Amazon and Wal-Mart Priming for the Grocery Business?

There’s $565 billion worth of sales in the grocery business every year, according to a report from CNBC. Problem is, profit margins have always been historically low. So why would the likes of Amazon and Wal-Mart rush headlong to get into the food business? Does either company believe that establishing a beachhead on Aisle 2 will be worth the effort? Not to mention the cost?

Facebook: Paid Model or Always Free?

A new poll says that Facebook users would pay $10 or more per month to like and share without the annoyance of advertisements. But would such a service be profitable? And how will businesses make use of social media for lead generation and customer retention if the paid model catches on? Will they simply adopt other methods for reaching consumers? Or exit the social realm altogether?

Saving the Many Faces of Paula Deen

TV cooking personality Paula Deen recently found herself in a bit of hot water, after having admitting under oath to making racist remarks long ago. Her few flailing attempts at damage control indicate that Deen faces a difficult road back to public respectability -- if, indeed, that ever comes. The process looks to depend on how much Deen has actually revealed thus far and whether any unsavory surprises remain.

Policing the Fashion Police

The Fashion Police blog looks to be an old-fashioned irreverent take on a world that’s long been known for taking itself far too seriously. The blog’s subtitle says it all: “Fighting crimes of fashion and solving style dilemmas.” But is the blog fashion ownage or failage? Could it be that the Fashion Police take themselves and their mission every bit as seriously as those they skewer?

Why Should Anyone Care About the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things looks to take the Internet of Machines one giant leap further. To the point where an insulin pump could respond to remote commands aimed at managing blood sugar reactions. Which is all fun and games until a hacker threatens to sabotage that pump unless a ransom is paid. At which point, things could turn into an intergalactic struggle between geeked-up yuppies and the NSA.

New Labeling Laws Have Meat Industry Up in Arms

In case you haven’t already, forget about Europe’s horsemeat problem. The U.S. has troubles of its own. Groups like the National Cattlemen’s Association don’t want you to know what country your store-bought pork chops came from. Why? Possible retaliatory trade sanctions. And expensive new labels. Isn't there a real food safety problem, though? Shouldn't everyone have the right to know where their food came from?

Social Media and Publicity Power

If leveraging the power of Twitter and Facebook seems like a necessary evil – and your customers seem to view it that way, as well -- you’re not alone. Since social media seems to be working for some, though, what are the keys to using it effectively, business-wise? Can a medium known for light, fluffy and personal be turned into a vehicle for pitching bona fide services and products?

Dressed Up for the Tonys, and Still a Long Ways to Go

Why did 2013 Tony Award winner Andrea Martin, barely ten seconds into her thank-yous, make a point to say, “Carmen Marc Valvo gave me this dress — nobody else would. I just want to thank him.” Would you believe because Tony-nominated actresses – among the classiest performers anywhere, making them high-profile models for, well, class -- don’t typically attract the kind of public attention that gown designers crave?

Ten Brands Predicted to Be Extinct by 2014

Every year, 24/7 Wall St., an online financial news and opinion site, IDs 10 brands that are predicted to disappear in the United States before the end of the next calendar year. The predictions have come to pass with about as great regularity as those that haven’t…yet. That said, here are the 10 brands that 24/7 Wall St. believes will be gone by the end of 2014.

All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate?

The concept of labeling products as fairly traded – where fair prices are paid for all ingredients, especially to suppliers in developing countries -- would seem to be a concept that would have everyone on board? After all, don’t we, as Americans, want to do what we can to help struggling nations maximize their natural resources so as to enjoy a better life? Isn't that the American way?