollars spent and NOT how frequently you actually fly. It was considered by many an expert a risky and brazen (translation: bad) move since United doesn’t particularly rank very highly with consumers. Which is being very generous considering the carrier came in last  in the J.D. Power and Associates 2014 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. MileagePlus President Thomas F. O’Toole said in a statement, “These changes are designed to more directly recognize the value of our members when they fly United.” Isn’t that sort of like saying that the changes are designed to not recognize the value of non-members who fly United? Just wondering.

Nothing to sip at…

Image courtesy of phasinphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of phasinphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I suppose it had to happen. The price of Dunkin Donuts coffee, the kind you buy at the grocery store, is about to go up by 9%. Apparently a fungus, very unappetizingly called coffee rust and a Brazilian drought are toying with our collective caffeine fix and making for smaller coffee crops. And in case you were wondering, the answer is yes. The price of coffee at your local Dunkin Donuts will also increase though, by how much has yet to be determined. As if that weren’t heart-breaking enough, expect to pay more for donuts, muffins, sandwiches…well, everything. But on the bright side, the Dunkin Donuts powers-that-be still want to sure that its coffee is still cheaper than Starbucks. Like that’s hard to do.

Radio smacked…

Image courtesy of sippakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sippakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah. It pains me to write this but Radio Shack, where I purchased many a Walkman and batteries in years past, has posted its ninth straight quarter of losses. With a $98.3 million dollar sales decrease on its books, the chain continues its struggle against the mighty Wal-Mart, Best Buy and even mobile companies. Last year at this time Radio Shack posted a loss of just $28 million. It plans to close 200 stores over the next three years. The company was dealt a major blow with same store sales falling by 14%. Sure, Wall Street figured the company would lose some revenue, about $767.5 million, but alas, the Shack did $30 million dollars worse than that. And over the past year, shares of the company dropped over 60%. But of course, like any other shrewd CEO who posts horrible earnings and then tries to deflect the issue, CEO Joseph Magnacca sees this as a temporary hiccup and wants to reassure the world that Radio Shack shall persevere with up coming new private brand products and other stuff.

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