Items tagged with retail

Need a job for the holidays? You might be in luck. Microsoft plans to open at least a dozen so-called 'pop-up' retail stores across the U.S. and Canada, from Massachusetts to California, this coming holiday season. These "Microsoft Holiday Store" locations are undoubtedly an effort to kickstart Windows 8 and aggressively push the company's upcoming Surface tablet and handset devices. The locations appear in a series of job postings on Microsoft's website and currently include Vancouver, BC; San Francisco, CA; North Miami, FL; Miami, FL; Downtown Chicago, IL; Braintree, MA; Natick, MA; St. Louis, MO; Manhattan, NY; Cleveland, OH; Portland, OR; and San Antonio, TX. Microsoft didn't tip exactly... Read more...
Remember when eBay was an auction site? Those were the days. Nowadays, eBay is a full-on storefront, keeping that auction setting at the core but building a vast network of other opportunities around it. There's Buy-It-Now, for starters, and there are a variety of opportunity to sell goods on eBay without going through the typical auction process. We suppose it makes sense for a site to branch out and explore other revenue opportunities, but to say eBay has maintained its small size while growing in scope would be a stretch. That said, the site is still churning out new ideas, and the latest one is probably one of its brightest. Just weeks after Amazon was said to be taking same-day shipping... Read more...
It's really not a great time to be in retail consumer electronics sales. Or maybe it's just not a great time to be Best Buy. The United States' largest consumer electronics retailer hasn't had a great year, with its CEO stepping away and sales / profits sliding. Now, it's taking measures to ensure that it doesn't slip too far behind, and that's bad news for select employees. The company has just confirmed a 1.4% employee cut, representing 2,400 jobs. This is following the company's announcement that it would have to close 50 lower performing stores in the U.S. Best Buy will cut 600 of those jobs from Geek Squad (which currently employs around 20,000 people), with the other 1,800 coming from "store... Read more...
In what is being deemed as a "leadership transition," Brian Dunn has stepped down as chief executive officer and director of Best Buy. Director G. Mike Mikan will assume the role as CEO on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found, Best Buy announced. "There were no disagreements between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies, or procedures," Best Buy said. "There was mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership to address the challenges that face the company." Image Source: Flickr (roblawton) News of Dunn's departure can't come as a shocker to anyone who's been paying attention to Best Buy's struggles as of late. The... Read more...
For you nostalgic types out there, you may want to head over to your local Best Buy electronics store and take a stroll through nerd nirvana, it could end up being the last time you do so. In reporting its fourth quarter and full year 2012 financial results, the mega electronics chain outlined a new transformation strategy that includes the closure of 50 big-box brick-and-mortar stores. It's part of a larger cost cutting initiative that Best Buy hopes will save the company $800 million by fiscal 2015. Closing 50 retail stores is expected to cut costs by $300 million. Best Buy says it will save another $300 million by reducing its outside consultant services and eliminating 400 positions in its... Read more...
During a presentation today, Target confirmed plans to have "special displays" of Apple products in 25 of its retail stores. Although few details are available regarding the partnership, we would expect the deal to be similar to the deal between Apple and Best Buy in which the big-box electronics store sells Apple products from dedicated mini stores. Apple won't be the only exclusive store within Target: The company is also planning other exclusive shops that will sell everything from candy to clothing. Target is calling the concept, "The Shops at Target." Starting in early May, you can expect to find items from various boutiques such as Boston's Polka Dog Bakery and San Francisco's The Candy... Read more...
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 the seemingly inevitable happens, and he supports his notion by pointing out a few key metrics.... 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 knows how to run a retail shop, it's Apple. And that's largely because of Ron. Now, he'll be able to... 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 center, and other store services. In addition to expanding its Wireless Shop test, Walmart is also... 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 Best Buy will be boosting their presence on the Web while shrinking some of their larger stores.... 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," said Rosalind Brewer, president of Walmart East. Walmart said it will still sell the same number of... 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, CEO, explained the service: Because you're a valued Best Buy customer, I want to personally tell... 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 of the gift recipient….In such situations, the recipient may wish to convert the gift to something... 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, a company that recently invested $8 million in LivingSocial put it, local deals are "the most exciting,... 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 appliances - that includes, among other things, televisions, cell phones, computers, radios/stereos,... 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 also will present models in "a more realistic in-home presentation." In addition to a change in 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 will be in place prior to the holiday season getting fully underway, so there's a good chance things... 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 4th Avenue, right smack dab in the midst of historic downtown Manhattan’s Union Square. If our math... 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 in some cases, moving expenses. This might not be the best move on Microsoft's part however. ifoAppleStore... 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 store when it comes to electronics accessories.It's a tough battle, for sure. The accessory market... Read more...
Later this summer, T-Mobile customers will be able to head to their local RadioShack in order to purchase handsets, accessories, and services. The new retail agreement between RadioShack and T-Mobile expands RadioShack’s postpaid wireless offerings and brings some of T-Mobile’s highly anticipated handsets, such as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G with Google, to the retailer. For T-Mobile, the agreement nearly doubles the number of retail partners nationwide that offer the company’s postpaid products and services. RadioShack is now T-Mobile’s largest retail partner. “RadioShack is focused on growing our mobility category and is committed to providing our customers with a broad selection of the best wireless... Read more...
Alright, it's more of a kiosk and less of a storefront, but Alienware is invading a Micro Center located in Paterson, New Jersey. In honor of the event, the Dell-owned company is hosting a LAN party, giving away a fair amount of free swag, and showcasing their various systems on Saturday, July 25. There's no word on whether or not its a BYOB event, but Alienware is promising to have plenty of its own machines around for enthusiasts and gamers to oggle. To be honest, this seems an odd move for the boutique computer OEM. While it's true that parent company Dell has cut deals with Walmart, Office Max and Staples to sell retail systems, the systems themselves are mostly the lower-end Infineon... Read more...
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