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Know It All: January 2011

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1 Sears, Walmart, Toys R Us and a number of other big retailers opened their doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving Day as competition for holiday dollars intensified. “Thanksgiving is not as sanctified a day as it was even a few years ago,” said retail analyst Thomas Hine. Source: USA Today, 11/24/10
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2 The National Retail Federation released its list of the top 10 retailers for customer service, with four of the spots taken by pure online retailers. The 10 were: Amazon.com, JCPenney, Kohl’s Department Stores, Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Newegg, Nordstrom, Overstock.com, QVC and Zappos. Source: NRF, 11/24/10
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3 Cyber Monday sales passed $1 billion for the first time, according to comScore. That was also the most money ever spent online by shoppers in one day. Source: IDEX, 12/02/10
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4 Black Friday is no longer just about toy, appliance, clothing and jewelry retailers trying to get a jump-start on the holidays. Travel agents and cellphone service providers tried to get a piece of the post-Thanksgiving Day action in 2010. Source: New York Times, 11/23/10
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5 The 2010 holiday season may be remembered as the time Tweeting went mainstream, with most large retailers using the short message service to push Black Friday and other holiday deals. Source: ClickZ News, 11/27/10
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6 Gemesis Diamond has succeeded in producing gem-quality colorless diamonds larger than 1 carat. Until now, the company offered only yellow diamonds. Gemesis also plans to go directly to consumers and is developing its own jewelry line. Source: IDEX, 11/30/10
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7 Hearts On Fire has started selling its branded diamonds directly to consumers. The company has partnered with e-commerce provider ESDN to allow consumers to buy on either heartsonfire.com or on participating retailer websites. Source: IDEX, 28/30/10
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8 Visa has launched a security initiative in Europe that compares information about the location of a customer’s mobile phone with the merchant’s address and sends an alert if the spots are too far apart. Source: Fast Company, 11/30/10
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9 Laurence Graff has paid more than $46 million for a 24.8-carat VVS2 pink diamond — double the old record for the most expensive gem sold at auction. Graff named the diamond “The Graff Pink.” Source: Rapaport Tradewire, 11/20/10
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10 Forget durable goods. Keep your eyes on push-up bras if you want to know when the economy will pick up. That’s the theory of retail analyst John Morris who says brisk sales of luxury bras such as those sold by Victoria’s Secret indicate women are buying for themselves again and that shoppers are willing to indulge once more. Source: AP, 11/21/2010

[span class=note]This story is from the January 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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