The bankrupt corpse of RadioShack has nearly been picked clean, with corporate scavengers putting prices on just about everything of value left at the once proud company. All that's left now are the rights to reuse the name itself in the U.S. — and the names of millions of RadioShack customers. The defunct electronics retailer is selling those off, too, in what should be the last major action in its bankruptcy proceedings. Bids are due Wednesday, and an auction will follow next week if there are multiple bidders.

The beauty supplies retailer said it is investigating "reports of unusual activity" on payment cards used at some U.S. stores. Sally Beauty confirmed it is investigating a possible breach of its computer systems just over a year after disclosing another hacking that affected the records of more than 25,000 of the beauty-supplies retailer's customers.

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about Wal-Mart in which I expressed disappointment with comments President and CEO of U.S. Stores Greg Foran made to analysts. At that time, he shared a top-line review; he seemed pleased with the performance of Express and Walmart Neighborhood stores and also endorsed the Superstores. Few specifics were provided as to his plans to set a new direction for the business other than state his intention to focus on food areas of the store, manage inventories carefully and improve the customer shopping environment. 

Some of us remember a time when manufacturers and retailers wanting to reach their customers would simply place an ad touting their brands and products. Ads could take any of several forms — newspaper, magazine, radio, direct mail and, if the budget allowed, television. The message could be subtle or direct. It would run a number of times according to the ad agency's "proprietary" formula and the consumer would ideally respond by going to their local store to make a purchase.

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