Disney Wins Pooh, Staples Tries Online Price Discrimination: Consumer Business Recap

Things might be looking up for J.C. Penny & Co. (NYSE:JCP) as the analyst Brian Nagel at Oppenheimer said that continued promotions are indicating evidence of success and fueling momentum into 2013. Nagel commented that, “We are increasingly optimistic that the more price promotional stance that JCPenney is now assuming will allow the chain to make the most of a challenging Holiday selling season and position it well to re-accelerate its aggressive turnaround strategy in 2013. A move back to more aggressive price promotions represents a clear deviation from the strict EDLP strategy initially outlined by Chief Executive Ron Johnson.”

Toyota Thailand’s (NYSE:TM) Ban Pho assembly plant is resuming normal operations after a fire that broke out Sunday evening, according to the Nikkei. Initial damage of $1.6M have been estimated from the accident.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide.  Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now >>

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) appears to be practicing what econ textbooks call price discrimination, which is not illegal, but tends to put consumers off if they are aware of it. For example, a Swingline stapler might cost $1.50 more or less on the company’s Staples.com website, depending upon where the site thinks a potential buyer lives. According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, the site displays different prices to shoppers depending on the person’s distance from a competitor’s brick-and-mortar store, such as OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX) or Office Depot. If  the stores were within around 20 miles, Staples.com typically showed a discounted price.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has won an appeals court decision that protects its trademark rights to the Winnie the Pooh characters. The court ruled that the United States Patent and Trademark Office was correct to dismiss challenges to the trademark ownership filed by Stephen Slesinger, which has fought a decades-long battle with the company over ownership of the Pooh characters. The author A.A. Milne transferred merchandising rights to Stephen Slesinger in 1930 and his widow licensed the rights over to Disney in 1961. The Slesinger firm and Disney have been fighting in court regarding royalties since at least 1991.

Don’t Miss: The Fiscal Cliff: Is an 11th Hour Solution All That’s Left?