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Posts tagged retail

Why is Black Friday now Black Thursday Night? Blame Amazon
November 18, 2014 | 11:06 pm

black-friday-comic-2Tis the season. As we gear up for the Christmas shopping rush to begin, we face a dilemma that’s become a lot more prominent in recent years: many retailers are going to open for early Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving evening. This has horrified a certain percentage of people who see it as another sign of the commercialized holiday’s insidious creep. If the slippery slope slide continues, before you know it we’re going to witness a sort of reverse Nightmare Before Christmas scenario in which Santa Claus decides he wants to take over Halloween. But what really seems to...

What if Amazon bought Barnes & Noble?
March 14, 2014 | 11:12 am

There’s a peculiar phenomenon by which year-old articles sometimes show up again in news aggregators and social network feeds that for some reason see the month and day part of the date and miss the year. (It’s gotten me in trouble before.) But today it brings up an interesting blog post I missed the first time around. And while a lot has changed since the post was written in March 2013, it still bears a little bit of thinking about: might or should Amazon buy the struggling Barnes & Noble? There’s been a lot of speculation...

Amazon was the grinch that stole Britain’s Christmas
January 29, 2014 | 4:25 pm

New research data from Kantar Worldpanel will bring absolutely no comfort whatsoever to the UK's legions of Amazon haters. For the statistics in its quarterly entertainment barometer show that in the UK, "for the 12 weeks ending 22 December 2013, Amazon posted its highest ever market share and now holds over a quarter of the market (26.3 percent), a 5.9 percentage point growth compared with the same period last year." Kantar's coverage is of entertainment products in general, especially videos and music. "Amazon traditionally performs strongly in gifting at Christmas and this year was no exception," said Fiona Keenan, strategic insight...

Wal-Mart promises to catch up to Amazon in two years
January 23, 2014 | 1:02 pm

Wal-Mart is eyeing Amazon enviously, and trying to step up its game to compete. A Wal-Mart exec told the Wall Street Journal (paywalled; circumvent with Google News) that Wal-Mart was going to be able to match Amazon’s range of products and ability to ship fast “within two years.” "Wal-Mart was the Internet before the Internet came along," [Wal-Mart global e-commerce CEO Neil] Ashe said. "Value, access, transparency and efficiency are what the Internet asks of companies to survive. And the ethos of our company is very aligned with what customers are asking us to do." ...

Amazon begins collecting sales tax in Indiana, Nevada, and Tennessee
January 1, 2014 | 7:16 pm

Here’s some Amazon news that hits me literally right where I live. Today Amazon began charging sales tax on orders shipped to Indiana—where I currently live—as well as Nevada and Tennessee. I can see why the states want to get their hands on the extra money, and technically we should be paying sales tax or use tax on everything we purchase, no matter where we buy it, but it’s still annoying to see all my Amazon prices effectively rise by 7%. I was talking about it with my brother, and he pointed out that the funny thing is that...

Morning Roundup: J.K. Rowling is screenwriting; debunking the “showrooming” threat; more
September 13, 2013 | 8:48 am

Unfulfilled Promise of e-books Offers Lessons for News Organizations (Poynter) My disappointing experience offers a lesson for news organizations that are considering selling e-books because its shows how legacy media is still thinking like … legacy media. *** B&N Seeks Kid's Nominations for 'My Favourite Teacher' Contest (GalleyCat) Middle school and high school students can nominate their teacher the My Favorite Teacher Contest at Barnes & Noble. *** Showrooming Doesn't Mean the End of Brick and Mortar Retail (GigaOM) A new study aims to bust a few assumptions surrounding the threat of “showrooming” and the challenges faced by traditional retailers in responding to mobile shoppers. *** JK Rowling to Write...

The Best Example Ever of a Book That Would Never Work in ‘E’ Form
August 30, 2013 | 6:11 pm

bookI'm birthday shopping for a long weekend visit with a young friend, and I think I just found the most perfect example in the world of a book series that should not at all be threatened by the birth of the e-book. The background: The boy is turning three, and he is into trains. But he has a lot of train stuff already, including two train-themed gifts we will be bringing for him from various grandparents. And he likes the movie "Toy Story," but is, again, well-stocked. So ... what should we get him? We heard the news that he's been struggling...

Trader Joe’s vs. Pirate Joe’s
August 28, 2013 | 3:48 pm

Pirate Joe'sTechdirt is one of many who have been covering the curious tale of Pirate Joe—aka Michael Hallatt, a Vancouver entrepreneur who has set up a store in which he sells, at a markup, products he purchases at the Trader Joe's chain on the American side of the border. Hallatt claims he is doing nothing wrong—he buys his "merchandise" at full retail price and is permitted to sell them if he wishes to under the first-sale doctrine. Trader Joe's begs to differ and has filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement. Mike Masnick makes some useful points in his discussion of the case. Firstly, he...

Why Indigo’s Boutique Model is Succeeding
August 19, 2013 | 4:21 pm

IndigoI wrote earlier about a mysterious walled-off section that just went up at my local Indigo, announcing the impending arrival of something called "Indigo Tech." This morning, there was news in my RSS feed from my friends at Good e-Reader, confirming that Indigo has signed a deal with Apple to carry tablets, Apple TV boxes and other products. Their write-up also had this intriguing quote: "Indigo said during a recent investors call that it will revamp many of its large format stores to fall in line with the growing popularity of the store-within-a-store concept at many other retailers. The new physical format store will...

Woman in Australia scammed for $1,335 for two apples rather than iPhones
August 6, 2013 | 8:06 pm

iPhonesBy Hammad Saleem If you're planning on buying an iPhone or any other device through classified ads or from websites like Craigslist, you should definitely read this: A woman in Australia paid AUS $1,500 (almost $1,335) for what she thought would be two shiny new iPhones in a sealed box. She never checked inside, as the boxes looked new. And guess what turned out to be inside the boxes? Actual apples. Yes, you read that right: actual apples. According to the story at Gizmodo UK, the Australian woman wanted to buy two iPhones, and placed an ad on the online classified website Gumtree. Another woman...

Lessons Learned During a Cross-Border Shopping Trip
August 6, 2013 | 5:07 pm

shoppingI've just gotten back from a little birthday getaway—we had a long weekend here and the Beloved took an extra day off to whisk me away for the big 3-6. And I realized that there is nothing better for clarifying the issues facing bricks-and-mortar retail right now than a little cross-border shopping. Lessons learned? 1. In the Brave New Internet World, it's Always Party Time! The Internet means you can celebrate anywhere. Isn't that fun? We were halfway to Buffalo, N.Y., when my phone bleeped with an email greeting from my dad, complete with an Amazon gift card appended to the message....

Canada: The Great White Shopping Hope?
July 6, 2013 | 2:20 pm

CanadaAfter years of neglect by major American retailers, Canada is finally seeing some love. The Star is reporting that Target is gearing up to open 20 more stores across Canada. And an email from Amazon.ca this morning informed me that Canadians can now purchase toys & games, furniture & decor, health & personal care and lawn & garden products. And the Kindle Fire! I have only visited one Canadian Target store and found it underwhelming; the selection and prices were not as good as those at Walmart, and I have not been back there since. But anything that increases competition is a good...