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Seems like the 21st century is a bad time to be a brick and mortar retailer. Americans have long been accustomed to mail-order shopping, a tradition that started in the late 1800’s with settlers in the west. Considering how many commercials you see trying to get you to buy something right then over a toll-free number, someone must actually order random things over the phone, too.

Then came the internet. With promises of unlimited selection and the convenience of shopping in your pajamas, eCommerce was poised to take over traditional catalog orders. Promises of free shipping, then, started luring customers away from traditional stores, too. Today’s onslaught of downloadable eBooks, music, movies, and apps from iTunes, Amazon, and more changes it yet again, replacing both the stores and the very things they used to sell.

Where does traditional retail fit in today? Can it adapt to the changes, or remake itself into retail 2.0 by leveraging the internet along with their physical locations?


Yesterday Facebook launched its latest social network feature, Facebook Places, which is set to compliment the growing market of location-based social check-in apps. Currently Foursquare, Gowalla, Booyah and Yelp are able to push data into Places. So, in a way, Facebook is working with (rather than in competition against) the check-in giants to best take advantage of the massive number of people on the social network.

We’ll take a quick peek at Facebook Places and how you can protect your privacy with the new Facebook feature.