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Meet the college dropout (and speed freak) running tech for Seattle’s hottest startup

Don’t let the laid-back Pacific Northwest demeanor fool you. Luke Friang is a self-described “speed freak.” Whether bombing down icy slopes on his snowboard or maneuvering through hairpin turns in a mini-racecar, Friang simply loves to move fast. And that’s why the 42-year-old college drop-out and self-taught technologist has found such a good home at… Read More

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Amazon tops e-retail satisfaction survey with highest score ever

Amazon.com has few physical touch points with its customers, operating somewhat mysteriously from its headquarters in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. No stores. No customer support line. But that lack of interaction doesn’t seem to be holding the company back. In fact, customers love the company more than ever, according to ForeSee’s Top 100 E-Retail… Read More

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Report: Target to dump Kindle

This could get very interesting, especially in light of the new alliance between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. The Verge reports today — citing an unnamed source and an internal Target memo — that the giant retailer will stop selling the Kindle due to “conflict of interest.” There certainly seems to be some legs to this… Read More

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Decide.com unveils daily deal site, promises cash if prices later fall on gadgets

Prior to his appearance on the GeekWire podcast a few weeks ago, Decide.com CEO Mike Fridgen hinted that the Seattle online shopping service was cooking up something new and exciting. At the time, Fridgen didn’t disclose what they were doing. But we’re now starting to get an inside look. The company, which launched a consumer electronics research site… Read More

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Nordstrom bets on Bonobos, leads $16.4M investment in online fashion retailer

Earlier this year, Nordstrom announced that it planned to spend $150 million on boosting its e-commerce infrastructure, part of a larger effort by the Seattle retailer to capture shoppers as they increasingly move online. Today, Nordstrom is adding to its arsenal, announcing that it is leading a $16.4 million investment in five-year-old men’s online fashion… Read More

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Here’s what one record store clerk thinks of Amazon’s plans to trade gift cards for old CDs

If you’re like me, you’ve got dozens, possibly hundreds of old CDs lying around the house, just collecting dust. Now, Amazon.com is adding those good-old REM, U2 and Curtis Mayfield CDs into its trade-in program where customers can send their CDs to the company and receive an Amazon.com gift card in return. “Through customer feedback… Read More

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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