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Confessions of a shopaholic

At least 22 retailers in the US have been driven into bankruptcy protection during this recession, including RedEnvelope and Eddie Bauer, or gone out of business altogether, like Circuit City. Blockbuster, Virgin Megastores and many more have closed stores. Survivors, suffering deflated profits and slow sales, warn of bleak holidays: The National Retail Federation predicts a 1 percent sales decline for the season compared to last year. Even Wal-Mart feels the slump, with same-store sales down 1 percent in its second quarter—its first such drop in years.
But smart retailers are going where it's warm: the hot little hands of cellphone—and laptop—toting consumers who want to shop right now, wherever they happen to be sipping their lattes or watching their kids' soccer games. Technology-backed projects to increase revenue include mobile e-commerce, coupons by text message, even storefronts on social networks. As enablers of these projects, CIOs are moving ever closer to the customer.

Written by Kim S. Nash23 Nov. 09 22:00