BoR Daily Digest | OfficeMax and Office Depot Merger, Google Stores, BestBuy To Beat Showrooming, Save Physical Stores, Visa & Mobile Payments


OfficeMaX, Office Depot in merger talks: WSJ –

“Office supply companies OfficeMax Inc and Office Depot Inc are in advanced talks to merge, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. […] The office-supply retailers have been hit hard by competition from online retailers and other retailers such as Costco and Wal-Mart, the Journal said. A merger could lead to consolidation of stores and workforce, as many of the stores are located within the same shopping centers, the Journal said. Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Florida, has 1,675 stores world-wide, annual sales of about US$11.5-billion and some 39,000 employees, the Journal said. OfficeMax, based in Naperville, Illinois, operates roughly 900 stores in the United States and Mexico, generates about US$7-billion in annual sales and has 29,000 employees, the Journal said.”

Google to Launch Stand-alone Stores –

“Google is seeking a greater retail presence with plans to open stand-alone shops in big cities, with the first ones expected to launch in time for the busy holiday shopping season. It could be a smart move given that major competitors that sell mobile operating systems, cell phones or other electronic gadgets, including Apple, Microsoft and Sony, already have a wide array of stores across the country. In addition to giving people hands-on time with current Google devices such as the Chromebook, Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet and at some point Google Glass, the new shops might be good places for Google to demo other Google X Lab projects in the works, such as its self-driving cars, which have already logged thousands of miles on American roadways.”

Best Buy Says It Has Killed ‘Showrooming’ For Good –

“Best Buy is confident that its latest policy change will kill “showrooming” in its stores for good. Starting on March 3, the retailer will price match all local retail competitors, along with 19 “major online competitors” in all product categories, whenever a customer asks for it,  the company announced. “There is no doubt that this new policy ends showrooming for Best Buy customers,” company spokesman Matt Furman told Bloomberg.”

How To Save Bricks and Mortar Retail Strategy –

“As consumers continue to seek more convenient methods of shopping, through mobile and online, the potential for further sales erosion continues to threaten retailers. This behavior spells trouble for a number of traditional retailers who will experience significant sales leakage due to lost potential revenue to online retailers. This webinar examines the emotional attributes consumers experience while shopping online versus shopping in store, and based on those emotions determines a relationship index of retailers most vulnerable to retail sales erosion.”

Visa Rolling Out Mobile-Phone Card-Swipe Machines Across Africa –

“Visa Inc. (V), the world’s biggest electronic payments network, plans to introduce card-swiping machines that attach to mobile phones next month in Kenya, seeking to grow by recruiting more small-business owners. […] Kenyan card users grew by 20 percent to six million in 2012 from a year earlier while point-of-sale usage rose to 15 percent from 10 percent, with cash-machine visits making up the rest of the $6 billion transacted last year, he said. Visa’s client banks in East Africa’s biggest economy increased 39 percent to 25, he said. Safaricom, in which Vodafone Plc owns a 40 percent stake, is the inventor of M-Pesa, the mobile money-transfer system that is used to transact 80 billion shillings ($912.7 million) a month, according to the company. Kenya is the most advanced country for mobile payments, Visa said Feb. 13.”





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