Ann Arbor, MI and Apple have topped the list of best mobile retailers in customer service for three years running, according to a new report from ForeSee Results. As mobile and brick-and-mortar retailers strive to find ways to better serve consumers, reports such as this are guideposts. Marketers are looking to Amazon and Apple as mobile's influence continues its upward rise. "The value of a satisfied consumer is huge," said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee Results. "Highly satisfied consumers are 76 percent more likely to purchase from that retailer online than dissatisfied consumers."

Borders and its 10,700 employees may have been hoping for a last-minute O. Henry-style twist to its bankruptcy saga, but the failed bid by the Najafi Companies investment firm means the story's final chapter is titled "Liquidation." On July 18, Borders announced it would submit to the U.S. bankruptcy court the proposal from Hilco and Gordon Brothers to purchase its assets and administer the liquidation process, including the chain's 399 remaining stores. A Borders statement said the retailer did not require an auction prior to presenting its proposal to the bankruptcy Court at a hearing scheduled for July 21.

By Scott Shrake The name "Godiva" denotes first the mythical nude Lady, and second, a brand of luxury confections. To some, the order of association may even be reversed: The brand is that strong. Founded in Brussels, Belgium, by Joseph Draps in 1926, Godiva Chocolatier introduced its chocolates to Americans 40 years later. Godiva, now with world headquarters in New York City, has been credited with single-handedly creating the U.S. market for "super-premium chocolates." It now markets in three channels: retail, catalog and Web. Just like print, online catalogs are always evolving, taking advantage of new technology and fresh realizations about the character of

When Peter and Peggy Rice founded the Plow & Hearth catalog in an outbuilding on their Virginia farm in 1981, their inspiration was the back-to-basics movement. Nearly 20 years later, the country philosophy remains, but the back-roads mail order business is anything but backwards. Its adoption of a high-tech database in the mid '90s has led to quick, efficient growth through sophisticated modeling, which in turn engendered a home-furnishings catalog spin-off and a highly successful upselling program. Now Plow & Hearth's dual commitment to direct marketing basics and use of cutting-edge technology is allowing the founders to reap what they've sown. In April

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