Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 21, 2013 03:38 PM
All things considered, turnaround specialist Hubert Joly has something to celebrate on his first anniversary at the helm of Best Buy. The electronics retailer was "all but given up for dead a year ago—when it was fighting against shrinking revenues, bad publicity, and crushing competition from industry rival Amazon..."
But on August 20, Best Buy reported gross margins of 26.5 percent, beating estimates, as its stock price gained 10 percent. Best Buy's profit for the quarter ending August 3 was $266 million compared to $12 million for the same period one year ago. Still, CEO Joly "is simply better managing the decline. Same-store sales fell by 0.6 percent, and overall revenue was down 0.4 percent," comments Bloomberg.
Nevertheless, Joly can take some satisfaction from his efforts in righting a sinking ship. One move that has surely helped: In March, Best Buy instituted a no holds barred "Low Price Guarantee" to blunt the negative impact of "showrooming"—when consumers visit the chain's stores to look at products, only to then leave and purchase the items online. The Guarantee offers to match a price from any local retail competitor's store, as well as from a designated list of online retailers, which includes Amazon.com, Apple.com, Sears.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com. It's likely that the Guarantee contributed to a 10.5 percent increase in online sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM
Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 28, 2013 11:42 AM
The friendly skies are getting friendlier as Wi-Fi will soon be a regular feature on domestic and international flights. Currently, 38 percent of US flights offer internet connectivity, a likelihood that increases with flight time and route popularity, making 80 percent of non-stop flights between California and New York connected, according to Routehappy.com.
The report notes that “international Wi-Fi is becoming a reality, with 38 daily international flights from the U.S. offering it, and another 241 international flights having “a chance of Wi-Fi or cellular roaming” on various carriers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 03:08 PM
Best Buy is confident that it will kill "showrooming" once and for all beginning March 3.
The electronics retailer has announced that it plans to launch a "Low Price Guarantee" policy under which it will price-match all local retail competitors along with 19 "major online competitors" in all product categories, whenever a customer asks for it. That way, Best Buy's reasoning goes, shoppers will have absolutely no incentive to "showroom" by doing their research in the store and then ordering the merchandise less expensively online.
"There is no doubt that this new policy ends showrooming for Best Buy customers," a company spokesman told Bloomberg.
That's the hope, at least, although along with the new showrooming policy—or, actually, as part of it—Best Buy now will accept returned merchandise only for 15 days after the date of purchase instead of 30 days. It also will price-match purchases within 15 days if it has lowered its own price for a product in the store or online.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 04:01 PM
Since MTV aired “Video Killed the Radio Star” back in August of 1981, the company has gotten into plenty of things that haven’t involved music at all, from asking its viewers to “Rock the Vote” to exposing the world to the somehow fascinating mundane dramas of young adults on the Jersey shore.
Now, Viacom’s MTV Networks International is getting into another business: selling branded tablets in India. Or, as the Telecom Tiger puts it, fablets (presumably, a more fab version of phablets). MTV has announced a partnership with Swipe Telecom to produce a co-branded fablet, MTV Volt.
The 6-inch smartphone features a television screen so people can get their MTV wherever they are. The youth-centric device will also serve as, “a fully functional high-definition Android tablet with Wi-Fi, dual cameras, FM player and GPS functionality,” that weighs half a pound and retails for around 12,999 Rupees or $240, Telecom Tiger reports. And, of course, built-in apps allow users to get right onto Facebook and LinkedIn.Continue reading...
Posted by Andrew Chan on January 2, 2013 10:31 AM
Samsung's latest teaser spot for its 2013 Consumer Electronics Show news has some observers wondering whether the Korean electronics giant plans to turn the TV industry on its side by introducing portrait (instead of landscape) Smart TV monitors. In any event, it's wooing consumers with a smart TV upgrade kit. Look for more clues in the brand's pre-CES videos, below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 7, 2012 11:11 AM
As the world’s eyeballs continue to turn toward screens everywhere like flowers to the sun, there are some flights of fancy of yesteryear that don’t involve looking at flat grayness and are surprisingly having a resurgence.
Remember Rubik’s Cube? The simultaneously simple and complex symbol of the 1980s is seeing an uptick in sales, according to the New York Times. The latest wave of speedcubers dominated the attendance of the 2012 World Cube Association’s U.S. National Championship last weekend in Las Vegas. “Anybody blessed with the basic human senses can instantly ‘get it,’ ” said the toy’s creator, Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik, to the Times.
While that quality certainly helps the Cube (a brand owned by Seven Towns Ltd.) in its longevity, its appeal transcends play. “You can use Rubik’s Cube to teach engineering, you can use it to teach mathematics, and you can use it to talk about the interplay between design and engineering and mathematics and creativity,” said Paul Hoffman, president of New Jersey's Liberty Science Center, which will mark the Cube’s 40th anniversary in 2014 with an exhibition. “I’m hoping the Rubik’s Cube will excite a new generation and get them into engineering.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 10, 2012 12:55 PM
Apple has pulled out of EPEAT, a global non-profit eco-rating service sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and will no longer label its electronic products according to their environmental impact as a result.
In stating its disappointment at the move, EPEAT noted that its certification program is "more than simply a product rating – it is also a community effort by all interested stakeholders to define and maintain best practice in environmental sustainability for electronics."
Tech Week Europe sees it as "a setback to Apple’s green campaign and may have come about because of difficulties in dismantling and recycling new MacBook products."Continue reading...