Blue Nile taps retail vet as CEO

Harvey Kanter has been hired as the new president and CEO of Seattle online jewelry retailer Blue Nile. In the role, the former CEO of Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel will attempt to return some of the luster to Blue Nile which has lost 35 percent of its value in the past year. He replaces Diane… Read More


Nordstrom bets big on e-commerce, plans to hire 400

Before the rise of Amazon.com, Seattle retail was defined by one company: Nordstrom. Now, the upscale retailer appears to be taking some plays out of the Amazon.com playbook, announcing plans to boost spending on e-commerce infrastructure to $150 million this year. That marks roughly 30 percent of the company’s capital expenditures, up from 20 percent… Read More


Geek Humor: Stephen Colbert calls Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos a vindictive man

Comedian Stephen Colbert returned to the airwaves Monday night, and he didn’t waste any time taking a few cracks at Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. Award-winning author and Parnassus Books co-owner Ann Patchett was the guest, telling the story of why she opened a 2,500 square-foot independent bookstore in Nashville following the closure of two large brick-and-mortar book… Read More


The Achilles’ heel of Amazon.com

Disclosure: I’m an unabashed Amazon fan. Not only is it one of the most aggressive, forward-thinking and best-led companies in tech, it’s also the beating heart of the Seattle tech scene. The comments that follow are offered out of deep respect and a sincere desire to see Amazon dominate the *next* decade of the digital economy…. Read More


Amazon opens sports collectibles store, with signed items from Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and other greats

Just in time for the Super Bowl, Amazon.com is rolling out its latest game plan in e-commerce. The company today announced a new Sports Collectibles Store where sports fanatics can purchase everything from autographed baseballs to signed soccer cleats. The site allows shoppers to browse by professional sports — NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL —… Read More


Is Amazon.com about to get all outdoorsy on REI? Job posts indicate new sports site

Should REI start sweating about Amazon.com, its new neighbor in the South Lake Union neighborhood? Job postings from Amazon’s Quidsi unit indicate that the company may be getting ready to put its foot down in a new category: outdoor sports. Quidsi has launched a number of key vertical shopping sites in recent months, including Wag.com (Pets) and YoYo.com… Read More


Venuelabs raises cash to help brick-and-mortar retailers track storefront performance

In this digital era, there’s certainly no shortage of customer feedback when it comes to the interactions at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Venuelabs, a Seattle area startup led by former Microsoft and Jobster employee Neil Crist, is looking to help everyone from pizza parlors to gas stations make sense of all of the chatter. Formerly known… Read More


Angry shopper sues Amazon over data theft at Zappos.com

Just three days after online shoe retailer Zappos.com suffered a serious data breach, a Texas woman has sued Amazon.com over the matter. Bloomberg News reports that Amazon, which owns Zappos, violated “consumer credit laws by failing to protect her personal information.” Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wrote a message to customers earlier this week explaining the… Read More


Ready for the smart store? How Microsoft wants to reinvent the retail experience

With the expansion of Microsoft’s Kinect to Windows, the sensor is expected to start showing up first in commercial situations, such as retail stores and showrooms. At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, the company demonstrated a virtual dressing room application by its partner, FaceCake, as part of a section of Microsoft’s CES booth providing… Read More

The Nook

Barnes & Noble ponders spinning off Nook e-reader business

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Barnes & Noble was looking to sell its book publishing arm. Today, the company announced that it was exploring the possible spin off of its popular Nook electronic reader business. “In order to capitalize on the rapid growth of the Nook digital business, and its favorable leadership position in… Read More


A huge haul: U.S. online holiday spending tops $35B

Online retailers raked in some big bucks this holiday season, with comScore today releasing a report showing that e-commerce spending hit $35.3 billion for the first 56 days of November and December. That’s a 15 percent increase over the holiday shopping season last year, and it marks the biggest tally ever. Interestingly, the biggest jump… Read More


Amazon.com picks Boston for new development center

Amazon.com has been growing like a weed over the past year, hiring hundreds of engineers and developers at its new headquarters in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood and expanding its footprint in the city. But Amazon, like many other technology giants, is now looking elsewhere for top talent. The Boston Globe reports that the giant… Read More


Amazon.com continues to grow, gobbling up prime real estate

Amazon.com added more than 8,000 employees during the third quarter — a mind-numbing hiring pace for the Seattle-based online retailer. And where are they going to put all of those folks? Last month, we reported that the company was poised to take over several floors in the West 8th office building located at 8th and… Read More


Starbucks to serve beer and wine on Amazon campus

Amazon employees in need of an after-work drink will soon have even more options, thanks to another Seattle corporate giant, Starbucks. The coffee retailer has applied for a liquor license to serve beer and wine at a large new location at 440 Terry Ave. N., on the first floor of one of the buildings in… Read More


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