• The canaries in a coal mine

    The canaries in a coal mine

    I’ve seen startups come and go over the years and I was particularly interested to see what happened to August Home today. The company originally tapped Yves Behar to make a better smart lock, one that would meld with the sensitivities of a certain kind of smart home stylist with the high-concept, high-tech design of the Nest thermostat. The products, while beautiful, were unusable in… Read More

  • The impending online shopping split: buy boutique or buy Amazon

    The impending online shopping split: buy boutique or buy Amazon

    It’s been a rough couple of months for Amazon competitors. First Canada’s Shop.ca declares bankruptcy and essentially has a fire sale, then Jet.com, which accumulated big funding and big hype pre-launch, is apparently in talks with Wal-Mart re: an acquisition. A Wal-Mart exit isn’t the upstart victory against an industry giant originally foretold in Jet’s creation… Read More

  • Groupon Goes After Costco And Sam’s Club With Groupon Basics, A Portal For Home Goods

    Groupon Goes After Costco And Sam’s Club With Groupon Basics, A Portal For Home Goods

    Last year, Groupon’s CEO Eric Lefkovsky said that his ambition was to make the e-commerce company’s Goods business more like Costco, not Amazon. Today, the company is launching a new business called Groupon Basics — offering discounts on home goods to compete with warehouse-based bulk-buying clubs — that will bring it one step closer to that idea. As an expansion of… Read More

  • Let’s Sit Out Black Friday, Shall We?

    Let’s Sit Out Black Friday, Shall We?

    It’s Thanksgiving in the States and tomorrow is the biggest shopping day of the year. In fact stores will be open tonight so you can elbow your way into a scrum of bargain hunters and frotteurists. I’m here to tell you it’s a sucker’s game, at least when it comes to consumer electronics and computer hardware. Read More

  • Amazon Is Not A Commerce Company

    Amazon Is Not A Commerce Company

    Same-day shipping became the big retailer craze this holiday season. Why? As the New York Times points out, retailers are living in fear of Amazon.com and trying to match what the online retailer offers. The fear factor — Wal-Mart once had a trance on retail. Now it’s Amazon.com. But it’s not just retail that has begun to show deeper anxiety about Amazon. Its’ the… Read More

  • Walmart Invests In Yihaodian, A Massive Chinese E-Commerce Company

    Wal-Mart this morning announced that it intends to acquire a minority stake in the holding company of Yihaodian, a massive B2C ecommerce company based in China. The transaction is expected to close within 60 days, the retail giant says. Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian offers more than 75,000 products ranging from clothing to grocery to consumer electronics. Less than 3 years after launch… Read More

  • Kobo Wireless Now Available On Walmart.com

    You can now find the Kobo Wireless e-reader on walmart.com. You can also find it in brick-and-mortar Wal-Mart stores, so it all works out. Read More

  • SolarCity's CEO On What's Holding Back Solar Power In America: It's 50 Markets, Not One

    Solar City, a company that designs, installs, and leases out solar power systems to home and business owners, announced that it will bring renewable electricity to some 30 Wal-Mart stores in California and Arizona. Chief executive and founder of Solar City, Lyndon Rive [pronounced like “five”] spoke with TechCrunch about helping Wal-Mart go greener, what his company looks for in… Read More

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