Interactive multichannel retailer HSN Inc. has launched a new application for Google’s Android operating system that lets consumers make purchases using their handset. The HSN Shop application, which was originally launched on the iPhone in August 2009, is now available as a free download in Android Market to serve a wide variety of Android devices. Along with a library of original videos, the application enables users to customize their shopping experience with their favorite categories and save preferences for future visits.
The U.S. Postmaster General is asking Congress to loosen requirements on the Postal Service, allowing it to scrap Saturday mail delivery and make other changes to stem a projected 10-year $238 billion deficit. Financial woes at the U.S. Postal Service are now so severe that without congressional action, it might not be able to pay all the bills coming due this year, Postmaster General John Potter said.
Retailers have a new strategy to increase profits: shrink to fit. For two decades, mall-based apparel companies saturated the market, aggressively adding more stores and building them bigger. Chastened by the recession, however, retailers including Gap Inc. and AnnTaylor Stores Corp. are poring over their holdings, looking for stores they can cut down to size. The effort marks a new phase in the industry's response to the weak economy. After consumers snapped shut their wallets in the fall of 2008, sending sales plummeting, retailers laid off waves of employees and slashed inventory. Now, many of them see re-evaluating their real estate, one of retailing's biggest expenses, as a critical step on their path to recovery.
The world’s largest online marketplace is partnering with the world’s largest retail trade association to tackle organized retail crime. This unique partnership between eBay and the National Retail Federation will receive tie in support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, retailer participation and new technology to identify and attack organized retail crime.
Sears Holding Corp. said Wednesday that more than 7,000 job openings at Sears and Kmart will be posted on Twitter, a move experts say is a way to advertise and market its brands to 18- to 34-year-olds, the mainstay of the social networking site. Sears Holdings said the job tweets will be posted by TweetMyJobs.com, which also handles similar postings from McDonald's and Motorola.
Mobile applications will generate nearly $1.6 billion in revenue in the United States this year, according to a new study by the Yankee Group. According to the report, there are several factors which include the increase of smartphone shipments, more application stores and more expensive applications.
Targeting the many moms online, Mattel’s Fisher-Price is launching a Facebook app Thursday that allows mothers to be more selective in choosing which of their friends can see photos of their children. Mothers who go online, particularly the influential group of “mommy bloggers,” present an important market for toy makers. According to comScore, 35.65 million females with children were unique visitors to Facebook in the U.S. in February — about 32% of the site’s U.S. total.
A majority of Americans are willing to accept cuts in mail delivery days to preserve the U.S. Postal Service, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found. Yet older people, who use the mail most often, are more willing than younger Americans to reduce mail service from six days to five. The Postal Service plans to seek approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Congress to stop mail delivery on Saturdays. Federal law requires the Postal Service to deliver mail six days a week to every U.S. household.
Prices at the wholesale level plunged in February by the largest amount in seven months as a big drop in energy prices offset higher food costs. The Labor Department said Wednesday that wholesale prices dropped 0.6% in February, much larger than the 0.2% decline economists had expected. Excluding food and energy, prices edged up a slight 0.1%, in line with expectations.
Internet fraud complaints to the FBI by consumers increased more than 33 percent in 2008 over the previous year, according to figures released this week. Some 275,284 complaints were filed last year with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. In 2007, the IC3 received 206,844 complaints.