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CompUSA.com bought by Systemax and Best Buy takes over 17 leases

May 1st, 2008

Just when you thought that CompUSA was done, Systemax (Owner of Tigerdirect) bought the rights to the brand CompUSA.com, trademarks, website and 16 stores for $30 million sometime last week.   This comes a month after being sold to the liquidation firm Gordon Brothers Group.   Systemax has announced they will reopen 15 stores, 13 of which are in Florida.

Then, today Best Buy took over 17 leases of CompUSA locations totaling 453,000 square feet for $13.5 million.   The leases range in time lines of 3 to 14 years. 

Home Depot closing 15 underperforming US Stores

May 1st, 2008

Home Depot announced that they are closing 15 underperforming stores affecting ~1300 store associates.   It appears that the housing market problems have gone on for too long and Home Depot has to make adjustments.  They say that they are still planning on opening 55 new stores in their 2009 fiscal year. 

Microsoft Surface Video Demo At AT&T Retail Store

April 3rd, 2008

Embedded here is a video demo of the use of Surface technology in the AT&T retail store.  It shows the user placing a Samsung Blackjack on the table and all of the features displayed in rich media with video and audio coming up about the phone.  The user then places a Curve on the table and it instantly shows a feature comparison between the two phones.  Pretty slick demo.  

Borders Concept Store Video

April 3rd, 2008

I found this video on youtube that shows the new concept stores being rolled out by Borders.  It’s a good looking store, but I don’t see anything new. 

Target’s Inner Circle - CNN Money

April 2nd, 2008

In case you missed it, there was a good article by CNN Money that covers Target’s Executive team, why they are different and how they are preparing for the departure of their CEO. http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/18/news/companies/reingold_target.fortune/index.htm

Amazon launches TextBuyIt Service via SMS On A Cell Phone

April 2nd, 2008

amazontextbuyit.jpg

Standing in a Barnes & Noble, flipping through a book you are considering to purchase, you can now pull out your cell phone, write a txt a message to 262966 (Amazon on a phone pad) that contains the ISDN, UPC code, or name of the book and Amazon will reply back with the price of the book and an offer to buy it.    The book could now be 20-40% cheaper if you are willing to wait a couple days for shipping. 

The next versions are sure to include being able to take a picture of the UPC with your phone camera, send that up and receive your price and availability of the product. 

 This time next year, it will be interesting to know what percentage of retail store sales are pre-scanned at Amazon before purchase. 

 Also consider the possibilities of advertising.  While walking through the airport, an advertisement panel on the wall shows the latest Iacocca leadership book and at the bottom it gives you the Amazon SMS # and a short code for the product.  In two minutes you’ve purchased the book. 

About six months ago we designed a similar addon module for Blue Martini Commerce that would allow this type of sms commerce.  It fell in the priority list as being a little too far out there from a consumer adoption standpoint.  Looks like we will need to reconsider. 

Surface Tables deployed at AT&T Cellular Stores First

April 2nd, 2008

Closeup Microsoft Surface at AT&T Retail storeThere’s an interesting article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer about AT&T Cellular stores being the first retailer to roll out Microsoft’s Surface technology. 

It’s funny that AT&T is the first to deploy the technology when one of the main demos for Surface has been a T-Mobile in-store kiosk. 

The stores that will get the tables can be found here:

  • New York: 381 Madison Ave. and 350 Park Ave.
  • Atlanta: 3429 Lenox Road N.E.
  • San Antonio: 13127 San Pedro Ave.
  • San Francisco area: 1206 El Camino Real, San Bruno
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    New Marketing

    March 25th, 2008

    Sorry, I haven’t been posting much the last couple weeks.  Between travel and moving my blog from my old host to a new one because of service issues, my time has been sparse.   I came across this presentation “The future of advertising” and it talks about old marketing vs. new marketing and has some great quotes from leaders in the space.  Definitely worth checking out. 

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    Heat Maps to Test Your Ecommerce Site Design via Feng GUI

    February 16th, 2008

    Amazon Ecommerce Heatmap

    I came across a useful free tool for creating heatmaps of your website design at Feng Gui.   The site allows you to type in your url or upload an image and it creates a heatmap based on what it thinks a real human would be most likely to look at.  The application uses a ViewFinder algorithm to create a saliency map based on objects in the field of view that stand out relative to neighboring items. 
    Continue Reading »

    CSS Reference Released by Sitepoint

    February 12th, 2008

    Sitepoint, one of my favorite web design communities just released a CSS Reference -http://reference.sitepoint.com/css for looking up syntax and semantics for CSS.