DemandTec Explains How It Keeps Big Data on Target

DemandTec, a retail forecasting software provider, has convinced Target Corp. to hand over even more of its shopping data in order to better set prices and forecast demand. But DemandTec has needs of its own — partners that can help it filter unstructured social data.

Kindle Coming to Target: Are Consumers Ready?

Retail giant Target will be selling the Amazon Kindle in stores soon. The Kindle will initially be available in Minneapolis and stores in Florida, to be followed with more Target outlets selling the Kindle. The restricted roll-out may be a test to gauge interest.

Are Mobile Coupons Finally Ready for Prime Time?

New figures from Compete.com indicate smartphone owners are more receptive to mobile coupons than to other types of pitches on their phones. The report comes on the heels of a new campaign from Target to deliver scannable discounts directly to consumers’ phones.

George Costanza Needs Target’s New Mobile GiftCards

If your wallet is about to explode like George Costanza’s did, take any Target Gift Cards out of it. Target now offers Mobile GiftCards with a scannable barcode right on your phone to pay for purchases.

Dumb Idea: Waking Up at 4 AM to Shop for Deals

My hunt for a cheap, 32″ LCD TV via one of Black Friday’s so-called “door-busting” sales is over. And it ended in frustration, anger and tears. OK, just anger and frustration.

Like many others this holiday season, I found myself in want of a new HDTV, and (foolishly) decided to try my hand at purchasing the heavily discounted Emerson 32″ LCD TV that was being used by Target (s TGT) and Wal-mart (s WMT) to get consumers into their stores. Both priced the TV below $250 (Target at $246, Wal-mart at $248), and both had “limited supplies.”

I should note that this was my first time pursuing “unbeatable prices” at a big-box store while so many other people were still sound asleep. Even though I knew the chances of acquiring one of these underpriced TVs was actually pretty low, I still woke up in the middle of the night and ventured out shopping.

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Stat Shot: Google’s Circumnavigation Edition

This morning, Google (s GOOG) somehow rerouted some of its vast hordes of web traffic through Asia, causing service delays, interruptions, and a bit of craziness on Twitter. But it also managed to slow down a few retail web sites, and cause a noticeable gap in the worldwide web traffic. Check out the charts below.

Arbor Networks, which provides telecommunications gear and network security information, noted on its blog that Google comprises up to 5 percent of the web’s traffic, and when that traffic disappeared earlier this morning, it created an obvious lull.

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GE’s Redesigns Energy-Efficient Bulbs To Look Like Regular Bulbs

gesmartbulbsmallWhen it comes to the more energy-efficient, twisty-shaped compact fluorescent bulbs, consumers complain that fitting them into some lighting fixtures is difficult, that they’re inordinately fragile, and that they give off an unusual light. So how do you get regular Joes to buy up the greener bulbs (other than stressing that they lower electricity bill costs)? Make them look a lot more like traditional incandescent bulbs — because let’s face it, people don’t like change.

That’s just what GE (s ge) plans to do. The company is expected to announce tomorrow that it will start selling a CFL bulb — the GE Energy Smart CFL bulb — which is shaped like an incandescent; the company has basically shrunk and scrunched the twisty CFL shape right into the rounded glass bulb form factor. Developed by engineers in the GE’s consumer and industrial division, the bulb will go on sale at Target (s tgt) on Dec. 28th, at Ace Hardware in January, and at other outlets like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart (s wmt) sometime in April, in time for Earth Day. It’s GE, so they already have a massive retailer partnership footprint.

The idea to make CLFs, and even the more efficient LEDs, look like regular bulbs isn’t new. Philips has more bulby-looking CFLs. Silicon Valley startup SuperBulbs is trying to tackle more difficult task of making an LED look like a regular bulb.
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