OPERATIONS

Overstock.com founder back as CEO

BY Staff Writer

New York — Overstock.com founder Patrick M. Byrne has returned as CEO of online discount retailer.

Byrne took a medical leave of absence in February to address cardiac issues thought to be associated with cancer treatments received much earlier in his life.

During his leave, Byrne retained his position as chairman, but appointed Jonathan Johnson, formerly president, as acting CEO. Recently, Johnson was nominated to stand for election to the board of directors at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting in May. The company’s proxy materials note that if Johnson is elected, the board intends to appoint him as executive vice chairman of the board.

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Apr-16-2013 03:16 pm

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Sony embarks on retail expansion

BY CSA STAFF

SAN DIEGO — Sony Electronics is expanding its retail footprint by opening three newly remodeled Sony Stores and several brand new Sony Gallery experiences. The company also unveiled a smaller-store format called Sony Gallery.

Following the debut of the redesigned Sony Store in the Simon Mall Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., Sony announced it will open three new concept stores located in Miami, San Diego, and Orlando, Fla. The remodels will bring the total of U.S. redesigned stores to eight.

Sony’s retail expansion plans also include free-standing Sony Gallery. a curated assortment of Sony’s best products in a smaller store footprint. The first Sony Gallery opened this week at the Westfield UTC Mall in San Diego. Two more Sony Galleries will open in New Jersey and San Francisco next month, and additional locations are being planned in shopping centers across the country.

The Sony Gallery at UTC is the predecessor to another new Sony retail store concept that will open this fall, a "boutique" in size and style with the best TVs, cameras, computers and audio products and services Sony has on the market.

"We’re creating a new way to shop for consumer electronics," said Mike Fasulo, EVP sales operations for Sony Electronics. "People expect the best from Sony, and we want to exceed their expectations by providing a personal, memorable shopping experience to all of our guests, that keeps them and their families coming back again and again."

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Things get Pinteresting at Barnes & Noble

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Nook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, has launched a new Pinterest app on Nook HD, Nook HD+, Nook Tablet and Nook Color.

Nook Media seeks to leverage the popularity of the social media platform to keep existing users engaged as well as draw in new ones. Pinterest will come preloaded on all new devices, along with Twitter and a new Facebook for Nook app. Existing customers will be able to download the Pinterest and Twitter apps free from the Nook Store.

“Pinterest has long been one of our most requested apps and we are thrilled to bring it to Nook, along with the Twitter and Facebook for Nook apps,” said Claudia Romanini, VP of Nook Apps, Nook Media. “Our goal is to bring Nook users the very best in social media and these apps will bring to life the rich sharing experiences that Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter offer.”

The Pinterest app allows users to access Pinterest via their Nooks and pin items they find interesting — as they would from their computers. When Nook users pin e-books they are reading or wish to read, those pins link back to the Barnes & Noble site, where other Pinterest users in their networks can consider purchasing not only the e-books but also one of the various Nook devices. It’s the latest tool in viral marketing.

The Facebook for Nook app will allow users to see what their friends are up to, share updates, photos and videos, chat, have group conversations and even play games. The Twitter app, which Nook Media credits as one of its most popular apps, features tweets that deliver news, events and information in real time.

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