BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week for the Big Brands

Stupid Week: UnitedApparently antsy after a few months out of the headlines, the despised carrier reclaimed its rightful place atop the list of “world’s shittiest companies” when a dog died after United flight attendants forced a passenger to put the caged pet in an overhead baggage compartment for the duration of a flight. So many questions, including what pet owner would allow that to happen and how could a workforce be so tone-deaf.

Bumpy Week: Ford The struggling U.S. auto giant followed its recall of 1.4 million vehicles – due to steering wheels that can become loose and even come off while driving – by announcing plans to shift its product portfolio from passenger cars to SUVs and add more hybrid and full-electric vehicles by 2020. The latter move is designed to reduce development and manufacturing costs. The pop-off steering wheel is designed to reduce drivers.

Bad Week: Winn-Dixie The parent company of the long-running chain of Southern supermarkets announced it will file for bankruptcy and close 94 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. That squealing sound? Regional competitor Piggly Wiggly laughing all the way to market.

Worst Week: Toys ‘R’ Us – After 70 years in business (the last ten of which have been a constant struggle as big-box retailers and Amazon ate into sales and market share) the ubiquitous toy chain announced it will close or sell all of its 735 U.S. stores. Nearly 31,000 workers and one talking giraffe will lose their jobs.