Parsippany, N.J. – Last December, B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS) announced the purchase of the Crisco brand of shortening from J. M. Smucker Co. for $550 million in cash. As part of the acquisition, B&G Foods also acquired the Crisco factory and warehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. B&G specializes in “shelf-stable”MORE HERE

Tower Records Returns

If the U.K. was once known as a nation of shopkeepers, perhaps we might say that the U.S. and the U.K. can now be known as the nations of e-commerce sites. In this season, a number of once well-known names have returned. The British eyewear company Curry & Paxton isMORE HERE

LOS ANGELES – The brand-licensing agency Global Icons is now representing the fashion brand Camp Beverly Hills. Originally launched in 1977, the first store was located off Rodeo Drive. Throughout the 1980s, the brand expanded and was sold in major department and specialty stores nationwide. At its height, Camp BeverlyMORE HERE

Benrus Watch the Sea Lord

The historic U.S. watch brand Benrus has a new owner, and a new lease on life, after a failed revival by a Rhode Island entrepreneur. Investor Michael Sweeney, assisted by former Bulova exec Michael Goeller, is reviving the brand, which was founded in 1921. The current effort follows the unsuccessfulMORE HERE

As a social service agency or company or government mandated service, the only brand you need is really your business name, and a decent level of service. Of course  you need something written on letterhead, and an address, but your “brand” is really about how you deal with people. AndMORE HERE

Remember the great blizzards of 1966, 1993, and all those other Nor’easters? They made for the need for snowmobiles. Lots. But over the years, fuel prices, competition, and warm winters have put many snowmobile brands off the market. Some brands, like Arctic Cat, returned. The Arctic Cat company was once popular, went bankruptMORE HERE

SAN ANTONIO – Sears has opened a new spin-off concept, the Die Hard Auto Center. Of course, Die Hard is a strong Sears brand, and this news is just coming off Sears’ sale of Craftsman for an astounding $775 million to Black & Decker. Currently, Sears Holdings is on trackMORE HERE

There is a large amount of room in the marketplace for small, regional, handcrafted fashion and craft brands. One of the many surviving leather companies is J.W. Hulme of St. Paul, Minnesota. They make excellent leather goods, including bags, briefcases and wallets; it’s a luxury approach with a simpler, less fashionMORE HERE

That Arby’s CEO Paul Brown has joined the board of JCPenney has got me thinking. After JCPenney brought back appliances, why not bring reintroduce food? Part of the old joy of going to department stores was the element of surprise, and options for repeat visits. One way to do that is a restaurantMORE HERE

Uniforms are the original way to rebrand an institution. From Roman soldiers to Olympic athletes, clothes make the man. And the woman. And the institution. Alitalia figured this out in a stylish rebranding. Late this spring, the national airline of Italy unveiled a new branding campaign with its central identity createdMORE HERE