consumer electronics

Will the internet of things mean big things for retail?

Retail Wire Discussion: Will the internet of things mean big things for retail?

From a retail standpoint, TIoT (The Internet of Things) represents a play-to-participate opportunity for retailers (if not a play-to-win at this point), one that will further blur the lines between consumer electronics and other categories like white goods. That means that any retailer in the "consumer electronics" business will have some decisions to make regarding which categories to emphasize or add. For example, h.h. gregg decided to pump up its appliance business and reduce consumer electronics not long ago. Now they are becoming one and the same. Should Walmart carry white goods in the back of the store? Maybe online only, but with tie-ins to TIoT presented in stores? If the TIoT movement gains any traction (and it will if only because of the huge investments now being made in it by companies like Google), then retailers won't be able to sit on the sidelines.

In terms of security and privacy, I've been thinking a lot about the delicate balance that Google will have to strike (or at least consider) on the heels of its acquisition of Nest Labs. Google received quite a bit of flak earlier this year for linking its email service to social media, for example, upping the privacy quease factor already associated with the platform. If Google hopes to further penetrate consumers' homes, it can't afford to have a cavalier attitude or to assume that users won't draw connections between its various business units.

Read the article and discussion online at RetailWire.

The Lost Empire: Can Best Buy Come Back?

In the Minneapolis Star Tribune's feature article on Best Buy's future, Carol Spieckerman weighs in on the retailer's inconsistent strategy and what it will mean to their destiny.

Read the article online.

Article by: THOMAS LEEDAVID SHAFFER and PAUL MCENROE , for the Star Tribune, 11/18/12

Copyright © 2012 StarTribune. All rights reserved.

Best Buy logo is trademark of Best Buy.

Carol Spieckerman's Brain On ...Verizon's Hook Up with Redbox

In her latest contribution as a Retail Wire panelist, Carol homes in on home entertainment as streaming content's sweet spot.

Read the full discussion

Here's what she had to say ... 

Verizon knows that content, especially entertainment, is what makes mobile devices desirable, and on-demand content makes them downright sexy. Verizon's partnership with Redbox isn't limited to mobile entertainment delivery (phone or tablet) -- harnessing the integration of mobile devices into the overall home or personal entertainment environment will be the real sweet spot. It's currently possible to stream iTunes movies and music from your iPad to your HDTV and (AirPlay-enabled) home entertainment systems but similar tech from other companies is proliferating quickly. On-demand content is the key to staying competitive.