BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week For The Big Brands

Good Week: Walmart – Bucking the downward trend that’s engulfed much of the retail world, world’s largest retailer announced plans to add 10,000 U.S. jobs and provide skills-building training to 250,000 of its employees by the close of 2017. The company also expects that its planned investments in new and remodeled stores and e-commerce distribution centers – estimated at $6.8B for the year – would support an additional 24,000 construction jobs.

Bad Week: Virgin America A U.S. Department of Transportation report on airline service quality – including data on late flights, cancellations and baggage handling – revealed that Virgin America had the worst on-time arrival rate of the major carriers, with only 81.4 of its flights arriving as scheduled. A United representative vowed that the company would redouble its efforts to reclaim its spot atop the “late list.”

Worse Week: Ringling Bros. – After more than 100 years of delighting “ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages,” the iconic circus announced that it will hold its final performances in May of this year.  Corporate parent Feld Entertainment cited high operating costs and a decline in ticket sales, particularly after elephants were dropped from the traveling shows (following years of protests by animal-rights advocates). Cue Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown” (when there’s no one around).