FINANCE

Report: Best Buy may sell Chinese business

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Best Buy Inc. is reportedly considering selling off its Chinese business or finding a partner to help operate it. According to the Wall Street Journal, Best Buy is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to examine its options in China.

Best Buy’s operations in China may be worth as much as $300 million in a sale. Best Buy entered the Chinese market in 2006, but has had difficulty establishing itself against local competitors. The retailer sold its ownership in European electronics retailer Carphone Warehouse in 2013. Best Buy did not comment on the report.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Consumer Facebook usage grows

BY Dan Berthiaume

Waban, Mass. – After a drop in daily Facebook usage on computers in 2013, U.S. consumers increased their daily use of Facebook, from 42.5% of the population in 2013 to 46.5% in 2014, according to new research by the Temkin Group. The "Social Media Benchmark Study, 2014" examines 10,000 U.S. consumers’ use of several different social media sites, on computers and mobile devices, and compares the results to previous studies from 2012 and 2013.

The largest increase was with consumers between 55 and 64 years old. This group expanded its daily Facebook usage by nearly eight percentage points.

During the same time, daily usage of Facebook on mobile phones surged from 24.7% of U.S. consumers in 2013 to 29.3% this year. The largest growth, 10 percentage points, came from consumers who are between 18 and 34. The research also showed that iPhone users tend to be more active on social media sites than Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry users.

Here are some additional findings from the research:

• Daily usage on computers is as follows: 17.7% visit a company’s Facebook site, 13.4% read or update LinkedIn, 10.9% read or update Twitter, 9.8% read or update Google+, 8.3% read or update Pinterest, 7.7% read or update Tumblr, 6.5% read a review on a rating site like Yelp or TripAdvisor, and 5.7% write a review on a rating site like Yelp or TripAdvisor.

• Daily activity on mobile devices is nearly as high as it is on computers for Facebook users under 24 years old, LinkedIn users under 45 years old, Twitter users under 35 years old, and users of review sites under 45 years old.

• iPhone users are the most frequent daily readers and updaters of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Blackberry users are the most frequent daily visitors of company Facebook pages, users of Google+, Tumblr (tied with iPhone), and ratings and review sites.

"Consumers across all ages are becoming more active in social media, but the largest change we found is in the active mobile, social activities of younger consumers," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

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OPERATIONS

Reflexis names Infor exec as VP of sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dedham, Mass. – Reflexis Systems Inc. today announced the appointment of Brett Friedman as senior VP of global sales and marketing. He will be responsible for expanding the Reflexis global sales team and building upon the company’s growth.

Friedman brings 15 years of sales and marketing experience and joins Reflexis from Infor, where he had global revenue responsibility for supply chain and PLM solutions. Prior to Infor, he was senior VP of global sales at Allegro Development and has also held leadership positions at SAP and i2 Technologies.

“Brett Friedman further strengthens our executive team, all of whom have more than 25 years of experience in deploying software solutions for some of the world’s most demanding customers,” said Prashanth Palakurthi, founder and CEO of Reflexis. “He has a demonstrable track record of driving revenues in multiple industries and leading from the front.”

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