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Online retail sales surge 26% on Black Friday: Amazon ranks as most visited site

Online retailers are supposed to get their big boost on Cyber Monday — the first Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. But Amazon.com performed pretty well on Black Friday, a day historically associated with bricks-and-mortar retailing. According to a new study from comScore, Amazon.com was the most visited retail site on Black Friday. In total,… Read More

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Chart: The most visited retail sites on Thanksgiving Day

Americans not only chowed down on turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving Day. They also visited their favorite online retailers. According to a new study by Hitwise, total visits to the top 500 retail Web sites increased by nine percent on Thanksgiving Day to 176 million visits. Walmart received 24.8 million visits, making it the most… Read More

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Holiday e-commerce sales are already off to a very fast start

Americans appear to be a giving mood this holiday season — at least when it comes to buying items on online retail sites. comScore announced today that it expects e-commerce spending to grow by 15 percent this year, part of a “significant channel shift” from bricks-and-mortar retail to online retail. In fact, comScore’s report indicates… Read More

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Zoomingo zooms ahead with $1.3M from Benaroya Capital

A few weeks ago, we told you the story about Zoomingo, the new mobile application from serial entrepreneur Shirish Nadkarni. The idea? Transform the way shoppers discover discounts on clothing, jewelry, handbags and other items at local retail establishments. Today, the Seattle upstart is announcing that it has secured $1.3 million in financing from Benaroya Capital,… Read More

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Amazon.com starts holidays with Black Friday deals, toy list

It’s barely November, but Amazon.com has just rolled out two of its holiday traditions — the digital equivalent of decorating the store with lights before Thanksgiving even gets here. The company this morning debuted its 2011 Holiday Toy List, its curated collection of the most popular toys, games, electronics, movies and other items. Be forewarned… Read More

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Amazon patents gift cards that can tattle on what you buy

Happy Birthday! Here’s the Creepiest Gift Card Ever! U.S. Patent & Trademark Office records show that Amazon today received a patent on something called “customizing gift instrument experiences for recipients.” Yeah, it sounds OK from the title. But digging into the text, the approach includes the option for the giver to not only recommend items via… Read More

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Amazon unit expands into groceries, selling tea to jam

In Seattle, Amazon.com customers have long been able to purchase groceries and have them delivered to the doorstep. Now, the company’s Quidsi unit — best known for its Soap.com and Diapers.com brands — is making its own grocery push. However, unlike Amazon Fresh, Quidsi’s new service will not include its own delivery trucks and its… Read More

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Exclusive: Hands-on with Amazon Locker, now working

We’ve had fun tracking the appearance of Amazon Lockers around the Seattle region over the past few weeks, and this week I stumbled across an intriguing option in my Amazon.com address book — allowing me to “search for a locker location” to add as a shipping destination. So I did it. And it worked! The company… Read More

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Amazon goes sci-fi with latest book publishing arm, 47North

Amazon.com this morning moved further into the world of book publishing, beyond its traditional sales and distribution business, with the announcement of its seventh publishing imprint, 47North, focused on science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles. 47North is starting with a coup, announcing that it’s publishing the “The Mongoliad: Book One,” the first in the collaborative five-book Foreworld… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: MyArtMatch is like Pandora for artwork

Pandora transformed the way people listen to music, creating personalized stations based on the listening habits of users. Now, MyArtMatch founder and CEO Bruce Worrall wants to do the same for art. Worrall’s 10-month-old Bellevue startup is launching this week, creating a new way for people to discover and purchase artwork. We chatted with the 48-year-old… Read More

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Amazon.com reaches truce in California sales tax battle

Amazon.com has made a tentative agreement with California lawmakers to resolve a battle over sales taxes on online purchases in the state, according to multiple reports this morning. Under the agreement, Amazon will drop its push to repeal an online sales tax in the state, and agree to begin collecting sales taxes from sales to… Read More

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Next up for Amazon.com … India?

One of the overlooked tidbits in Amazon.com’s recent quarterly earnings report is that North American sales continue to grow at a robust pace, equalling the growth rate in international markets. But that breakdown naturally will start to change, especially if a report in The Times of India proves true. According to the publication, Amazon is… Read More

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Poll: How much do real bookstores matter anymore?

The demise of Borders is causing many of us to consider the role of bookstores — heck, the role of any physical stores — in our increasingly digital world. Sure, we like going to them, but with Amazon.com and others making it easier than ever to browse, buy and even read books in digital form, do… Read More

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Shades of Pets.com: Amazon unveils online pet store Wag.com

There aren’t any dog-talking sock puppets to be seen. But Amazon.com is doing its best to bring back one of the biggest dot-com bombs of the late 1990s. Operating through its newly-acquired Quidsi unit (best known for Diapers.com), Amazon today is unveiling a new online pet store called Wag.com. “At Wag.com, our mission is to make… Read More

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eBay growing in Amazon’s backyard

Online giant eBay is aiming to expand its operations in the Seattle region — becoming the latest Silicon Valley company to boost its presence here as the technology job market heats up. No official details yet from eBay, but GeekWire is hearing from multiple sources that the company is close to finalizing a lease to… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: LootTap helps shoppers find online bargains

Earlier this week, Decide launched a new service designed to tell consumers when to buy consumer electronic devices. But it is not the only Seattle startup looking to help shoppers find the best bargains. LootTap, founded five months ago by 30-year-old entrepreneur Trevor Hall, offers a personalized online shopping service for everything from tennis shoes… Read More