business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • The Seattle Times reports that despite the tough economy, the fancy foods business is growing in the Pacific Northwest, with new gourmet stores opening up and existing retailers expanding their gourmet food and wine selections. Not only are stores like Fred Meyer building up their fancy food and wine SKUs, but this trend seems to be opening up opportunities for smaller, independent retailers that can use this strategy to differentiate themselves from the big box stores.

  • is expanding its Magazine & Newspaper Subscriptions store, making available subscriptions to more than 50,000 publications, with ten of thousands soon to be added. It just goes to show how the Internet can be used to offer an almost limitless depth of product…a lesson that should be taken to heart by retailers in a number of venues.

  • The New York metropolitan area is getting a new personal online shopping service called “Shopping DNA,” found at, which offers, according to the literature, “thoughtful and unique gift-giving ideas specially tailored to your recipient; individualized fashion consultation; suggestions for home accessories; corporate gift buying plans; business and personal shopping for any occasion; as well as gift baskets, floral arrangements, gourmet delicacies and gift suggestions from the finest retailers worldwide.” We can’t help thinking that services like this make the Internet seem like the domain of the privileged, and e-shopping options rarified alternatives that don’t have broad-based, mainstream applications. But who are to suggest that the rich shouldn’t have access to the web, too…

  • KC's View: