Look for Lower Growth This Holiday Season -- But a Jump in Online Shopping

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 14, 2011 04:06 PM

The stagnant world economy continues to be a drag on consumer demand, even as the 2011 holiday season approaches. The growth rate for the upcoming holiday season will be 2.8 percent in total retail sales -- half of last year's 5.6 percent actual growth -- according to London-based Kantar Retail, a division of Kantar Group, the insight and consulting arm of WPP, the world's largest communications group.

The breakdown of where sales will come from is a true sign of the times -- and a warning to traditional retailers. Kantar predicts that U.S. online sales from October through December will rise 13.5 percent, to $60.4 billion from $53.2 billion last year. While this is lower than the percentage increase from 2009 to 2010, it speaks to the continuing growth in market share of online shopping. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iPhone Fallout, Friendly's Woes, NBA Stand-Off

Posted by Dale Buss on October 5, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Apple could lure customers with pricing despite lack of iPhone 5, even as its new iPhone 4S fails to wow. AT&T, meanwhile, claims its iPhone 4S will be the fastest, while Samsung moves to ban the device in France and Italy.

Amazon Kindle Fire pre-orders top 2,000 per hour.

BNY Mellon gets sued by feds, state of New York.

Coca-Cola Amatil eyes Foster's assets in Australia.

Diageo to open "Happy Hour" on ESPN in two languages.

Disney gets 3-D fever.

Estee Lauder launches breast cancer awareness Facebook app.

Friendly's files for bankruptcy.Continue reading...

tech innovation

With Rekindled Kindle, Amazon Lights a Fire Under Apple

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 28, 2011 03:13 PM

Amazon today unveiled "Found new Kindles, four amazing price points," but it was the top-end of the range that's garnering the most attention.

The $199 Kindle Fire (available Nov. 15) is burning up Twitter and Facebook, with consumers poring over the just-released details of the tablet computer seen as a direct shot across the bow of Apple’s iPad.

More than 'just' an e-reader, the smaller and cheaper-than-an-iPad Kindle Fire has a 7-inch display, Wi-Fi connectivity, (but not 3G access) comes with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime and runs on Google’s Android software.

Announced at a press event in New York, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sees Kindle Fire — the flagship device in its newly expanded Kindle line — as more than just a tablet — it's a digital hub and services platform that leads right to his store.Continue reading...

ad watch

VIDEO: Watch the Amazon TV Commercials for Kindle Fire, Silk & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 28, 2011 10:45 AM

Here's the new Amazon commercial for Kindle Fire, the $199 tablet Jeff Bezos revealed today in New York to take on the iPad. The description: "Meet the all-new Kindle Fire — a Kindle for movies, music, apps, games, reading & more. Only $199."

Below, watch the commercials for the new lower-priced ($79) Kindle, whose pricing drew gasps from the reporters at the press conference; Silk, Amazon's new cloud-based browser; plus Kindle customer testimonials taped two weeks ago ... and let us know what you think of it all in the comments below!Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Kindle Fire, Pizza Hut Tackles Hunger and Yes, it's the Brooklyn Nets

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 26, 2011 05:59 PM

Brands to Watch

Amazon is set to unveil the Kindle Fire e-reader on Wednesday, with Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith on board, but Time Inc. negotiations going down to the wire.

Boeing confident about Dreamliner output as All Nippon Airways prepares for aircraft's first commercial flight.

Chrysler lets car buyers track production and delivery.

Coca-Cola CEO is "cautiously pleased" with company outlook.

Jay-Z announces the New Jersey Nets will be renamed the Brooklyn Nets, and that he'll kick off the NBA team's new home at the Barclays Center with an eight-concert series in Sept. 2012.

John Hancock extends "Who Knew?" campaign.Continue reading...

AT&T Holds the Phone, Clears Space for Tablets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 12, 2011 03:01 PM

Having the exclusive contract to be the wireless network for the Apple iPhone was a pretty sweet deal for AT&T, but that ended earlier this year when Verizon was allowed to start servicing the devices. That as a good part of the reason that AT&T had a 10% net income drop in the second quarter from the same period of time last year.

Soon, Sprint will be offering iPhones as well, meaning another potential rough time financially to get through. According to USA Today, the company that hauled in $124 billion last year is hoping to find its next bump in revenue from iPads and other tablets.

“From April to June, AT&T gained 627,000 new connected-device customers — not counting its 5.6 million in smartphone sales,” USA Today reports. AT&T rolls out the $480 Acer Iconia today, while Amazon's Kindle is “the fastest-growing connected device on AT&T’s wireless network.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, Marriott, Vudu & more

Posted by Chana Mayefsky on August 10, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Apple accused of e-book price fixing, as Amazon Kindles social interactions and rolls out cloud-based reader.

AT&T bid for T-Mobile faces California review.

Baidu shuts down Twitter-like service in China.

Banana Republic Facebook fans get first dibs on Banana Republic's Mad Men collection.

BlackBerry's fall from C-Suite to High Street riots in U.K. could damage brand.

Disney CEO Bob Iger seeks "great characters, great stories."

Kate Moss-inspired web ad banned in the U.K.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Amazon, Apple, Twitter & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 1, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

U.S. House is expected to pass debt ceiling bill tonight, with the Senate set to vote Tuesday.

Amazon launches AmazonLocal daily deals in Groupon's hometown of Chicago; launches MyHabit app to compete with Gilt Groupe; beefs up streaming offering to compete with Hulu by adding Universal titles; and looks to expand Kindle library.

Apple iPhone 5 now rumored for October; Apple TV lets users buy TV shows with streaming update; and Apple blocks Samsung tablet release in Australia.

Twitter confirms "significant" ($800M?) funding round led by Russia's DST Global; adds Dutch and Indonesian local sites; and opens NYC office.

Adobe bows to Apple and builds Flash alternative.

Airbnb looks to defuse user security concerns by offering $50,000 guarantee to homeowners.

Allstate to shut banking unit, posts $620M in losses on tornado claims.Continue reading...

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