Stories by Jennifer Couzin

Saks Shops for Customers Online

Few things match the Saks Fifth Avenue experience: the elegant stores, the solicitous salespeople, the selection of designer attire. It's pure luxe.

Cubic Zirconia, Going Fast

It's 7:30 on a Friday morning, and the smiling hosts of QVC, the leading television shopping channel, are busy showing off a portable blood-pressure monitor. They field three calls about the product in less than five minutes before moving to a demonstration of how to shop at QVC online. Then it's time to advertise a dollhouse for sale and alert viewers about jewelry that will be featured later in the day. "What keeps you coming back to QVC, Joyce?" the host asks a caller from Ohio who has phoned in to praise the blood-pressure device and report that she's bought many items, including computers, from QVC over the years. Her answer is straightforward: "You," she says, "and knowing I'm going to get good stuff."

Airlines to Fight for Cheap Seats Online

Thursday's announcement that six major U.S. airlines are forming an online cut-price ticket selling venture was quickly interpreted as a shot across the bow of Priceline.com, the company that enables customers to name their own price for airline tickets and often fly at deep discounts.

Congress Comes to the Valley

Nearly two dozen Democratic members of Congress, energized by the rapidly changing New Economy, gathered today in San Francisco for the fourth California retreat of The NDN, a group of politicians and Democratic activists dedicated to better understanding of technology and the Internet, has evolved into an increasingly influential political force in Washington. The conference unites the lawmakers with representatives of Technet, a network of senior executives from leading technology companies.

Online Toy Retailers Close Shop

Educational-toy retailer Toysmart.com Inc. officially closed its doors yesterday, though its site remains online. Bought by Disney last August, Toysmart is the latest online toy retailer to bite the dust in recent weeks, following Nickelodeon's RedRocket.com on May 5 and KBkids.com, which fired 45 of its 145 employees two weeks ago.

'Love' Bug Damage Could Hit US$1 Billion

New e-mail is taking an infectious turn at corporations and governments around the world, as virulent attachments continue to crash networks, delete files and prevent computers from rebooting.

Intel: Moving Beyond the Chip

Seeking to remind customers and competitors that it's more than a chipmaker, Intel is getting into the e-business business, investing $100 million in a global infrastructure effort to help clients conduct business online.

No Party at Net Retailers' Conference

The bright yellow banners blanketing the walls of the San Jose Convention Center might not have done much to lighten the mood, but the organizers of the "eretailing 2000" conference certainly did their best.

Estee Lauder Applies Internet Gloss

Sending waves rippling through the crowded online beauty sector, industry giant Estee Lauder announced that it would buy Gloss.com and revamp its Internet strategy. The move would make Estee Lauder the second business to absorb a beauty-oriented pure-play; in January, Drugstore.com bought Beauty.com for $34 million in stock.

Just the Facts: JFax Plans to Buy EFax

The cramped voice-messaging-service sector shrunk slightly today, as JFax.com of Hollywood, Calif., announced that it plans to acquire competitor EFax.com of Menlo Park, Calif. Under the deal's terms, JFax would give EFax stock holders about 18.5 million shares of its common stock at Wednesday's closing price of $4.

Real Mall Owners to Go Virtual

Fearful that e-commerce might cramp business in U.S. malls, one of the nation's largest mall operators has announced its shopping malls will go online.

Accompany Wins Group-Buying Patent

Fueling the debate over patents, group-buying site Accompany.com announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved its application for a patent on its group-buying and volume-based pricing technology.

Grocery Manufacturers Go B-to-B

Fearful of being left out of the trend toward establishing Internet marketplaces, nearly 50 manufacturers, many in the food and beverage business, have hastily agreed to create their own. The players include such giants as the H.J. Heinz Company, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever North America.

Market Place