Consumer Confidential: Pizza, Enron and e-books
Here's your tantalizing Tuesday roundup of consumer news from hither and yon on the Web:
--When the going gets tough, it turns out the tough aren't eating pizza. Domino's Pizza Inc. has reported a steeper-than-expected drop in quarterly earnings -- a result, the company says, of more people preparing their own food during these recessionary times rather than ordering in. On the upside, though, Domino's says it's met with some success offering stuff beyond its usual crust-and-cheese lineup, especially sandwiches for lunch.
--He's baaack. Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling will take his case to the Supreme Court, arguing that he was wrongly convicted of securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors, resulting in a 24-year prison term. Skilling says federal law was inappropriately applied in his case and that he was unable to get a fair trial amid "blistering daily attacks" in the media. I'm sure we're all sending good thoughts to the man who helped oversee the wipeout of more than $60 billion in shareholder wealth and $2 billion in Enron employee pension plans.
--Step aside, Kindle. Barnes & Noble is getting set to unveil its own e-book reader. The Wall Street Journal says the bookseller could roll out its device by next month, just in time for holiday sales. The B&N reader reportedly will have a six-inch screen, touch input and a virtual keyboard. Amazon.com has lowered the price for its Kindle to $259, so it's a safe bet that any new entrant to the e-book market will arrive near or below that level. My position remains unchanged: It'll take a pretty dazzling effort by any electronic gadget to woo me away from the myriad pleasures of the printed page.
-- David Lazarus