According to National Retail Federation, shoppers spent about $1.7 billion less during the Thanksgiving weekend than they did in 2012. The sluggish weekend was anticipated, because Amazon and Walmart had started relatively aggressive promotions well before Black Friday. Nevertheless, the NRF numbers leave the fate of this winter shopping season very much up in the air. According to group, the number of people shopping either online or in the real world ticked up 1% over the last year’s period. But weekend spending dropped by a rather sharp 16 bucks to $407.55 per consumer. More →
Last week rumors began to circulate that Apple was planning to open itsy bitsy retail stores in as many as 25 Target locations. During a presentation on Thursday, Target confirmed that it will have 25 stores featuring “special displays” of Apple products. Neither company has provided details on the partnership, however it will likely be similar to Apple’s deal with Best Buy, which sells the company’s products from dedicated mini stores within more than 600 Best Buy locations. More →
Apple may be planning to open retail stores inside as many as 25 Target locations, according to recent rumors. The partnership would likely be similar to Apple’s deal with Best Buy, which sells the Cupertino-based company’s products from dedicated mini-stores within more than 600 Best Buy locations. AppleInsider said Friday that Apple is likely interested in Target so that it can offer its products in markets that are too small for a full blown Apple Store. Apple’s senior vice president of retail operations, Ron Johnson, once served as an executive at Target, so there is a new link between the two companies that could add some weight to this rumor. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has been a big seller for the online retailer so far, maintaining the top spot on the Amazon.com best-sellers list for eight weeks running. Despite the slate’s already low price tag, at least two retailers are offering deep discounts on the new tablet at a number of physical locations. Both Walmart and Target have been selling the Kindle Fire for just $123 over the holiday weekend, and some stores may have extended the sale pricing into Monday. Several forum users on Slickdeals also say they have been able to get their local Best Buy and Staples retailer stores to match the sale pricing. The Kindle Fire sale has not been advertised, however, so some retailers will not match the special offer.
UPDATE: Several readers have contacted us claiming the $123 pricing is fake. BGR has not yet been able to confirm these claims. More →
Brick and mortar shopaholics have so few places to turn for an adrenaline rush these days thanks to the advent of online shopping, but Black Friday always promises to be a battle that tests even the most seasoned shopper’s will. Anxious consumers line up early outside their retailers of choice and prepare to push, shove, crawl and even trample their way to some of the deepest discounts of the year. It’s no holds barred and things are bound to get dirty, but those who plan to work off their Thanksgiving feasts by throwing elbows and sprinting from store to store had better get their game faces on and go in prepared. Following the break, we lay out all the top tech retailers in the country and link you to the tools you need to map out your plan of attack. Good luck, be safe, and Godspeed.
Apple will release its fiscal third quarter earnings on Tuesday afternoon and analysts have boosted the stock price target in anticipation of a solid quarterly report. The iPhone maker’s shares hit a record high of $373.80 at the close of the day on Monday. BGC analyst Collin Gillis has boosted the price target of Apple’s stock from $390 to $430. “We are more positive on the outlook for share acceleration in the second half as it is reasonable to expect multiple hardware refreshes combined with the back-to-school and holiday shopping quarter,” Gillis told Reuters. A group of analysts recently predicted that Apple will report that it sold between 15 and 20 million iPhones during the quarter, with the average estimate falling at 16.9 million iPhones sold. Apple is expected to “report earnings of $5.84 per share on revenue of $24.9 billion,” Reuters said, citing Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. More →
Are you Android users jealous of all of your friends using their iPhones to buy frappuccinos? Take a sigh of relief — on Wednesday Starbucks launched its Android application that will allow you to walk into one of 6,800 Starbucks or 1,000 Target locations and buy your choice of coffee without having to reach for your wallet. When you’ve made your selection, all you have to do is hold your phone up so that the barista can scan a special barcode presented on your phone’s screen. The best part? You can refill your Starbucks card directly from the app itself. It’s available for free in the Android Market now for devices running Android 2.1 or newer. More →
Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu didn’t say that Nokia should go back to making boots in his note to investors on Wednesday, but he came pretty close. Citing Nokia’s inability to adapt in a fast-changing market, Ferragu cut his rating on Nokia stock to under-perform and dropped his price target from $7.33 to $4. “In a fast changing market, Nokia is losing ground very rapidly,” the analyst writes. “The profit warning for the second quarter provided evidence that the next couple of years will prove very challenging, with the gross margin and market share trends of the last 4 quarters continuing, if not accelerating even more. The collaboration with Microsoft now appears to us unlikely to be successful, as Nokia’s brand is losing ground too fast and the window of opportunity for an alternative ecosystem is vanishing rapidly. Even modeling a scenario in which Nokia stabilizes next year leads us to believe that the stock will under-perform over the next twelve months.” Ferragu believes Nokia’s smartphone market share will be cut in half in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, dropping from 38% to just 19%, and he expects Nokia’s overall cell phone market share to slide from 35% to 30%.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, an Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet with a 10.1-inch screen and an optional QWERTY dock, made its U.S. retail debut today, and it’s flying off of store shelves. Amazon and Target appear to have already sold out of initial stock of the unit, and Best Buy’s website currently says that the $400 tablet is backordered, too. ASUS announced the Eee Pad Transformer late last month, and it’s equipped with a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel camera for video chat, a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and it’s rated for up to 9.5 hours of battery life. There’s no word on when U.S. stock will be replenished, although Best Buy’s “ship to store” option says the unit usually ships to the store within 3 to 5 days. More →
Toys R’ Us may begin selling the iPad 2 next month according to a report from enthusiast site ModMyi. The site’s source provided a leaked screen shot that shows employee training software as well as a secondary product knowledge sheet. Apple’s latest tablet has been wildly popular since its launch on March 11th so this is good news for consumers trying to get their hands on a unit. As of late March, Apple began replenishing the stock in some retail stores, and its online store says that customers still have to wait 2-3 weeks for new orders to ship. The iPad 2 is also available from AT&T, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, Verizon Wireless and Walmart, among other retailers. Toys R’ Us has not yet officially announced plans to offer the iPad 2. More →
While Apple has not revealed initial sales figures for the iPad 2 launch this past weekend, one spokesperson has hinted that sales have been solid. Given the lines outside of an Apple Store in NYC on Friday, and some analyst claims that Apple sold close to 1 million iPad 2 units during the tablet’s debut weekend, that comes as no surprise to us. “Demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing. We are working hard to get iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” Trudy Muller, an Apple spokesperson, told The Loop today. Apple’s iPad 2 hit store shelves on 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and virtually every retail store — including Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Verizon Wireless locations — have sold out of iPad 2 stock. Still looking to grab one? Try your luck in our iPad 2 giveaway. More →
Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless confirm tomorrow’s 5PM retail launch of iPad 2; online sales at 1AM Pacific
Apple, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless have independently fired off press releases letting us know exactly how and when we can acquire yourself an iPad 2 tomorrow, March 11th. Starting at 5:00 p.m. local time, interested parties can head to an Apple, AT&T, or Verizon Wireless retail store to purchase the 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB tablet in white or black. Verizon will be offering four data plans for the iPad 2:
- 1GB per month – $20
- 3GB per month – $35
- 5GB per month – $50
- 10GB per month – $80
While AT&T will be offering just two in both the pre-paid and post-paid formats:
- Monthly statements: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1 GB of overage on the 2 GB plan [AT&T is offering consumers who choose monthly statement billing one free month of service].
- Credit card billing: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment may choose to purchase another 250 MB on the $14.99 plan or purchase an additional 2 GB for $25 on the 2 GB plan.
All models of the iPad 2 — Wi-Fi and 3G — will also be available at Apple retail stores and select Walmart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Target stores nationwide starting at 5:00 p.m. AT&T and Verizon stores will only carry GSM and CDMA iPads respectively. If you’re not inclined to hit up a retail outlet, but are still interested in the tablet, AT&T and Apple will begin selling the iPad 2 online at 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time (4:00 a.m. Eastern) on the 11th. There you have it, if you’re jones’ing to get yourself an iPad 2, start formulating your game plan. More →
You’re still stuffed from a supersized feast the day before but you manage to pry yourself out of bed hours ahead of sunrise. A quick shower does little to wash off the shame brought on by having ingested five slices of pumpkin pie, but at least it helps to wake you up. As you exit your home and click the unlock button on your car’s key fob, your mind strays as you think of a hundred different reasons to go back inside and get back in bed. But you can’t. Your local retailers are calling to you from afar. The urge to save is too strong. There is no turning back… It’s Black Friday.
If you plan on going to war this Friday, you had better be armed — and that’s where your pals at BGR come in. In our Black Friday 2010 guide, we lay out your 10 best local deal wielders and give you links to all the ammo you need. This way, instead of flying blind, you can put together a strategy and score all the gadgets you can carry at the deepest discounts of the year. Good luck, be safe, and Godspeed. More →