POS: Mobile, Cameras

The new POS: Mobile
It’s the ad served while you are reading the news in the morning on an e-reader that knows you’re at home and three blocks from a Starbucks. It’s a loyalty program on your phone that, through a hotel-room sensor, sets the lights and thermostat and turns the TV to CNN when you walk in the door. It’s finding a restaurant in a strange city on a Tuesday night, discovering that a store nearby stocks the TV you’re looking for, or that a certain grocery on the way home has the cut of meat you need.  Forget Foursquare or Gowalla: Soon every website and service will be able to tell where you are, opening up the floodgates for location-based marketing and blurring the budget lines for advertisers. “What used to be called point-of-purchase is now called mobile advertising,” said Kip Cassino, VP-research at Borrell Associates. “Mobile can be an extension of a retailer’s storefront.”
There is a growing number stores deploying video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors – some hidden, some overt – but all doing more than merely monitoring aisles for shoppers. Increasingly, whether customers realize it or not, and often they don’t, this technology is being used to study consumers for behavior, shopping and product preferences and other insights that will lead to more marketing opportunities and increase sales, according to the New York Times.
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Retail: Odin

It’s been a busy season for the guys at Odin: a new collection of colognes, a collaborative line with Duckie Brown, and a little retail-space musical chairs. The new West Village shop is now open in Oliver Spencer’s old Greenwich Street digs (and Spencer’s up and running on East 11th Street). Here’s a peek inside: From the look of it, grabbing brunch at the neighboring Spotted Pig just got a lot more dangerous for your bottom line.
odin
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New Microsoft Stores Look Exactly How You Would Expect…

A highly detailed proposal for Microsoft‘s stores leaked online late Friday afternoon, and if it’s real, Redmond’s first foray into retail appears to be following the usual Microsoft formula … copy what Apple is doing and make it uncool. Oh and put a Surface table in.  Microsoft’s take on retail is exactly what you’d expect. The PowerPoint presentation (naturally) takes us on a journey of “Emily” through the Microsoft retail experience. Highlights include: an “Answer Bar,” a massive video wall around the whole store, community areas, and of course, plenty of computers to play with “Microsoft’s innovative technology.” Errr … OK …
microsoft store
microsoft store 2
microsoft store 3
Photos from Gizmodo.
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Social Media: Kmart Bloggers, Carrotmob, vLane.com

Kmart Enlists Bloggers For Social Net Campaign
A sponsored social networking campaign enlisting the help of six well-known bloggers is yielding big buzz for Kmart and encouraging consumers to give the retailer another look during the critical holiday season. Kmart gave each of six influential bloggers a $500 gift certificate to go on a shopping spree in the store and then blog about their shopping experiences in any way they saw fit (no censorship). The bloggers clearly disclosed this sponsored arrangement in their respective postings. In addition, Kmart is sponsoring a contest in which one community member from each of the six blogs will win a $500 gift certificate to go on a Kmart shopping spree.

k-mart sign cool

Carrotmob’s Reverse Boycott Helps Brooklyn Hardware Store Go Green
Yesterday the global volunteer group Carrotmob held its first reverse boycott event in the Brooklyn neighborhood Park Slope at family-owned Tarzian Hardware. Carrotmob, a global volunteer group, brings together consumers and businesses to benefit the planet. Believing that a little bit of money can elicit a large amount of change, Carrotmob uses the “carrot” of consumer purchasing power to entice businesses to become more green.

vLane.com: Social Car Shopping
“Find the right car for you! Discover which vehicles meet your needs. Compare cars side-by-side See which one is best for you. Ask a question Get trusted advice from your friends. Review your car Let others know what you think. # Search local classifieds Find cars for sale in your area.”

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At least no one ever died of Marketing

… well, until now …

Security should have been better, but advertising also helped kill a temporary worker at Wal-Mart, according to a lawsuit filed by the estate and relatives of the 34-year-old man trampled by a pre-dawn Black Friday crowd at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store.At least one local police official and one retail marketing consultant also argue that Black Friday marketing and merchandising practices need to change in the wake of the incident.

Wal Mart Death

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Three Types of Retail Experience

J.Crew’s latest Manhattan store (the brand’s first men’s shop), pays tribute to classic American workwear. The 935-square-foot outpost is housed in the former digs of Liquor Store Bar, and retains the feel (if not the drunken good times) of its previous incarnation; the bar and bathrooms are intact, and whiskey bottles adorn its dark wood walls.
On offer are specialty pieces from J.Crew’s men’s collection, Thomas Mason shirts, Globe-Trotter luggage, and a selection of vintage items that round out the space’s quirky aesthetic (think tie-bars, first-edition books, and vinyl LPs). Thank Jack Spade cofounder Andy Spade for the look—J.Crew consulted with him to help curate the goods and, apparently, the lifestyle that goes along with them: The new store’s sponsoring a series of workshops based on Spade and business partner Anthony Sperduti’s forthcoming book, What a Man Should Know (Chess, wine, and figure-drawing, among other things apparently)

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Nashville residents looking for Swedish design at low prices don’t have access to a local IKEA; the nearest blue-and-green big box is in Atlanta. So two friends decided to bring IKEA to Tennessee by taking orders from customers and driving down to Atlanta to pick up the goods. Customers submit their orders on modernash.com, listing item numbers, colours, etc. Modernash brings the goods to its Nashville storage facility, where customers can pick up their orders (the company also offers home delivery for an additional USD 50).
ModerNash’s shipping rates are significantly lower than those charged by IKEA, ranging from 20–29% of a customer’s total purchase amount.The company also assembles furniture for USD 25/hour, handles returns (even for customers who didn’t order through ModerNash), and partners with other local companies that design and install IKEA kitchens. Last but not least, it keeps a small number of popular items in stock for immediate pick-up or delivery.

modernash

Best Buy has installed vending machines at 8 major US airports. It’s a pilot program for the company’s new Best Buy Express kiosks, which are large vending machines that carry cell phone and computer accessories, digital cameras, flash drives, MP3 players, headphones, gaming devices, travel adapters, and other items that are likely to appeal to customers on the go. Prices are similar to those in Best Buy stores.
Best Buy is targeting travellers in search of last-minute gifts, as well as those who need a replacement for a gadget or accessory they forgot to pack or lost along the way. It’s an interesting move by Best Buy. The convenience factor is an obvious draw for travellers in a hurry, especially at airports with limited shopping options. But the branding on a vending machine by a well-known retailer is also a clear visual signal, instantly recognizable by consumers, which is a real advantage at busy and cluttered airports.

best buy vending

Black Friday … Cyber Monday … Green Wednesday

Two years ago, a group of marketers christened the first workday after Thanksgiving (and its famous retail orgy “Black Friday”) as “Cyber Monday“: the biggest online shopping day of the year. It seems though, that the digital dollars don’t really start flowing until two weeks later…

online retail

Last year, Wednesday, Dec. 13 was the chart-topper with $667 million in sales, according to comScore. In fact, the second week of December is traditionally so big that eBay staff have come up with their own name for the weekday that kicks it off: “Green Monday” (a reference to cash, rather than eco-friendly shopping).

All this said, it is thought that Cyber Monday still beat out Black Friday this year … with expected sales of over $700MM online, compared to $531MM spent in stores.

UPDATE: Inow learn that this year’s Cyber Monday is the “biggest ever”