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Dear Santa

Well, the holidays are here again, and as my two sons began working on their wish lists, I decided to do the same. It’s been a good year, and I have plenty to be thankful for, but there are always a few things one hopes to see in a stocking. Here are a few of mine:

A professional data-rate translator: Trying to read my monthly Verizon Wireless bill is kind of like trying to read the Rosetta Stone. My household has a Triple Play plan that ties together our two smartphones, our FiOS Internet service and our FiOS TV package. That should simplify things, right? Well, last month’s bill contained more than 40 line items spread over 12 sides of paper. We have since decided to enroll in paperless billing so as not to be the single worst deforestation agent in North America.

A warranty program that actually delivers what it promises: When the water valve that feeds the ice maker and filtered water dispenser in our French-door refrigerator decided to crap out and leak water through the floor and down into the basement, the plumber told us the manufacturer had to fix it. When we called our extended-service provider, we were told that our warranty only covered “the functionality of the refrigerator.” Now, in my world, I would call making ice and filtering water functions of the refrigerator we bought. The warranty company does not live in my world.

The death sentence for spammers, phishers and virus creators: Nothing else need be said.

Santa, I thank you in advance.

In This Issue of TWICE

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Black November … the formal kickoff to the holiday shopping season is past us and everyone in the industry wants to know: Is this season going to be a boom or bust?

Senior editor Alan Wolf waded through all the pre-holiday forecasts and surveys so you don’t have to and distilled them down to one comprehensive report that begins on. It includes insight from a broad spectrum of sources, including Best Buy president/CEO Hubert Joly; Stitch Labs, an online inventory and selling platform; the Consumer Electronics Association; the National Retail Federation; Deloitte; consultants BDO USA; extended-warranty giant Asurion; and online content commerce platform provider Purch.

In addition, see for an in-depth look at Walmart’s holiday strategy of rolling out connected Internet of Things displays in some 2,000 stores.

Our By The Numbers section includes an At A Glance infographic by senior editor Lisa Johnston summing up holiday outlooks from the CEA, 1010Data/uSamp and Retale, as well as a separate report on TV purchase intent from IHS.

And if we haven’t thrown enough data at you yet, please turn to for a very special exclusive report from TWICE partner Mode Media on the impact and spending power of millennials, as compared with boomers and Gen Xers. The results are eye-opening.

There are 24 shopping days until Christmas. Let’s hope it’s a merry one for retailers, vendors and consumers alike.