First Physical App Store Opens its Doors

First Brick-and-Mortar App Store Opens in Colorado

The world’s first brick-and-mortar app store, called OpenSpace, opened its very tangible doors this week in Boulder, Colorado.

Considering that all other app stores reside in the pockets of smartphone users, the role of a physical store seems questionable. Mashable reports that OpenSpace intends to give app users a place to learn about and discover new apps, thus adding some variety to the app buying and browsing experience.

A major idea behind this strategy is that in spite of their convenience, mobile app stores can be a little confusing. OpenSpace will be a place for users to seek answers and advice from a staff of App Gurus, which OpenSpace CEO Robert Reich says is a “needed component of our current app ecosystem.”

The store currently offers its services free of charge and aims to become a for-profit model by working with developers to earn a percentage of the profits from apps the store promotes. And, in addition to the brick-and-mortar one, OpenSpace has an online store where you can log in via Facebook to follow a range of interest-driven app lists.

Read more at mashable.com.

Moderate Retail Sales Increases Continue into December

The U.S. Department of Commerce released November retail sales statistics today and, as expected, the holiday shopping season is off to a strong start. Retail industry sales increased 0.09 percent since October and 4.5 percent from 2010 statistics. National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay says in an article from the NRF that while the November numbers are promising, the real test will be during the two weeks prior to Christmas day.

These increases have been attributed largely to retailers’ savvy promotion strategies catering to the discount-driven consumer looking for holiday gifts who is also willing to spend on small personal luxuries. Though the article doesn’t specifically mention the influence of online and mobile retail on sales, I think we can expect to see further analysis of these statistics in the coming weeks, especially with reporters wondering about the pacing and momentum of these sales increases.

Read more at nrf.com.