Posts filed under “Retail”

Best Buy (BBY): Amazon’s (AMZN) Showroom?

Bloomberg television ran a brief segment in which they posited that Best Buy (BBY) has effectively become Amazon’s (AMZN) biatch.  And I think there’s some truth to that.  This is no doubt one of the consequences of a population that walks around with smartphones running barcode scanning applications that allow us to see, touch, examine, try out a potential purchase and then, if it is to our liking, immediately search the web to find its best price — possibly (probably?) elsewhere, and maybe even order it before we leave the site at which we went to go see it in the first place.  Unless it’s an impulse buy — walk in for a $12 thumb drive, walk out with a $700, 50″ flat panel? — why wouldn’t you:

  1. Pay a lower price
  2. Pay no tax
  3. Probably get free shipping
  4. Have your purchase in just 2-3 days

And the proof of the pudding seems to be in the performance:

I’d postulate this trend is a contributing factor to this news item about weaker BBY sales in general, but which contained this interesting tidbit (I’d guess the sale of mobile devices has a much higher immediate, on-site close rate than, say, digital cameras or other higher-end electronics) :

The chain is also pushing hard to open smaller stores. The company is opening 150 smaller-format mobile only stores by the end of the year, nearly doubling its total to 325.

“We are exploring and redefining what the optimal big-box footprint is for us,” CEO Brian Dunn said on a call with analysts.

And yes, I’m aware of Amazon’s far more diverse offerings — consider this post as applicable only to electronics.

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BR adds: I have been playing with the Amazon PriceCheck barcode scanning app — it spells the end of retailing as we previously knew it . . .

Category: Consumer Spending, Markets, Retail, Technology, Web/Tech

Holidays by the Numbers

Even more holiday chart porn, via Daily Infographic: > click for ginormous infographic:

Category: Digital Media, Retail

Retail Sales Increase Most in 5 years

Leading into the holiday period, the data — and by data, I refer to actual sales numbers, and not surveys, gut feelings or instincts — was strongly suggesting that the 2010 orgy of consumerism known as the holiday shopping season was likely to be stronger than expected. The first clue I had of this was…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Psychology, Retail

By the Numbers: Online Holiday Shopping

My buddy Jeff, who worked at Yahoo during the glory days of the late 1990s and early 2000s, then was President of Coupon.com, sends this graphic along re: online shopping: > click for ginormous graphic > Source: A Case Of The Mondays: How Cyber And Green Mondays Rule Online Shopping BuySight.com December 17th, 2010 http://www.buysight.com/blog/2010/12/17/a-case-of-the-mondays-how-cyber-and-green-mondays-rule-online-shopping/

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail

Improving Holiday Sales Reflect Economic Recovery

The numbers are coming in, and so far, the Holiday shopping season is off to a very  respectable beginning. Mall Traffic, retail sales, even dollar volumes are all up. In some areas, improvements have been quite significant. Online sales saw very large gains. We do notice a variety of contradictions, binary conundrums and footnotes. We…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail

Amazon to Apple: We Got Yer Beatles Right Here!

With Apple finally landing the Beatles for the iTunes Music store, I wondered if the competition was going to do anything in response. For example, at the iTunes Music store, the full Beatles Boxed set — obviously misnamed, as it is 1. digital and b) minus the physical materials (which are terrific) — is priced…Read More

Category: Music, Retail

Anecdotal Evidence: Shoppers Out in Full Force

As much as I loathe anecdotal evidence, I was taken aback by the sheer insanity of the retailers this week before Thanksgiving weekend. Yesterday, I ran a few errands, and it was fairly insane. Black Friday is a full 7 days away, and the parking lots were nothing short of madness. All the usual caveats…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail

Inflation? Not According to a Billion Prices

> Those of you who regularly complain/mock/kvetch about the BLS methodology for measuring CPI prices — and I am as guilty as anyone else — should check out the “Billion Prices Project @ MIT.” The idea behind the Billion Prices Project is that we can track inflation by collecting prices from hundreds of online retailers…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Inflation, Retail

Retailers Need a Fresh Start

Retailers need a fresh start Andy Xie Caixin Online Aug. 30, 2010 > BEIJING: China’s gross domestic product surpassed Japan in the second quarter of 2010. The international media gave this milestone considerable attention. The domestic media hasn’t paid as much attention. As natural disasters, environmental degradation and property bubbles take the center of attention,…Read More

Category: Retail, Think Tank

“Pseudo-variety”: Soft Drink Industry Structure

Rather fascinating discussion of the beverage industry from Professor Philip H. Howard of Michigan State University. He concludes there is an oligolpoly, with 3 firms controlling nearly 90% of the beverage options. This lack of competition in this industry is obscured by the apparent variety of choices. Professor Howard calls it pseudovariety – variations on…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail