tampabay.com

Talk of the day

By TIMES WIRES
Published February 2, 2007


Kohl's to roll out new shoes with Tony Hawk

Kohl's Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. department store company, will introduce an exclusive line of Tony Hawk-branded shoes and sandals this month. Kohl's will design the footwear with input from Hawk, above, a former professional American skateboarder, the company said Thursday. Kohl's introduced Tony Hawk clothing last year, one of a number of exclusive brands that have lifted the company's sales. The retailer, which has 817 stores and opened its first Tampa Bay area outlets last year, plans to open 115 locations this year. "We're excited," Hawk said. "We've been wanting to do affordable skate shoes for a while." Similar shoes are now available only at specialty skate shops, he said.

Coca-Cola planning to fuse with Fuze

The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beveragemaker, said Thursday it is buying juice and tea maker Fuze Beverage LLC for an undisclosed amount. The agreement calls for Coca-Cola to acquire all Fuze Beverage brands, including the Vitalize, Refresh, Tea and Slenderize lines under the Fuze trademark, WaterPlus enhanced water products and license rights to the Nos Energy Drink brands. Since the launch of the first Fuze products in 2001, the company has grown rapidly. Twenty Coca-Cola bottlers currently distribute Fuze beverages and will continue to do so after the proposed purchase by Coca-Cola.

Toyota puts Tundra ads in overdrive

Toyota Motor Corp. said its new full-sized Tundra pickup truck will have the company's biggest marketing budget ever in a bid to take buyers from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. The campaign by Toyota, the world's second-largest automaker, will include 50 to 70 commercials tailored to individual U.S. markets and 400 test-drive events over six months, marketing vice president James D. Farley said Thursday. The 2007 Tundra is Toyota's first attempt to take on market leaders GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG's Dodge brand in the work-truck category. Toyota executives have said the pickup is their most important product introduction in 50 years. It goes on sale this month. "We treated this launch like we were a challenger brand, like we were starting from scratch," Farley said. "We have a chip on our shoulder and we are going to go after this business."

Trans fats checking out of Marriott

Marriott International Inc., the largest U.S. hotel operator, will strip trans fats from fried foods served at its hotels in the United States and Canada in two weeks. Partially hydrogenated oils, a primary source of trans fats, will no longer be used to prepare fried foods at its 2,300 hotels in North America, the company said Thursday. The company serves 6-million pounds of french fries annually.