A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
RadioShack Plans to Close Up to 1,100 Stores (Wall Street Journal)
RadioShack plans to dramatically cut back its store count, after a sharp drop in sales over the holidays left it with a $400 million loss last year. The electronics retailer said it could close as many as 1,100 U.S. stores—one out of every four that it operates itself — underscoring the difficulty it has had adapting to a fast changing consumer landscape.
New Location-Based Services Are Poised to Enter the Mainstream (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The most pressing feature in mobile technology this time around is an orientation toward experiences situated in a physical context. The question the new technologies will answer is this: “What do I need my technology to do for me now, in this place, at this time, under these circumstances?”
With Eye On Growth, Just Eat Buys Meal2Go To Offer EPOS Tech To Its Takeaway Partners (TechCrunch)
Online fast food ordering startup Just Eat has acquired Meal2Go, a maker of electronic point of sale technology tailored to the restaurant sector, in a move aimed at growing its business by offering its takeaway partners additional services. Just Eat has not disclosed how much it’s spending on the acquisition of Birmingham, U.K.-based Meal2Go.
Can Renewed Coordination Prevent a Rollup in Local Media? (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Last week Google made news when the search giant struck a deal with the Local Media Consortium to power a private advertising exchange . Yesterday, Christian Hendricks, the Consortium’s chairman and a McClatchy executive, pitched the plan to a room of media executives, and made the case why the new consortium could succeed where it failed nearly a decade ago.
NCR Updates Its iPad Cash Register With Loyalty Features (GigaOm)
NCR is better known for making the point-of-sale contraptions you find at every large scale retail operation’s checkout counters – registers, scanners, card readers and receipt printers – as well as the software that runs them. But last year it decided to scale down its typical setup for small businesses by launching Silver, an application and set of retail hardware that attaches to an iOS device.
Why Uber Needs Clearer Pricing (Harvard Business Review)
Uber’s biggest challenge today is customers don’t understand – and have not accepted – the role of price in its brand. The backlash has been over the “surge” fares charged during peak demand periods – which can be as high as eight times the normal price. Uber has done a poor job of “spinning” these surge prices and hasn’t been clear about its pricing strategy.
Your Exploitation is on the Left: CarPlay Drives Apple Deeper into Surveillance Valley (Pando)
Apple is driving deeper into Surveillance Valley. The flagship feature of CarPlay, a tool that allows drivers to interact with its mapping, messaging, and music services via their car’s built-in controls, is its ability to “predict where you most likely want to go using addresses from your email, text messages, contacts, and calendars.
How Modern Marketplaces Like Uber And Airbnb Build Trust To Achieve Liquidity (TechCrunch)
Anand Lyer: The gradual but ultimately huge success of Airbnb and Etsy to the marketplace space has paved the way for Uber and Lyft’s breakout growth, and the explosion in startups with marketplace models. Much of this success is based on the ability to inspire and maintain trust. And while “trust” sounds like a subjective term, building it is highly tactical.
This Chip Is Apple’s Advantage In Enterprise And Payments (Business Insider)
It’s becoming rather evident that Apple is going to open up Touch ID-controlled payments to third-party retailers as well. But Apple’s payments solution won’t rely on any third-party services — the payments themselves will be authorized and facilitated within the existing iTunes infrastructure, which Touch ID and the Security Enclave were literally designed for.