AT&T Debuts Less Cluttered, Experience-Oriented Concept Store in Chicago

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 2, 2013 05:12 PM

The next 10 years of retail are going to be quite different from the last 100, mostly because of the introduction of digital, AT&T retail head Paul Roth told AllThingsD. So the company is about to change its entire retail experience, starting with a test store in the suburbs of Chicago.

The store features different areas, each styled after areas of a home. "Technology can be intimidating for people, but when we put them in a friendly, comfortable environment, we show them how technology can enhance their lives," Dave Fine of AT&T told the Chicago Tribune.

One very obvious thing that the new concept store is missing is cash registers. Instead, transactions will be completed with mobile devices anywhere in the store with any store employee, reports. “The future of retail is all about personalized service and education,” Roth told the site.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Chromecast Set to Debut New Streaming Partners as Interest Grows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 01:35 PM

Chromecast, Google's latest TV-streaming product, is officially a runaway hit among consumers and media brands. Now, Vimeo, Verizon and Redbox Instant are joining the current lineup of Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Google Play on the $35 dongle device, with more in the works. 

Gigaom reports that hackers have uncovered code that indicates the platform may be gearing up to host HBO Go as well. Alluding to a coming partnership, Vimeo VP of mobile, Nick Alt, told GigaOm, "We’re excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google Shutters Netflix Promo as Chromecast Sells Out in Less Than a Day

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2013 10:42 AM

Google's just-released Chromecast device, priced at $35, sold out on and by Thursday morning, just hours after it was announced on Wednesday. 

Dubbed a low-cost challenger to internet streaming devices like Apple TV and Roku, Chromecast also came packaged with a free, three-month subscription to content partner Netflix. However, after demand surged for the device, Google announced late Thursday that the free subscription was no longer available.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Microsoft Looks to Unifying Strategy to Revitalize Aging Company

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2013 03:17 PM

Microsoft announced Thursday a company-wide reorganization—its latest effort to revitalize the struggling brand. In an email to all employees, CEO Steve Ballmer said: 

“Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world. Today’s announcement will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”

While the realignment involves no major departures or promotions for current executives, it does dissolve the company's current business units and reorganizes them into four divisions: Operating Systems, Applications and Services, Cloud and Enterprise, and Devices and Studios. The move places the company's three operating systems into one division, and stretches marketing and business strategy into a unified, cross-company group.Continue reading...


Microsoft Lays Out Plan for 600 Windows Stores Inside Best Buy Locations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 14, 2013 10:51 AM

Microsoft is walking its retail footprint right into Best Buy in a strategic partnership to create Windows Stores in over 600 Best Buy locations in the US. 

Microsoft is calling the initiative “department-level takeovers,” a strategic move central to the company’s retail plans. “The Windows Store will showcase the full breadth of Windows tablets and PC's, Windows phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and more, in an immersive, hands on, unique, interconnected environment."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Amtrak, YouTube and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 14, 2013 09:18 AM

In the News

Microsoft and Best Buy plan mini "Windows Stores."

Amtrak hires esteemed chefs to ramp up its train food.

YouTube becomes overwhelming platform for fan-made branded content.

US Supreme Court strikes down gene patents.

Airbus lifts A350 to maiden flight ahead of schedule even as it copes with losses from aircraft's predecessor model.

Arby's franchisees helped get CMO ousted.

Audi is top choice of marriage cheaters in UK, survey says.

BMI sues Pandora over fees.

Bloomberg sees reporters' practices become critical issue for company.

Cadillac boosts sticker on new CTS by whopping $6,000.

Chevrolet believes racing on Sunday still sells on Monday.

Chrysler recalls sprinkling of trucks, Darts.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Groupon Plays for Mobile E-Commerce but is Haunted by Past Underperformance

Posted by Dale Buss on June 10, 2013 12:56 PM

Groupon keeps pivoting to a new mobile-based e-commerce business model, but there are a lot of obstacles to morphing into a top competitor in a space that is attracting many other significant brands.

The Chicago-based company, of course, was the pioneer in the business of offering online deals at local merchants, and founder Andrew Mason built Groupon into the giant of that industry and a $20-a-share IPO nearly two years ago. Then Groupon got competition in that space and merchants began grousing that the architecture of the Groupon deals was far better for consumers than for them. Mason was sacked in February and now board members are looking for a permanent CEO.

In the meantime, investors and employees alike have been heartened that Groupon not only has shored up its local-deals business but also is in hard pursuit of a big chunk of the mobile-shopping business, hoping to become the first big e-commerce player to get the majority of its revenue from mobile.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Hershey, Foxconn and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 21, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Apple accused of avoiding billions in overseas taxes. 

Hershey launches new brand to get piece of China market.

Foxconn confirms employee deaths.

Best Buy swings to a loss on lower revenues.

Burberry is lifted by China performance.

Chevrolet joins Mad Men buzz on Twitter.

Chris-Craft rebuilds boat maker after recession.

Flowers Foods predicts "record year" after acquisition of Hostess brands.

Giorgio Armani profit is boosted by Asia.

GrubHub and Seamless merge their food ordering services.Continue reading...

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