business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Visa International is saying that “it will make purchases by cellphones commonplace in the next few years,” It showed off the technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and predicts that about $140-billion worth of the transactions it processes will be done with cellphones by 2010. “As large as that amount is, it would represent just a fraction of Visa's $4-trillion worth of transactions each year,” the Globe and Mail writes.

• Sheetz Inc., the Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain, announced yesterday that it has relaunched its website, which will include “updated nutritional information, corporate sponsorship opportunities, job searches, and a feature for travelers to plan their trips around the closest Sheetz locations.”

"The website is really an extension of our stores and our brand," says Louie Sheetz, executive vice president, marketing. "We've changed the look of our stores, our logo, and our menu so an update of our website was the next step in the process of refreshing the Sheetz brand.”
KC's View:
Any retail entity that wants to be relevant for the next generation of consumers has to have a web strategy. More and more, cell phones are going to be able to interact with the Internet in a sophisticated way (witness the new iPhone announced yesterday by Apple)…and Sheetz seems to be working on the premise that they need to be available to shoppers not just on street corners, but also online. Which is smart.