Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

from MediaFile:

Why won’t Amazon say how many Kindles it’s sold?

Something about returning from the Christmas holidays makes people want to show off what they received – a new sweater donned, a new gadget subtly pulled out at meetings, a few extra pounds padding the belly.

Jeff Bezos doesn't like this tradition. He will hint at the generous present that consumers gave to Amazon in the form of surprisingly strong sales, but he won't offer details.

Bezos wants you to know that his Kindle – the e-book reader that has done a remarkably good job surviving in the age of the iPad – was Amazon's “bestselling product of all time.” How many Kindles did Amazon sell? We don't know because Amazon isn't saying.

What Amazon does say is that the third generation of the Kindle surpassed even the number of Harry Potter 7 books it sold. Which is kind of disingenuous because Kindles are sold primarily through Amazon, while Harry Potter books are available in nearly every bookstore. But it does offer a hint: Some 5 million copies of Harry Potter have sold on Amazon since 2007, one analyst estimates.

Check Out Line: New chapters in book battle

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Check out the battles emerging over books. BRITAIN/

Google on Thursday announced plans to offer its own online electronic bookstore, joining a battlefield currently dominated by Amazon.com.

The company plans to sell ebooks for any device with a web browser and its library is expected to start at about half a million books when it is launched in 2010.

from MediaFile:

Barnes & Noble plans big (e-reader?) event

Brace yourself for the next salvo in the battle of the ebook readers (or electronic reading devices, or e-reader, or whatever you want to call them).

Barnes & Noble is planning a "major event" next Tuesday in New York to announce a mystery... something.

Check Out Line: Target takes control of Target.com

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tgtCheck out Target already looking forward to the 2011 holiday season.The discount retailer said it is taking control of Target.com and aiming to launch its new website by the 2011 holiday season.The announcement signals the end of a relationship with online retailer Amazon.com that began in 2001.”We believe it is in Target’s best interest going forward to assume full control over the design and management of Target’s e-commerce technology platform, fulfillment and guest services operations,” Target.com President Steve Eastman said in a statement.Target had previously extended its contract with Amazon to 2011, but the companies will continue to work together during the next two years.Also in the basket:Crocs Q2 beats, sees return to profit in 2010 Blue Nile profit in-line; full-yr view tops, shrs upHhgregg Q1 profit beats Street, reaffirms outlookForget the shuttle, take a Hermes chopper to the airportSupreme Court Justice Thomas and Wife Camp Out at Wal-Mart (Foxnews.com)(Photo: Reuters)

Check Out Line: Can a $298 laptop jump-start back-to-school?

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schoolbus2Check out efforts to get serious back-to-school shopping underway.

Wal-Mart announced plans to start selling on Sunday a Compaq Presario laptop for $298.

Gary Severson, Wal-Mart U.S.’s senior vice president of home entertainment, told Reuters he thought the deal represented a “screaming value.”

Netflix tops customer satisfaction survey

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NETFLIX-OUTAGE/Online retail may be outperforming brick-and-mortar rivals amid the U.S. recession, but that’s no reason to get complacent.

In a wake-up call to the industry, a new survey shows that customer satisfaction with online retailers declined 3 percent from last year.

Is Amazon’s Kindle DX e-reader hype?

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The new Kindle DX is bigger, but is it better?” asked one headline as gadget reviewers examined the latest electronic reader from Amazon.com.

The verdict: “It isn’t as revolutionary as its promoters might like us to think.”

Check Out Line: Recession? Not at Amazon.com

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AMAZON-KINDLE/Check out the sales surge at Amazon.

The online retailer beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly earnings and revenue as lowered prices lured more shoppers online. It also benefited as sales of its Kindle electronic reader gained momentum.

The company increased revenue an unexpectedly strong 18 percent as cash-strapped consumers went shopping online, and Amazon’s own discount shipping program spurred purchases. 

Just how wonderful is your brand?

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USA/Just how “wonderful” consumers think your brand is can help your stock price, especially in a recession, according to a study by market research agencies Kadence, Brand Care and So What Research.

The study looked at consumer perceptions of 650 leading U.S. brands and found there is a link between the affection consumers hold for a brand — or the “wonderfulness” of the brand – and its stock performance.  

Your new Kindle is talking — but not paying

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AMAZON-KINDLE/Amazon’s hotly anticipated Kindle e-reader got even more press on Wednesday, but not the good variety.

In an op-ed titled “The Kindle Swindle” that appeared in the New York Times Wednesday, the president of the Author’s Guild, Roy Blount Jr., took Amazon to task for its text-to-speech function on the new Kindle that began shipping this week.

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