Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 12:42 PM
Amazon may think its on its way to world domination with the announcement of its under-development drone-delivery service and its ability to get the United States Postal Service to actually work on Sundays, but one entity—the Supreme Court—has managed to put the kibosh on one of the company's most important efforts.
On Cyber Monday, while online shoppers across the globe took advantage of mega deals all over the internet, the Supreme Court was giving Amazon and Overstock.com some bad news about a fight that other online retailers, such as eBay, were watching closely. The Court said it won’t stop New York State from forcing online retailers to charge sales tax to those who buy products in their state. The Court rejected the appeals of the retailers.
Amazon and Overstock had been arguing that since there were no facilities owned by either company in the state of New York, there should be no sales tax paid by those who purchase items from the online retailers while in the borders of the Empire State. According to Bloomberg, “states lose an estimated $23 billion a year in uncollected sales taxes from web retailers.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 04:52 PM
It’s tricky to find consensus on the success of this weekend’s spending, but one thing is a fact—Black Friday marked the first billion-dollar-plus day of this year’s holiday shopping season.
Accorind to comScore, consumers spent $1.2 billion online, with sales up 18.9 percent this year from last as retailers pushed their open hours from Friday to Thanksgiving day.
"Consumers appear to have responded to retailers' strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year," Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and senior director of research, told USA Today. "The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products."
ShopperTrak reports that sales were off 13.2 percent on Black Friday, but with more stores open earlier on Thanksgiving this year, and for longer hours, the combined sales of Thursday and Friday were actually up 2.3 percent over the same two days last year. Still, a more somber take from the National Retail Federation puts the weekend spend at about $1.7 billion less than in 2012. “There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” Matthew Shay, CEO, NRF, told the New York Times. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 02:11 PM
Amazon, the granddaddy of big-box e-tail has taken a giant leap forward in the same-day delivery race with the debut of its Prime Air delivery drones.
Making its debut on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the “octocopter” drones could be operating in four or five years. “It will work, it will happen, and it’s going to be alot of fun,” he said.
The drones, which have been a special project of the company's R&D lab, will need FAA approval before they can deliver any packages—primarily within a 10-mile radius of distribution centers for packages five pound or less in under 30 minutes.
“Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards,” the company noted. Bezos also noted that the environmentally sensitive motors are "very green."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 03:03 PM
With seven million fewer people than last year expected to shop this holiday weekend, Black Friday promised to offer even greater, more desperate discounts and the subsequent sad, human spectacle those discounts guarantee. A tragic situation for retailers; a feast for the unsympathetic, bloodthirsty spectators of Rome America.
Still, the mad rush so far seems to have been worth it. Early reports are indicating solid consumer turnouts for Thanksgiving day/night sales, while e-commerce is already up 7 percent this year compared to last, according to IBM's Benchmark data. Mobile has appeared to be a strong player this year, accounting for 37 percent of all online shopping traffic and nearly 22 percent of sales as of noon, eastern-time, today.
With sales starting as early as the afternoon of Thanksgiving itself, shoppers and spectators alike still well lubricated with wine, those looking for the melees of Black Friday found it early this year. Walmart seemed to be the epicenter of the chaos but other stores got mentions as well. So here's a Twitter round-up of some of the more notable incidents, plus one development that proves it isn't only Black Friday that's moving to Thursday.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2013 09:02 AM
BlackBerry sale to Fairfax falls apart as $1 billion in funding is secured, CEO Thorsten Heins steps down and shares plunge.
Kellogg plans to trim 7% of workforce by 2017 as part of global restructuring.
American Airlines and US Airways merger cleared in US, but only with broad divestitures.
AB InBev sees strong growth for Budweiser in Russia.
Alcatel-Lucent seeks to raise $2 billion for turnaround plan.
Apple's gold iPhone 5s continues flying off shelves, while Apple CEO Tim Cook backs LGBT anti-discrimination bill.
Billabong sells Canadian retail chain West 49.
Chevron pumps up spending to boost production.
Dr Pepper finds formula to Facebook success.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2013 11:22 AM
L'Oréal Paris has found an unlikely partner in the pursuit of beauty—the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The pair have teamed up to host L'Oréal Paris' Intelligent Color Experience vending machines inside a New York City subway station that allows any straphanger to stock up on beauty items on-the-go.
Running in the 42nd Street-Bryant Park station between Nov. 4th and Dec. 30th, the intelligent vending machines actually scan a user's outfit to detect colors and style, in turn suggesting beauty products that "match or clash." Users can purchase items with a credit card, or if they choose not to buy on the spot, can email the look to themselves.
As more brands explore interactive shopping experiences through experiential marketing, L’Oréal’s latest offers a “real-life experience through technology,” Marc Speichert, CMO L’Oréal Americas, told the New York Times. “What’s amazing with the technology is that we’ll have the ability to measure the level of engagement," he said, based on “the number of people who pass by, the number who interact with each screen, the number who leave their information.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 23, 2013 03:32 PM
eBay is cleaning up its act and making the site a more personal space to shop with new features focused on curation of collections, and lending a more personal feel with user profiles and seller "storefronts."
Borrowing from Etsy and Pinterest, users can now create product boards attached to eBay listings to follow those with like-minded tastes.
"We've got 500 million active listings at any given time. It's an amazing amount of inventory, but the fact is you've got to find the stuff you want," Richelle Parham, eBay CMO, told Advertising Age. "What's phenomenal about eBay is we make those moments of inspiration instantly shoppable."
A campaign geared toward informing consumers about the new features through online videos features curators including blogger Joy Cho.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 09:17 AM
Mondelez invests $400 million in sustainability.
Facebook reverses stance on violent video.
Microsoft tests eyewear similar to Glass.
Amazon and eBay shake up shipping strategies.
American Honda settles class-action suit over oil-burning defect.
Apple targets Microsoft Office with free apps.
Caterpillar cuts 2013 forecast as mining orders drop.
Cheetos promises to TP any location in the world for new Halloween campaign.
Coach loses ground to luxury rivals.
Ford trims production of C-Max and Focus.Continue reading...