FINANCE

100th annual NRF convention launches with buzz

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The 100th annual “Big Show,” the National Retail Federation’s annual event in New York City, launched at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 9 with a lineup of sessions and plenty of buzz.

One of the most talked-about topics? Facebook has a booth at NRF this year, representing the power that social media does, and will, play in the retail industry.

Sunday’s sessions included a host of discussions around what various facets of the industry want and need — from “Understand and Respond to the Smarter Consumer’s Wants and Needs,” conducted by author Dan Heath and IBM’s Jill Puleri, to “What Operations Executives Need and Want,” addressed by Pier 1 Imports executive VP stores Sharon Leite and Ratner Cos. senior VP and CFO Ben Teicher.

On tap for Monday are two morning super sessions around retail recovery and what lies ahead, as well as technology-centric discussions such as “The Essential P’s of Retail Leadership,” presented by Jeff Jones, executive VP and COO of Chico’s FAS. Jones will discuss its SAS solution for lifecycle merchandise planning, among other topics.

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Polaroid goes Gaga with Grey Label

BY CSA STAFF

LAS VEGAS — Polaroid and its creative director, pop sensation Lady Gaga, unveiled a new line that is truly expressive of Lady Gaga’s artistic vision.

The Polaroid Grey Label initially will feature a trio of products that include:

•The GL10 instant mobile printer, available in May at a retail price of $149.99, gives users the instant printing experience with Polaroid’s Zink Zero Ink technology, making photo printing mess-free. Polaroid also will roll out Zink photo paper for the printer as well;

•Polaroid’s GL30 instant digital camera, a departure from traditional Polaroid cameras, is designed for longevity and gives users the option to select a number of filters and borders to create truly original images that instantly fit in the palm of a hand. The digital camera will be available later this year, with a price to be determined; and

•The GL20 camera glasses, in which users instantly can capture or upload photos with the built-in camera and then display the images on the glasses’ LCD screens for others to see. The camera glasses will be available later this year, with a price to be determined.

The products were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"I consider myself to be a visionary, not just a songwriter and a singer. I am an artist," Lady Gaga said. "I brought my vision and love of fashion, technology and obsession with the future into all of my work with Polaroid."

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Ascena Retail Group to roll out Oracle E-Business solution

BY CSA STAFF

Redwood Shores, Calif. — Ascena, parent company of Dress Barn, Maurices and Justice, said Friday that it has selected Oracle E-Business Suite Financials to streamline financial operations across the company’s growing retail operations.

“Our due diligence process determined that the Oracle applications provided us the best solutions for integrating and managing our business and establishing a foundation for growth. Oracle’s partnership and product offering enable us to focus on providing our customers with an unmatched retail shopping experience,” said Armand Correia, CFO, Ascena Retail Group.

Ascena said it will migrate its enterprise financial operations to the Oracle Applications including Oracle E-Business Suite Financials, Oracle Hyperion Planning and Budgeting and Oracle Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions.

The Oracle applications will replace disparate enterprise systems being used by Dress Barn and Maurices and upgrade the Oracle E-Business Suite applications already in use at Justice to the latest version.

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