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Online sales top $5 billion on Black Friday

Published: Sunday, November 26, 2017 @ 10:51 AM

Online sales jumped this year on Black Friday, topping $5 billion.
Xavier ROSSI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Online sales jumped this year on Black Friday, topping $5 billion.(Xavier ROSSI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

There were plenty of crowds on Black Friday, but the shoppers that stayed home and took advantage of online sales is on the rise, CNN reported.

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American shoppers spent a record $5 billion online in 24 hours, an increase of 16.9 percent in dollars spent on the internet from Black Friday in 2016. Those figures were released by Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks 80 percent of online spending at the 100 largest retail websites in the United States, CNN reported. 

Amazon said Friday that orders were being placed “at record levels,” with more than 200,000 toys sold in the first five hours of the day, CNN reported. Amazon did not provide sales figures for the entire day.

While sales boomed online, purchases at malls and large retailers remained strong, CNN reported. Estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said sales at those outlets decreased “less than 1 percent” compared to Black Friday in 2016, CNN reported.

Adobe predicts that Cyber Monday will be even bigger than Black Friday, bringing in as much as $6 billion in digital sales, CNN reported.

ShopperTrak was optimistic for the holiday shopping season, since there are four Saturdays in December before Christmas. ShopperTrak added that after Black Friday, Dec. 23 and Dec. 16 -- both Saturdays -- will be the second and third busiest shopping days of the season.

KFC debuts romance novel for Mother’s Day

Published: Saturday, May 06, 2017 @ 8:34 AM

KFC
KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images
KFC(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

When it comes to a love story, Colonel Sanders might just have a leg up on the competition.

Or a wing. Or even a thigh. 

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KFC is touting the Colonel as a dignified hero with his silver mane and distinctive goatee in its first foray into romantic literature. Sanders becomes “a handsome sailor with a mysterious past” in “Tender Wings of Desire,” USA Today reported.

The fast-food fried-chicken chain is offering the novella as a Mother’s Day promotion. The book can be downloaded for free from Amazon, and 100 Facebook users will be offered a hardback copy, USA Today reported.

“The only thing better than being swept away by the deliciousness of our Extra Crispy Chicken is being swept away by Harland Sanders himself,” said George Felix, KFC’s United States advertising director. “So this Mother’s Day, the bucket of chicken I get for my wife will come with a side of steamy romance novel.”

While KFC touts its chicken as finger-lickin’ good, the company is approaching its book tastefully. The book will mirror the prudish era of Victorian England, USA Today reported. Madeline Parker is a bored housewife who is trying to escape her loveless marriage at stately Parker Manor.

As one might expect, the Colonel delivers, sweeping Madeline off her feet. The chicken might be fried or even extra crispy, but KFC is hinting that the passion between Sanders and Madeline Parker will be steamy.

Jack Daniel’s introduces coffee product

Published: Saturday, January 14, 2017 @ 6:46 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2017 @ 6:46 AM

Millions of people sip Jack Daniel's. Now, the makers of the Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey product want you to sip in the morning.

 

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But not whiskey — coffee.

 

The Lynchburg, Tennessee, distillery announced a partnership with World of Coffee to release Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Coffee. On its website, Jack Daniel’s notes that the coffee will be available in an 8.8-ounce collectible tin for $21.95 and a 1.5-ounce bag for $6.95. The coffee can only be bought at the distillery’s online store or in person at the Lynchburg Hardware & General Store in the downtown square.

 

The coffee, dubbed as “100 percent Arabica,” will be ground and available in regular and decaffeinated brands. While the coffee will be "infused" with the whiskey, the drink will be non-alcoholic.

 

Jack Daniel's has produced "gourmet" coffee in 1.5-ounce bags in the past, but the venture with World of Coffee represents a more mainstream push.

 

New device lets parents hold smartphone, feed baby simultaneously

Published: Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 3:23 AM
Updated: Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 3:23 AM

For parents of newborn babies that need to multitask, a new device could be the answer to their problems.

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Swipe&Feed is a smartphone and baby bottle accessory. It was invented by Tim Causa of Reston, Virginia, who was trying to figure out a way to catch up on work while feeding his son, Jack. The infant had acid reflux issues and had to take a bottle every hour, Causa told WTVM.

"For 25 minutes at a time, I was in a dark, quiet room feeding my son. It dawned on me that I could do some catch-up work while he fed, but I needed something to help me hold a bottle and my smartphone," Causa told WTVM. "I searched online for solutions, but nothing was on the market. That's when I decided to seize the opportunity and solve the problem myself."

TODAY SHOW SIGHTING! It's hard to believe that an idea I had a year ago has progressed from a rough prototype to a...

Posted by Tim Causa on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Causa said the device will fit iPhone 6, 6s or the new iPhone 7 without a case, in addition to most Android devices. The device also fits most baby bottle sizes. 

Pre-orders are available via their website and on a Kickstarter page

Causa appeared on the “Today” show on Wednesday and noted afterward on his Facebook page that the Kickstarter goal already has passed 50 percent with 18 days remaining.

“It's hard to believe that an idea I had a year ago has progressed from a rough prototype to a professionally engineered, patent pending product that has now been featured on the ‘Today’ show,” he wrote.

Causa told WTVM that there has been some backlash on social media about his device impeding on the quality bonding time between a parent and child.

"Quite frankly, since I used it at night, I don't think much bonding time is being missed out on during those dark-room-3 a.m, bottle feedings,” he told the station via email. “I think the most disturbing aspect is how quickly people forget that parenting is tough, and shaming a parent who is doing their best and occasionally needs to find a break is terrible.

"We expected some backlash — the internet is full of warriors without a cause, but I'm hoping that my product would provide a solution to working parents like us who are just trying to do their best."

TV viewers can change channels with Harry Potter remote

Published: Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 3:28 AM
Updated: Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 3:28 AM

The narrator for the 1960s television show “The Outer Limits” warned viewers that “We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.”

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More than 50 years later, television viewers can control their channels with the Harry Potter Remote Control Wand. It’s not an Accio, or summoning charm, but the wand does the work of a remote.

This new piece of electronic wizardry is being sold on Amazon through the Noble Collection. It offers nine different commands, including “Flick Up,” “Flick Down” and the “Big Swish” to control a television or other electronic device. The wand is set up to act as your remote for any infrared remote device, including Blu-ray and DVD players, and PlayStation and Xbox console.

The wand lists for $49 on Amazon.