Articles about Retail

Dixons, UK's fifth 'emergency service', brushes off Brexit scare stories

Dixon Carphone - which, god help us, wants to become the fifth emergency service in the UK - this morning played down the personal impact of market “volatility” that a post-Brexit vote will “inevitably” cause as it reported bumper profits for fiscal ’16. The retailer said like-for-like group sales edged up three per cent year- …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016

Grappling with the future? Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think

PROMO The future is complicated, with a myriad of platforms and solutions promising to help you deal with disruption in any industry you choose to name. Faced with that degree of complexity sometimes the best response is the simplest – sit still, listen, then think before acting. That’s why, to mark the launch of its Hyper Converged …
David Gordon, 23 Jun 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

The private equity profiteers behind Maplin Electronics have turned the screws on suppliers to hand over bigger rebates to help pay for physical and digital store improvements or risk having their kit sidelined. The geek fiddlers emporium was sold to Rutland Partners for £85m almost two years ago when the investor promised “ …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jun 2016
Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft hops onboard bonk-to-pay bandwagon

Microsoft has launched its entry into the near-field communications (NFC) mobile payments space. The Microsoft Wallet app will allow Windows Mobile users whose phones are equipped with NFC hardware to link their bank accounts and credit cards to their handsets for retail transactions. Currently, the Wallet app is limited to a …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016
Messerschmitt micro-car

Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads

Cloudian object storage is being used to target Japanese drivers with focussed ads as they drive past a digital billboard. Dentsu, a Japanese advertising supplier, has set up an experimental system on a road in the Tokyo area where road gantry-located video cameras capture images of vehicles and drivers. It features deep …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Indian mobile use

India relaxes rules that kept Apple out of retail

Indian tech consumers might soon be able to savour the rich, human experience of making a Genius Bar booking to try and sort out a problem with an iThing, after that country relaxed the rules that have kept companies like Apple from opening their branded stores in that country. The roadblock has been a law that demanded …

New York decides not to tinker with vendor lock-down for now

Another US state has missed a legislative deadline to make third-party tech product repair legal. New York state was considering a law requiring companies to publish things like repair manuals, but it didn't make it to a vote in the current legislative session. The bill was sponsored by Republican Phil Boyle, and was similar …
Credit card theft

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack

Acer's insecure customer database spilled people's personal information – including full payment card numbers – into hackers' hands for more than a year. The PC maker has started writing to customers [PDF] warning that their personal records were siphoned off from its online store by crooks between May 12, 2015 and April 28, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Punnets, photo by Graze

When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

“Graze is doing the reverse of most companies,” co-founder and chief technology officer Edd Read tells me. “We started online and we are going offline. We started with bespoke home-made technology and we are beginning to adopt the opposite.” Started in 2008, Graze has done everything considered “normal” in today’s startup …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jun 2016
recruitment_hired

Dabs founder Dave Atherton returns to techland

Dave Atherton, the founder, one-time CEO and owner at Dabs has returned to the IT industry as chairman of distributor Entatech, with a turnaround mission in mind. Atherton, who sold his online tat bazaar to BT for £24m a decade ago, has since worked on numerous projects including property development and more recently a site …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jun 2016
Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons

Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Microsoft has unveiled its entry into the VR gaming space with a souped-up Xbox One console dubbed "Project Scorpio." Set for release in late 2017, Redmond says that the VR-ready model will be on shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. Though Microsoft is not providing many details on the new Xbox, the company says …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2016
drinks cans

In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Soda drinks are under attack in the US and the UK, but the weapons employed on the two fronts are different. In the US, San Francisco enacted a law last year that requires advertisements for soda and sweetened drinks to alert consumers: “WARNING: drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth …
Apple Store SoHo NYC

Thief dresses as Apple Store drone, walks off with $16,000 in iGear

A thief in New York City was able lift more than $16,000 worth of Apple merchandise by dressing up as a store employee. The brazen bloke walked into the SoHo Apple Store location at around 5.30PM on June 1, and took 19 iPhones from the store without being detected. His clever disguise? A blue t-shirt that police said was " …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016

FTC top techie's mobe fraud

Talk about picking on the wrong person. Lorrie Cranor, chief technologist at US consumer watchdog the FTC, said today she fell victim to a brazen identify thief. Cranor now wants to use her experience to alert citizens, helping them and phone carriers to take action to combat scammers. As she explained: A few weeks ago an …
Chris Williams, 07 Jun 2016
Virgin Media Tivo

Tivo's new owner ponders binning its own boxes

Tivo's new owner Rovi has hinted that it might get out of box retailing and focus on software and services. The source of the news is an SEC filing that records a presentation Rovi made to analyst firm Cowen and Company's Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. The document details Rovi chief financial officer Peter Halt's …

Farewell, Fadell: Nest CEO Tony quits IoT biz

The CEO of Nest, Tony Fadell, has quit. Announcing his decision in a blog post Friday, the head and cofounder of the smart home company now owned by Google parent Alphabet and most famous for its thermostat, said his decision was "bittersweet" but that now was the right time to leave. "While there is never a perfect time to …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jun 2016

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I’d like to try these in a size nine-and-a-half or size 10, please. “A size nine... and-a-half?” the shop assistant asks incredulously. Yes. Or a 10. “Which size do you want – the nine-and-a-half or the 10?” I’d like the size that fits my feet. “So... are your feet size nine-and-a-half or size 10?” Ah now, I can’t say for …
Alistair Dabbs, 03 Jun 2016
Super Mario Bros

Take that, Mom! Turns out Super Mario Bros was all about solving complex math problems

Completing a game of Super Mario Brothers is the mathematic equivalent of solving complex mathematical calculations, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The prestigious tech university said in a recent study [PDF] that navigating the world's most famous plumber through a single level can require the same …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2016
Micro:Bit photo

BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near

The long-awaited BBC micro:bit computer is now available for pre-order to retail and reseller customers, with single-unit orders starting at £12.50. Earlier this year, the beeb began shipping the little single-board computer to school-children. Farnell element14 is now taking pre-orders at resale scale, a minimum order …
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Heaven Sent. Pic credit: BBC

BBC post-Savile culture change means staff can 'speak truth to power'

In the post-Savile BBC era staff won't be punished for "speaking truth to power" – one of the main issues behind the canned £126m Digital Media Initiative, director general of the BBC Tony Hall told MPs. Appearing in front of a Parliamentary select committee on the BBC’s critical projects, Hall said: "One of the things that …
Kat Hall, 26 May 2016
News room with blur motion effect

RIP Nexus Player – the truth

Google has told El Reg that its smart TV gizmo Nexus Player is not quite dead, despite rumors to the contrary, after it was removed from the Google Store. "Nexus Player is still available on some retail sites," a spokesperson said. "Android TV continues to be a living room favorite as one of the best smart TV experiences. We …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2016
Image by gyn9037 http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-691846p1.html

You've patched that Flash hole, but have the users? Phone's ringing. It's for you

Security researchers are warning of a new wave of malvertising that harnesses the latest Flash exploit. The attack features tainted ads from websites including dailymotion.com, vodlocker.com, answers.com and legacy.com. Fraudulent advertisers are posing as legitimate retail or legal businesses in order distribute "conditional …
John Leyden, 25 May 2016
Dean Kamen on the iBot

Toyota not shybot about whybot it will trybot the iBot

Inventor Dean Kamen has inked a deal with Toyota to revive his iBot smart wheelchair, which has been out of production since 2009. The Segway creator's DEKA Research and Development Corp and the Japanese automaker said this weekend in a joint press conference at the Paralyzed Veterans of America Convention that they would be …
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2016

ARM buys IoT's camera crew, Eyes of Things biz Apical

Chip-designer ARM has snapped up London-based imaging and embedded computer biz Apical for £242m, in a bid to further branch out from the slowing smartphone market. Apical's imaging products are used in more than 1.5 billion smartphones and approximately 300 million other consumer/industrial devices including IP cameras, …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Mega UK distributor DCC Tech: 2016 was our annus horribilis

The once seemingly unstoppable distribution juggernaut DCC Technology hit some unmovable barriers in fiscal ’16 caused by slumping tab and smartphone sales and the loss of a retail gig. The parent of UK trading arm Exertis admitted today it had endured a "very difficult year". The LSE listed firm still managed to bump up …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
BT Openreach at work

Comms providers call on Ofcom to get tough on Openreach

Communications providers Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone have called on Ofcom to dramatically reform BT's Openreach in a "10 point plan" published today. The action plan published by membership body the Federation of Communication Services (FCS) follows a decision by Ofcom not to recommend a structural separation of Openreach …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2016

Kobayashi Maru gets real: VR and AR in meatspace today

Three years ago few people other than hardcore gamers and those working in specialist industrial fields were still talking about VR. It was a gimmicky technology cursed by the “P” word (“potential”) and huge, ungainly headsets that generated a flurry of interest in the late 1990s that quickly evaporated. Today, it’s big news …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016
Giant burger

Burger-slinger Wendy’s admits: Cash-till data breach hit 1 in 20 outlets

Wendy’s confirmed on Wednesday that malicious software affected PoS (point-of-sale) devices in around 300 of the burger chain’s 5,500 franchised stores, or about five per cent of all its restaurants in North America. The update on Wednesday quantifies the extent of a previously announced breach and came as Wendy’s announced …
John Leyden, 12 May 2016

Walmart sues Visa for being too lax with protecting chip cards

Retail giant Walmart has filed suit against Visa over the ability to force chip and PIN authorization for card purchases. In a suit filed to the New York State Court (PDF), Walmart claims that Visa is forcing it to accept customer signatures as authorization for payments when it wishes to mandate the use of PIN codes instead …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2016
O2 XDA Argon

French maverick sniffs around O2

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to block Three UK owner CK Hutchison’s takeover of O2 this week, leaving BT as the dominant player in the UK’s mobile market. BT, lest you forgot, is also the monopoly wholesaler of broadband, and the single largest retail provider of broadband too, with a 31 per cent share …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2016
Woman pays for something online with her credit card. Photo by Shutterstock

Experian Audience Engine knows almost as much about you as Google

We have grown so used to credit reference giants like Experian knowing almost as much about us as Google, but unlike Google, they put this information up for sale. This is perhaps why we have forgotten that Experian could form the basis of one of the most powerful personal intelligence systems in the world. And that it is a …
Faultline, 09 May 2016
cable

Violin aids hearing firm

Germany's biggest hearing aid company has bought a Violin 7300 flash array. It replaces a NetApp array and support's Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP system, mail archive, testing systems and thousands of virtual machines across Europe. Kind Hearing has more than 500 retail stores in Germany and 100 in the rest of Europe. In-store …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Long term sick-note abuser Misco not losing nearly as much money

A pinkish hue has yet to return to the cheeks of sickly European reseller Misco but its latest financials indicate the patient is finally out of intensive care - the same cannot be said of its parent. Most of Misco’s vital statistics improved in calendar Q1, all but sales which slipped 5.3 per cent to $258.2m - or were down a …
Paul Kunert, 04 May 2016

Argos defection to Tech Data whips Ingram Micro's bottom... line

The loss of a retail supply contract with Argos helped push Ingram Micro’s European sales growth into the barrier’s during car crash Q1 financials. The US-headquartered tech distributor reported sales of $2.66bn on this side of the pond for the period ended 31 March. This was down 13.35 per cent year-on-year. Ingram is being …
Paul Kunert, 03 May 2016

Paying a PoS*, USA? Your chip-and-PIN means your money's safer...

The value of online fraudulent transactions is expected to reach $25.6bn by 2020, up from $10.7bn last year, according to a new study from industry analysts Juniper Research. The researchers predict that by the end of the decade, $4 in every $1,000 of online payments will be fraudulent. Juniper’s study, Online Payment Fraud: …
John Leyden, 03 May 2016
atm_teaser_648

Bali banking bandits foiled by probing penetration tester

US penetration tester Matt South has ripped off and reverse-engineered an automated teller machine skimmer, finding videos of entered PINs stored within. The TrustFoundry consultant found the surreptitious skimmer on an ATM in Bali, Indonesia, after he jiggled the cover protecting the PIN entry bank and discovered it could be …
Darren Pauli, 03 May 2016
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon's AWS cash machine embiggens, breezes past $2bn-a-quarter mark

Amazon has reported bumper first quarter results, with profits of $513m and sales increasing 28 per cent. In its previous quarterly results Amazon's stock took a beating after the company reported a lower than expected sales. After Thursday's results, the company was back in favor and saw its stock price rise over 10 per cent …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2016
SanDisk Z410

SanDisk's enterprise flash sales are embiggening nicely

SanDisk enjoyed fatter revenues on an annual compare in its first quarter, driven by higher enterprise product sales. First 2016 quarter revenues of $1.37bn were three per cent up the $1.33bn recorded a year ago and, as expected, seasonally down on the final 2015 quarter’s $1.54bn by 11 per cent. There was a profit of $78m, a …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kids racking up huge in-app bills on Kindles, Android is all your fault, Amazon – US court

A US federal court has ruled against Amazon in its case with the FTC over youngsters breaking the bank with in-app purchases. The Seattle US Western District Court found the retail giant liable for charges children had racked up making in-game purchases on their parents' mobile devices without requiring the proper …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2016
Chicken eggs, photo via Shutterstock

Go to Topshop, make a Bluetooth gizmo, stick it on your dress

High-street retailer Topshop is opening an innovation hub for wearable tech. The fashion outlet is accepting applications for a place on a new innovation programme – Top Pitch – to develop new technology that is both useful and fashionable. Businesses will work with Topshop during a month to develop prototypes and will pitch …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Apr 2016
Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom

The sky is not falling. This is not as bad for Apple as 2003 or 1996. But neither does Apple walk on water. For the first time in 13 years, Apple’s reported falling revenue – down 13 per in the last three months to $50.6bn. Cruelly, it was the growth engine that was winding down: iPhone sales fell for the first time in the …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Apr 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

+Comment A sea change is looming in the disk drive industry as drive spindle motor maker Nidec reduces its total disk drive demand number. Nidec is a Japanese company and has the largest market share of any such manufacturer. It foresees demand for about 400 million units in 2016, down 13 per cent from its previous October 2015 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016

Amazon attempts rule fudge to take exclusive control of new dot-words

Amazon is trying to get around rules aimed at preventing it from gaining exclusive control of common words online. If successful, the online retail giant is likely to expand its approach to new dot-words, including ".book," ".song" and ".tunes" – despite the world's governments having explicitly said they are opposed to the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2016

12,000 chopped: Intel finds its inner paranoid

Only the Paranoid Survive, or so former Intel chief executive Andy Grove once wrote. And it seems that, faced with the demise of the PC market, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has found his inner Andy Grove. Grove, who died last month aged 79, left both an awesome business record and some great quotes behind him. While Intel co- …

Cybercrooks turn away from banks. Your health records are far juicier

Cybercrooks are switching up targets moving away from retail and financial services onto healthcare and government last year, according to figures from IBM’s security business. Retail drops out of top five most attacked sector while financial targets dropped from #1 to #3 in IBM X-Force’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index …
John Leyden, 20 Apr 2016
Chick egg, photo via Shutterstock

Clucking hell! Farcical free-range egg standard pecked apart by app

It’s often said that you can’t fight City Hall: the concentration of power and politics makes even the most open of political systems fight change tooth and nail. You have to work within the system, it’s said, or the system will fight you - and win. That’s a story the system puts out about itself - far better for all concerned …
Mark Pesce, 20 Apr 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

$elfies for MasterCard

Mastercard pay-by-selfie tech is coming to Britain, the US, and Canada. The Identity Check scheme began as a pilot in The Netherlands and the US with some 500 users who could take photos of themselves instead of entering PINs. MPU Users hold the phone at eye-level and blink once when instructed, preventing the use of static …
Darren Pauli, 20 Apr 2016
Bearded man sitting at desk reading from his tablet by hi laptop

Sainsbury's hires devs

Sainsbury’s is recruiting 150 devs, engineers and DevOps people. The UK’s second largest retailer, which is increasingly competing online against Amazon and more digital-savvy retail peers and buying Home Retail Group for £1.3bn, will hire software developers, software development managers, DevOps engineers and Agile coaches …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Apr 2016
European flag with sad face

Brexit would pinch UK tech spend but the EU wouldn't care – survey

If the United Kingdom chooses to leave the European Union – a so-called “Brexit” - Europe's information technology industries would not bat an eyelid and IT spending in the sceptred isles would only experience a “mildly negative” dip. That's the consensus opinion to which analyst outfit IDC is putting its name after polling …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2016

Telstra's CRM system breached competition undertaking: ACCC

IT integration isn't easy. Just ask Australia's dominant carrier Telstra, whose customer information system accidentally provided a ladder over the “Chinese walls” supposed to keep wholesale information out of the hands of its retail business. That information emerged in the regular Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) …