This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer stocks and companies from around the Web.
Link: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Lifts Barnes & Noble Results
“NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Sex sells -- an eternal truth that helped book seller Barnes & Noble
(BKS) narrow its quarterly loss due partly to demand for E.L. James' racy book trilogy, 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'
“The company also benefited from the closing of competitor Borders
a year ago and the increased sale of digital books for its Nook e-Reader. But lower sales and prices of the Nook
reader itself kept its digital revenue flat in the quarter.”
Link: Could Aviva’s New Android App Save You Money On Car Insurance?
(AV) is testing out a new Android
(GOOG) smartphone app which has the potential to save new customers money on your car insurance.
“The RateMyDrive app
builds up a profile of your driving style; accelerating, braking and cornering, over a distance of 200 miles. Using the data gathered, you could save up to 20% on your premiums – Aviva say that the app won’t increase your premium, and they expect 20% of new customers to achieve the maximum 20% saving.”
Link: iPad at Work: In Ford Dealerships
“Ford Motor Co.
(F) has launched an iPad
(AAPL) deployment program to its dealerships in the USA. Following a successful 6 month pilot program at 14 dealerships, the company has gone nationwide with the program and around 140 dealerships have already signed up for it.
“The iPads are being used by managers and sales consultants at the Ford dealerships. As autonews.com reports
, the iPads are running a custom app called Showcase that helps sales staff.”
New York Times
Link: Merchants and Shoppers Sour on Daily Deal Sites
“As their e-mail in-boxes filled with daily deal offers from Web sites like Groupon
(GRPN), Lea Pische and Edwin Hermawan, a pizzeria waitress and a former lawyer living on the Lower East Side, finally decided to buy one: a discounted Skillshare
class on how to start a business.
“Their business plan? It was a service that would unsubscribe people from all those daily deal e-mails.”
Link: Suzuki recalls Forenza and Reno Cars Due to Headlamp Wiring
“Nearly 102,000 Suzuki
(SUK.BE) Forenza and Reno sedans are being recalled by American Suzuki Motor Corp. he small cars have wiring issues that may cause the headlamps to work only intermittently, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sudden loss of illumination reduces driver visibility and increases the risk of collision, warns the safety agency.”
Link: New (and Improved) Layaway Returns to Stores
“Layaway programs are making a comeback, but they look a little different than they did a decade ago. While stores still charge customers fees for the ability to pay for purchases over time, some stores now offer refunds on those fees after customers pay for the items in full. Wal-Mart
(WMT) recently announced that for this holiday season, it will refund the $15 fee to open a layaway account after customers make their final payment
, and it will no longer charge a cancellation fee to customers who fail to finish paying for the item.”
No positions in stocks mentioned.