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Report: Amazon has best price 80% of the time

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ottawa, Canada – Amazon.com has the best price on products in its assortment about 80% of the time. However, the new “Amazon Holiday Pricing Insights” analysis from pricing technology provider 360pi shows that Amazon does have weak spots, and that retailers can compete with the online giant, especially if they can beat Amazon on other non-price purchase factors.

For example, once Home Depot decided to be price competitive on Oct. 26, they were instantly and dynamically able to beat Amazon prices on power drills. Meanwhile, tablets and televisions are the categories where a majority of retailers are either price competitive or closer to the mark than other categories, such as printers and video games, which show the least amount of price competitiveness.

Top retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Sears and Costco are less than 5% more, or better priced, than Amazon in televisions, for example. During the Oct. 16 – Nov. 14 period, Amazon had the lowest-priced tablets 68% of the time, which means retailers are currently beating Amazon with lower tablet prices 32% of the time.

“Given that our holiday reports are based on products drawn from Amazon’s own assortment, you would expect them to be price competitive,” said Alexander Rink, CEO, 360pi. “What is interesting is that when you factor in different retail competitive strategies like carrying a different assortment, leveraging private label, delivering targeted customer promotions, and creating unique customer experiences in addition to price leadership, it certainly appears that retailers are learning how to compete with Amazon.”

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Tiffany CFO resigns

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Patrick F. McGuiness, CFO of Tiffany’s, has resigned his position effective Nov. 27, 2013. James M. Fernandez, 58, executive VP and COO of Tiffany’s, will assume the position of CFO on an interim basis.

Fernandez has been with Tiffany’s since 1983. The board of Tiffany’s has authorized a search for a new CFO.

McGuiness received a severance package worth $899,000 and will also receive a prorated performance bonus for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2014. McGuiness will release any claims he might have against Tiffany as part of the severance agreement.

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OfficeMax starts Black Friday on Thanksgiving

BY Dan Berthiaume

Naperville, Ill. – OfficeMax is opening most stores at 8 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving night. OfficeMax.com will start offering online Black Friday deals at 12:01 a.m. EST Thanksgiving morning.

The OfficeMax Black Friday shopping event will take place for three days from Thursday, Nov. 28 through Saturday, Nov. 30 in stores and at OfficeMax.com. OfficeMax.com will also host a special online-only, pre-Black Friday sales event at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 27.

“We’re providing earlier hours, more ways to save and a flexible, convenient shopping experience for our Black Friday customers to help kick off the holiday season,” said Kim Feil, OfficeMax executive VP and chief marketing and strategy officer for Office Depot, Inc. “Whether they prefer to stay up late or shop early, shoppers will find big savings on a wide variety of technology products and accessories, and also great gifts and supplies for every home and business office on their list.”

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