‘Daily Wrap:’ Google, Free Shipping Day, Walgreens

Published on December 20, 2010 | Comments: 0
Google TV has just enacted its first programming cancellation, according to the New York Times. Google has reportedly asked major TV makers including Sony, Toshiba, LG Electronics and Sharp to delay their introductions so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception.

Stats & Research

  • The most recent holiday shopping week (week ending Dec. 17) reached $5.15 billion in spending, an increase of 14% from the corresponding week last year, with four individual days surpassing $900 million, led by Green Monday (Monday, December 13) with $954 million and Free Shipping Day (Friday, December 17) with $942 million.
  • On Nov. 30, only days before Internet activists shut down the websites of credit card companies Visa and MasterCard, five major online retailers faced a similar attack, timed to coincide with the start of the holiday shopping season.
  • The U.S. Postal Service anticipates today will be its busiest day of the year, with a holiday influx of about 800 million letters and packages, a 40% increase over the average daily mail volume of 559 pieces.
  • Top online retailers sent each of their subscribers 4.4 promotional emails on average during the week ending Dec. 17, 2010; down 4% week-over-week, up 23% from where it was four weeks ago, and up 8% year-over-year.
  • Almost three in five Americans (58%) say the one thing they most look forward to with the holidays is spending time with family and friends, according to a new Harris Poll.
  • Seventeen percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the US at this time, the low point in a year when satisfaction levels generally have been in the 20% range.

Legal & Regulatory

  • Walgreens will provide more than $10 million worth of vouchers for free flu shots, which the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will help distribute to up to 350,000 eligible, uninsured and underserved people in 15 U.S. markets.

E-commerce & Multichannel Retailing

  • HMV plans to be the next UK retailer to offer preowned videogames online after Amazon.com started offering used games online in the UK market last week. [pdf]

M-commerce

  • A new app called Word Lens from QuestVisual gives smartphone users a hint of what the next generation of mobile applications will look like; as well as marketers, who are now be mulling over where they should be taking their mobile strategies.

Business & Finance

  • Wal-Mart has raised the prices of hundreds toy products this month, squeezing more out of sales during the biggest shopping period of the year.
  • Pizza retailer Papa John’s has unveiled its 2011 Development Incentive Program which offers qualified new franchise restaurants benefits including a waiver of the $25,000 franchise fee, a 12-month royalty waiver, and a $3,000 food service credit.

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