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FSU Basks in National Championship Glory with Coke

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2014 10:45 AM

Florida State fans have been celebrating since the university’s football team secured the national championship on Monday and found a thrilling way to cap off an undefeated season, coming from behind to finish off the Auburn Tigers 34-31 with a two-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds to go.

Not to lose celebratory steam, Coca-Cola has unveiled its limited-edition Coke and Coke Zero 12 oz. cans that feature FSU’s logo and acknowledgement that the team is tops in the nation. There aren’t too many of these cans headed to Alabama, surely.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Amazon Under Fire for Gun Accessory Sales as Nation Observes Sandy Hook Anniversary

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 16, 2013 05:43 PM

Once upon a time, you could only buy books from Amazon, but much has changed since then. Now, the e-tail giant sells just about anything you could want, but one category of products has put the company on the hot seat.

Company investors have expressed concerns about Amazon's plethora of available firearm accessories—products that can turn legal, semi-automatic weapons into illegal versions of themselves. The outcry comes at a poignant time, with the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre this past weekend, in which an assailant shot and killed 26 people, including 20 school children.  

The concern comes from a number of big investors, including New York State’s retirement fund, who sent a letter expressing their concern to the company in late November.Continue reading...

e-commerce

With Smartphones in Hand, Consumers Stretch Cyber Monday Sales to New Recond

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM

Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.

Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as Walmart.com quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile." 

Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings. 

Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...

e-commerce

Supreme Court Ignores Amazon's Appeals in State Sales Tax Fight

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...

retail watch

Thanksgiving Holiday Sales Are a Mixed Bag of 'Good' and 'Could Have Been Better'

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...

e-commerce

Amazon Debuts Drone Delivery Concept

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...

black friday

Black Friday 2013: Retailers, Consumers Fight Tooth and Nail for Holiday Sales

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...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, Kellogg, American Airlines and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

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...

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