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January 16, 2007

Netflix CEO striving for 'simple'

Staff Writer Jaclyn Giovis is reporting from the National Retail Federation's 2007 Convention & Expo in New York.

Netflix Inc. launched its new "Watch Now" offering today, a feature that will eventually make it possible for all customers to instantly watch DVDs and TV episodes over the Internet.

Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, who spoke to attendees at the National Retail Federation's 2007 Convention & Expo, said the company's goal is to make it "incredibly easy and simple" for customers to view movies and television.

Netflix eventually plans to advance its "Watch Now" feature so that it is compatible with multiple software systems and customers can access movies and TV episodes via their cell phone, Hastings said. The company also expects to expand its existing online content from 1,000 titles to about 70,000, he said.

The timing of the company's "Watch Now" announcement, he says, has nothing to do with rival Blockbuster Inc. Blockbuster launched a program in November that allows online customers to bypass the mail and return DVDs to its retail stores.

"It was pure coincidence between their launch and ours," Hastings said. "We're focused on online delivery. We're an Internet company."

That said, Hastings believes there will always be customers who prefer to visit a store.

"People tend to underestimate stores," he said. "That will be a segment that I think will be around for a long time."


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January 15, 2007

Magic Mirror connects shoppers and friends

Staff Writer Jaclyn Giovis is reporting from the National Retail Federation's 2007 Convention & Expo in New York.

Imagine standing in front of a mirror at your favorite boutique and having your friends at home vote on your look and make suggestions about another top you should try on. How is it possible, you ask?

A new IconNicholson technology targeted to help retailers capture more dollars from young adults aged 17 to 25 has created an interactive "Magic Mirror" that can transmit images from the store floor to friends and family anywhere in the world through a Web site called

Friends connected to the Magic Mirror interactive session search the store to find items and suggest looks to the shopper that digitally appear on the mirror. Friends can also make comments to the shopper, which show up as a chat session on the mirror.

The interactive experience, which IconNicholson has trademarked as social retailing, expands the popular social networking trend of Web sites like MySpace, Facebook and You Tube. The technology debuted Monday at the National Retail Federation Convention & Expo in New York. is expected to launch in a Nanette Lepore boutique in the United States this year, said Christopher Enright, chief of technology for IconNichholson. Other retailers and department stores are also considering the technology, Enright said, declining to name them.

The Magic Mirror session is triggered through the shopper's cell phone. The shopper would use his or her cell phone to beam the session directly to a friend's cell phone or e-mail, through an infrared port at the Magic Mirror.


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January 14, 2007

Strech your lashes

Staff Writer Jaclyn Giovis is reporting from the National Retail Federation's 2007 Annual Convention & Expo in New York City.

Tired of mascara that makes your lashes stiff? Coty Inc., one of the world's leading fragrance and beauty companies, partnered with the creators of Lycra brand apparel to launch a new mascara that promises to leave your lashes long and supple.

The Rimmel London Lycra Lash Extender mascara claims to increase lash length up to 60 percent and add 50 percent more curl. Product creators say the formula stretches and holds lashes in shape for 14 hours.


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January 8, 2007

You likee?

Beach towel at
Aren't I gracious in victory?
-- G.G.S.


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The Skinny on Wallets

Remember the "Seinfeld" episode in which George's overstuffed wallet explodes?

For fashionphiles who hate the wrong kind of bulge in their clothes, there is now the Big Skinny wallet. Made of the same strong, strechy micro-fiber material that the house of Prada uses, the wallet will essentially be the same thickness as the contents.

And Cambridge entrepreneur Kiril Stefan Alexandrov also designed the wallet to fit the curvature of the body, so this is one wallet that "hugs" you...or at least hugs your backside.

Coming in colors Tuxedo Black, Navy Blue and Desert Khaki, the super-thin wallet costs $19.95 at or by calling (888) 844-6925 or 617-461-5659.


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For your sweet celebration

In anticipation of a big Buckeye victory in tonight's National Championship game, we give you a recipe for yummy Buckeye candy.

1 c. (2 sticks) butter
5 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
2 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
12 oz. chocolate bits
1/2 bar paraffin

Knead all together and shape into balls the size of walnuts. Melt the chocolate bits with the paraffin in the top of double boiler. Stick toothpicks into the balls and dip into chocolate so all of the ball is covered except top where toothpick is. This is what makes them look like buckeyes. Set on cookie sheet or wax paper in refrigerator until cold. Take off with a knife. Keep cool.

(Have a peanut allergy? We made a version of Buckeye Candy using Rice Krispie treats. Form them into balls and dip in chocolate. Looks as good as the real thing and tastes even better, in my opinion.)

Don't wanna make them? Order them at Marie's Candy . Price: $16.75 for a pound (30 to 35 pieces).


Come tomorrow, they'll make a great consolation prize for Gator fans.



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Fashionable Folding Cane

Finally! A cane with interchangeable handles so you can match your outfit with you mobility aid...after all function and fashion should always go together.

The Hugo Folding Cane can be fitted with 24 different vibrantly hued handles that retail for $6.97 each (which includes shipping).

The actual cane costs $16.30. You can buy them at Sam's Club and Costco stores. You can also visit the website or call 1-866-321-4846 to order.



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January 7, 2007

Are you ready for some football stuff?

gatorlogo.jpg says that BCS champions gear will be online immediately after Monday's game.
(heh, heh, heh)
-- G.G.S.


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January 5, 2007

New Year, New Shoes

Take advantage of the post holiday sale blitz at Neiman Marcus by checking out the Last Call Clearance selection of shoes on the website. There are some deals to be had. Michael Kors clogs, regularly $109, for $38. Sandals galore, including whipstitched thong sandals, regularly $129, for $39. (Sandals in Jan. Aren't you so glad you live in Fla.?)

While the prices are fierce, the selection in size and color is not. (That's why the prices are fierce.) So better act fast. If you spend over $150 and put in the code SALENM, shipping is free.

-- K.V.W.


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January 4, 2007

Getting Organized

We are back to shopping in this new year. Hope everyone had a good holiday and that you found all kinds of things (which people bought for you after reading Shop-o-matic) under your tree, near your Menorah or whatever.

We hope you'll keep checking in to see the cool stuff we find (which you buy).


Still looking for a 2007 organizer? I am enjoying my Whomi Original Agenda which I bought from My one complaint: The calendar pages start with Monday and end with Sunday... still getting used to that, but really like all the color-coded rows and great "reminder" slots. Haven't missed an appointment in the week I've had so I guess that's a good thing.



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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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