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Consumer News: Microsoft's Surface Is Largely Overlooked by Retailers


Plus, the 10 biggest retail trends of this holiday season.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer companies from around the Web.

Link: Microsoft Surface Trampled at the Bottom of the Tablet Pile This Christmas
"While it does have drawbacks just like anything else, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface is a great slate for those looking for a fresh new take on the modern tablet. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like very many people were looking for a fresh new take on the modern tablet this holiday season. In a recent note to investors, R.W. Baird analyst William Power recounted recent conversations had at retailers including Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS). While speaking with sales reps at the stores, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad was the most highly recommended tablet while Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire line and Samsung's (PINK:SSNLF) Galaxy Tab line were both recommended as alternatives. Microsoft's Surface tablet, on the other hand, was not pushed by reps at either chain."

Link: 10 Big Retail Trends From the 2012 Holiday Shopping Season
"What did the 2012 holidays teach us about the current state of shoppers-and, of course, the places where they shop? Here are 10 notable trends."

Link: Kindle Fire HD Best Selling Product From Amazon
"The Kindle Fire HD is on fire, from a sales perspective. The online retail giant reported today that they were rated No. 1 in customer service by ForeSee and sold over 26.5 million items ordered on their peak day. The Kindle Fire HD continues to be their No. 1 seller across all product categories.

"Considering that my colleague Kelly Clay reported that Amazon makes no profit on the units, it may not appear to interest Wall Street very much. However, it does signal a lot of opportunity for those who deal in digital products or who can figure out how to use the affordable tablet in their business environment. Or, as Benzinga Insights points out, will the Kindle Fire HD outsell the iPad in China? Read that post: Will Amazon's Kindle Fire Top Apple's iPad in China?"
Link: With Wii U, Nintendo Takes the Lead
"With Christmas past and the gift cards melting in your pockets, it's time to go hunting for whatever goodies didn't turn up under the tree. A new video game console, perhaps. And this year, you can get one that's truly new.

"Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 is seven years old; Sony Corp.'s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii console each rolled out six years ago. So Nintendo's (PINK:NTDOY) just-released Wii U is the first new game console of the decade. Priced between $299 and $349, it's a massive upgrade that features a new game controller with a 6-inch video touchscreen."

The Wall Street Journal
Link: JC Penney's Strong Run Continues
"JC Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP) has been a volatile stock for months and can often be found among the S&P 500′s bigger winners or losers depending on the day.

"Today is a good example.

"The retailer is contrasting the weakness seen in many retail stocks and continues to hold on to recent gains following its swoon early last month."
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