Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Top Christmas Retail News

It's here; The Q4 for retail. Possibly the most watched economic quarter of the year second only to Q1 of the next year - which is only significant because it is the juggling period of markdowns, wage expenses and a huge drop in average basket sizes leaving the store due to Q4. Some of the most interesting news in 2007 Q4 retail.

Brookstone is leading the way in 3-D online shopping. New this year - consumers can shop a virtual Brookstone store. Just download the browser and shop away. Brookstone is the first retailer to generate that kind of a virtual shopping experience. The link to the 3-D store is on the bottom right of their homepage but here is the link

Office Max - Elf Yourself
You've seen it in your inbox and have probably already sent one to a friend. According to Office Max has produced the 8th highest traffic site on the internet. The viral site allows you to upload up to 4 faces into dancing elf bodies and send it to friends and family for a holiday greeting.

Does Green Sell?
Despite all the movement and advances that retailers and brands have made to be more or appear more "green" very few of them are touting it for the holidays. One retailer making a big push is upscale department store operator Barneys, which sent out a catalog emblazoned with the words, “Have a Green Holiday” with an oranic Tshirt going for $68. Wal-Mart, JCPenney, and Target all said that they have no plans to market green merchandise with NPD's Cohen claiming that the green thing has been a little overplayed and has no real hold for consumers. True?

Bye Tickle Me Elmo Hello Gaming Consoles
With no "must have" items driving sales for retailers this year many are promoting other products and the leading bread-winners are gaming related products. Mostly though, stores are increasingly turning to discounting of perennially popular electronics and toys to lure shoppers, analysts say, which means it's consumers who ultimately are benefiting from the lack of a blockbuster product this year. According to an article in the Detroit News "Not having a hot product has spurred the use of other attention-seeking tactics by retailers, said Mike Bernacchi, professor of marketing at University of Detroit Mercy. "Retailers don't like having nothing to fall back on," he said. "They're having to try to create and buzz where there wouldn't be some. It's become one promotion after another out of desperation."

Linux Going Mainstream Many of the hottest computing options this holiday are PC’s and laptops running open-source Linux. For years Linux has lived on the fringe that separates geekdom from the mainstream but now it is crossing the line into non-tech, non-geek homes. Why? The Almighty Dollar. Linux machines are cheaper and often more energy efficient than both Windows and Mac. The revolution started in, of all places – Wal-Mart – with the Everex TC2502 gPC going for $199 without a monitor. Will it work? Read the story in Linux News