Items tagged with retail

Would you miss Best Buy if the electronics chain suddenly shut its doors for good the way Circuit City did awhile back? The knee-jerk reaction by many tech enthusiasts is to answer "Hell no!" followed by a Best Buy horror story or three, but such incidents aside, would you really be happier if Best Buy no longer existed? Regardless of your answer, the time may come when you'll find out firsthand if the world is a better place without Best Buy in the picture, and according to Larry Downes, a contributing writer with Forbes, the time will come. Mr. Downes gives Best Buy "maybe a few more years" before... Read more...
What does Apple have to do with J.C. Penney? Not a lot, on the surface. But this week, the two are crossing paths in an odd way. J.C. Penney has just named Ron Johnson as their next Chief Executive Officer, and it could mean big, big things for their stores. Ron isn't nearly as well-known in the mainstream as someone like Mr. Ive or Mr. Jobs, but he made a huge impact on Apple. He's credited with dreaming up the Genius Bar and many of the subtleties within the Apple retail store universe, and these stores are obviously pulling in tons of cash from folks who just stop in for a glance. If anyone... Read more...
Last fall, Walmart launched a test to see how well a Walmart Wireless Shop would perform. The test launched in about 20 flagship stores. Each of the Walmart Wireless Shops is about 2,000 square feet in size. They carry a range of smartphones and cell phones and offer a variety of pre- and post-paid service plans. Since the initial test of the Walmart Wireless Shop has gone well, Walmart is planning to expand this test to an additional 150 locations sometime this year. The Walmart Wireless Shops are typically located near the checkout, similar to other in-store services such as banking, the eyeglass... Read more...
Recently, it was reported that Wal-mart stores would begin carving the size of their electronics department due to shrinking sizes of gadgets, and now it feels like Best Buy is following suit. Now that Circuit City no longer exists (that's STILL hard to believe!), Best Buy has become the go-to big box retailer when it comes to electronics. But it's still a tough market to be in; online sales are creeping up, and it's just easier to shop for electronics, music and the like on a computer versus heading into a store for a lot of devices that the company sells. Now, a Reuters report is suggesting that... Read more...
You may have noticed a larger electronics section in your local Wally World. That's because over the past couple of years, Walmart devoted about 20 percent more floor space to push home entertainment items, and in particular television sets. But with consumers showing little interest in 3D TVs, and with popular electronic gadgets shrinking in size, Walmart has made the decision to scale back its electronics department and use the space to sell things like fishing poles, fabric, and full-figure fashions, according to Reuters. "It's still a vibrant category but much smaller items are being sold,"... Read more...
Best Buy plans to launch a buyback program aimed at helping you "future-proof" your technology. The retailer plans to launch the program during the Super Bowl this Sunday. Through the Buy Back Program, you can purchase the technology you want today, knowing that within two years (four for TVs), Best Buy will buy it back for a set price. The program will accept TVs, mobile phones, laptops, netbooks, and tablets. When you sell your old technology back to Best Buy, you'll get a gift card that you can use in store for a future purchase.  In an email to Best Buy Reward Zone members, Brian J. Dunn,... Read more...
If you find yourself frequently disappointed by gifts from Aunt Mildred or Uncle Fred, Amazon may have a solution in store for you. Amazon was recently awarded a patent for a solution that will enable gift recipients to automatically exchange an item before they ever receive it. With Amazon's system, you'll get the chance to choose something else or get a gift card without ever letting the sender know you returned his or her gift. Amazon further describes the system in its patent: "As in other gift-giving situations, it sometimes occurs that gifts purchased online do not meet the needs or tastes... Read more...
Some of the Internet's biggest retail players are setting their sights on the flourishing business of local services. Google is reportedly interested in buying local coupon site Groupon for as much as $6 billion and Amazon.com is planning to invest $175 million in online coupon company LivingSocial, a Groupon competitor. eBay is buying Milo.com, which lets users see if items they seek are available on local store shelves. Needless to say, local-services sites and offerings are HOT. Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners said, "It's local mania." As Jeremy Liew, managing director at Lightspeed,... Read more...
The retail sales of electronics and appliances this summer should have a modest increase over last year, according to IBM's analytics-based forecast. The sales are predicted to increase 4 percent - $953 million - in June, July and August. June July August 3-month total 2009 (actual) $7.791 $7.740 $8.131 $23.662 2010 (forecast) $8.034 $8.069 $8.512 $24.615 IBM produced the forecast using "statistical and analytical software" that looks at long-term sales trends and seasonal peaks. The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau's survey of retailers whose primary business is the sale of electronics and... Read more...
Not long ago, we learned about Walmart's plan to expand its consumer electronics offerings. The big-box retailer is not alone. Target also has a system-wide plan to upgrade its TV, gaming, and digital imaging sections and product offerings.  The rollout began last month and should be completed by June. With the new CE department design, Target stores will get an updated TV wall that should make it easier for consumers to compare TVs across brands. Along with the display, Target plans to offer clear signs that highlight product features, making it even easier to compare models. The display... Read more...
As margins on actual wares grow slimmer, many retailers are looking to soak up more cash in the form of services. Granted, that's increasingly tough in the DIY universe that we live in, and even tougher in a retailer that looks to save people money. In an odd move aimed to rival Best Buy's Geek Squad, Wal-Mart has announced plans to offer its own form of tech support for shoppers. The mega-retailer has confirmed that it has started up a partnership with N.E.W. Customer Service Companies in order to offer in-home setup services to those who buy their gear from Wally World. In fact, the new offering... Read more...
It's a crazy world we live in. While some industries are shutting retail locations down to cope with a slower economy, the consumer electronics realm seems to be ramping up for growth. While Apple has already made the (smart) decision to open a 24/7 location in the Big Apple, Best Buy still has yet to open a single store that remained open around the clock. But all that changes in a month.On the ever-so-spooky Friday the 13th in November, the company's first-ever 24-hour location will open in the heart of New York City. The 48,000 square foot store will be located on the corner of 14th Street and... Read more...
We knew that Microsoft was going to open its own retail stores this fall, some of them (they say) right next to Apple retail outlets. They even hired David Porter (a former 25-year veteran Wal-Mart executive) to be Corporate Vice President of Retail Stores. That's experience, and they're not stopping there; they're apparently hiring away Apple retail store managers, too. The Loop cited anonymous sources, reporting that Microsoft has contacted "a number of Apple's retail store managers" to attract them to the new Microsoft stores. Additionally, they offered the managers “significant raises,” and... Read more...
Given that "radios" lost their glitz decades ago, we'd say a RadioShack re-branding is long overdue. Announced today after a flurry of rumors, RadioShack Corporation has decided to completely overhaul its brand, its mission and in some ways, its purpose. Moving forward, you'll see less of the aged RadioShack branding and more of "THE SHACK," a hip new label that will hopefully encourage more consumer electronics shoppers to stop by and check out items that fit their lifestyle. Previously, RadioShack was best known for odd-and-end adapters and batteries; now, THE SHACK is looking to be your go-to... Read more...
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