Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2013 02:03 PM
Amazon’s home grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, is expanding slowly—on purpose. Ther service's first roll-out beyond its home base in Seattle hit Los Angeles last week as Amazon starts in on a strategic plan to focus on high-density urban areas and warehousing robotics, according to a report from Reuters.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos has shown a lot of restraint in rolling out the grocery product as a handful of competitors like PeaPod, Fresh Direct and a host of more local, store-based systems have entered the space. But Bezos has slowed the process in order to learn from previous mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others. After all, with less than one percent of online activity responsible for the $586 billion in grocery retail sales, the addition of online grocery to Amazon's portfolio makes it virtually unsurpassable. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 6, 2013 11:34 AM
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity is cancelling its three-day fundraising walks next year in Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Washington.
"The difficult decision to exit these markets was not made lightly, as we know this bold and empowering event has touched the lives of thousands of participants like you," the group posted on its Facebook page.
Participation in the walks has steadily declined 37 percent since 2009, a spokewoman told the New York Daily News, and the cities removed from plans for 2014 did not meet fundraising goals, according to a spokeswoman. Every participant is required to raise a minimum of $2,300 and walk about 60 miles over the three day events. The walks will continue in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 4, 2013 12:42 PM
Nearly three months after Lululemon suffered a crushing quality control issue effecting its popular black Luon yoga pants, in turn causing a social media firestorm over the brand's handling of the recall, new and improved (read: not sheer) pants are making their way onto store shelves.
The company plans to restock stores through June with its Astro and Groove yoga pants, while its Wunder Unders appeared for sale on the website this week.
Back in March, the cult-like Canadian retailer pulled 17 percent of its yoga pants made of Luon, a proprietary Lycra-based fabric, as customer complaints rolled in claiming the pants were sheer—like completely see through, embarrassing sheer. That was quite a problem for a company that touts the benefits of yoga and its many body-bending positions. In an ill-advised move, the brand only posted one, vague blog post about the issue and recall, failing to identify the styles effected or provide any specific information for concerned customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 28, 2013 12:39 PM
It’s not easy being a cruise passenger these days. Sure, you’ve got fabulous live shows to attend, shuffleboard aplenty, and heaping steam tables of food to consume, but you’ve also got to live with the possibility that a fire could break out and shut down the rest of your trip, or that the engines might fail and leave all the toilets not working properly for days.
Unfortunately for thousands of passengers, the above instances have already occured in a streak of accidents that have plagued the cruise industry over the last six months, affecting several of Carnival Cruise Lines ships and now Royal Caribbean. The incidents have surely affected the industry's latest numbers as potential customers have been deterred from traveling while loyal cruisers have opted out of their choice vacations. To help rebuild the industry’s fundamental base and hopefully encourage passengers to travel again, the industry’s trade group, Cruise Lines International Assn., has just adopted a passenger bill of rights, the Chicago Tribune reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 24, 2013 03:36 PM
Google is on the move, expanding its two-month old Google Shopping Express, its challenger in same-delivery service to eBay Now and Amazon Prime. The service is rolling out in the San Francisco Bay Area and beta tester sign-up is now open.
Mashable reports the delivery service has "been doing well enough and worked out the kinks to expand a little more." The expansion will include more products from retail partners, improved 360-degree images for product browsing and a bigger fleet of third-party couriers. Despite the success, the service faces some steep competition. “Google faces tough competition from more established businesses and startups in the space—not to mention the fact that Google has a mixed track record when it comes to commerce,” notes Mashable.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 22, 2013 01:42 PM
Businesses dream of phones ringing off the hook and website traffic spiking thousands of percent. But such activity can also be bittersweet and a tightrope of ethical messaging and decision making. Just ask Tornado Alley Armor, the Oklahoma-based seller and installer of high-end storm shelters, about the bittersweet truth of how disasters can mean good business.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 07:10 PM
While Apple has had some good news lately (it reached 50 billion downloads from its App Store, signed a deal with CW to have the network’s content appear on Apple TV, and its UK retail locations received the top customer-service rating in Britain), it also is going through some tough times as a brand.
A recent poll from Bloomberg notes that, “71 percent of poll respondents say the Cupertino, California, company has lost its cachet as an industry innovator, which includes 28 percent who say it is permanent and 43 percent who say it may be a temporary hiccup.” While some Apple loyalists remain dedicated to the company that has brought the world such innovations as the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes, plenty of folks in the general population aren’t as high on Apple as they used to be, with some turning to competitors like Google and Samsung. “Google plays offense while Apple has recently settled for playing defense,” Forbes reports. “Apple is struggling to maintain its position in the market, while Google is expanding its position.”
Google’s shares have gone over a record $900 while Apple’s are now just above $400 after being over $705 in late September. While it can be difficult to keep up with its own track record of innovation, Apple apparently has got to keep pushing in order to keep the masses satisfied. “Where Apple went wrong is they began to confuse version releases and feature improvements with innovation,” Forbes reports. “What Apple is learning the hard way is even the most loyal base of consumers will jump ship when provided a valid reason to do so.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 8, 2013 06:47 PM
The technology world is an unforgiving battleground for brands that fail to catch hold. Windows 8, Microsoft's highly touted operating system seems to be one of those brands that didn't quite take off as expected.
Even as Microsoft pursues a re-branding based around the new Windows design, the word on the street is that Windows 8 will be getting an "update" later this year. Read that as an attempt to fix problems that have been frustrating both consumers and device manufacturers. Tami Reller, head of Microsoft's Windows division, was blunt in telling the Associated Press, "Are there things that we can do to improve the experience? Absolutely. There is a learning curve and we can work to address that."Continue reading...