I started covering retail and technology at the Sun-Times 12 years ago, and I get a true kick out of watching these industries dovetail more and more each year.
So I was intrigued to see a study by bona-fide tech researchers that ranked retail stores on their digital savviness.
Topping the survey was Macy's, whose digital upgrades at Water Tower Place I featured in my Aug. 20 column , including QR codes on fashion displays, a "search and send" function at checkout and iPads in the jewelry and cosmetics departments.
Macy's won "Genius" status -- along with Victoria's Secret and Nordstrom -- in the survey by digital think tank L2 and Facebook marketing firm Buddy Media that measured 350 data points.
Macy's won its ranking by investing in social and mobile strategies, featuring engaging Facebook tabs, offering cross-platform mobile commerce and building a responsive Twitter handle.
• Victoria's Secret was the faraway winner in Facebook "likes" with 14.5 million. Second-place went to Abercrombie & Fitch with 5 million, followed by Ralph Lauren with 3.4 million, Coach at 2.1 million and Bath & Body Works at 2 million. Macy's racked up 1.9 million "likes."
• Chicago's own Threadless, the T-shirt crowdsourcing innovator, ranked No. 1 in number of Twitter followers, with 1.6 million, followed by No. 2 Urban Outfitters with 433,000.
• Top-viewed YouTube videos originated from Victoria's Secret, Diesel, Cartier, Sephora and Tiffany.
Welcome to Digital Second City Scoops, my new blog that will provide insights into innovation in Chicago, and accompany my renamed, 11-year-old technology column, Digital Second City Scene.
Besides sharing comments, I welcome your news and insights -- consider it the Sun-Times' version of innovation news crowdsourcing.