RATING THE RETAILERS: Zagat Survey will launch its first-ever New York Shopping Guide on Monday at Bloomingdale’s, with ratings and reviews on more than 2,000 stores in the New York City area. “The company is really trying to cover virtually everything leisure,” a Zagat spokeswoman said. “We cover golf courses, movies, now stores, and we’re creating a music guide in the fall, with the top recordings of all times. This has been going on for the last 10 years.” Zagat Survey was founded by Tim and Nina Zagat almost 25 years ago.

MASTERS OF THE (VIRTUAL) UNIVERSE: The mysteries were few as to why the 16 e-tail sites selected in The E-tailing Group’s fifth annual Mystery Shopping Study were crowned as the Web’s best merchants. Several basic features continue to prevail at the Internet’s easiest-to-shop sites: zoom functions; gift registries and tools; brand boutiques, and themed areas. Fashion and lifestyle e-tailers making The E-tailing Group’s sweet 16 included: Coach.com for accessories; Landsend.com and Victoriassecret.com for apparel; Nordstrom.com, department stores; Sephora.com, health and beauty; Godiva.com, gifts, and QVC.com, mass merchants. Two apparel sites were named to reflect the category’s broader representation online, compared with other segments.

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