SUPPLY CHAIN

Ace Hardware to build Import Re-Distribution Center in Virginia

BY Staff Writer

Oak Brook, Ill. — Ace Hardware Corp. has selected Suffolk, Va., for the company’s new 336,000-sq.-ft. Import Re-Distribution Center (RDC). Construction is scheduled for completion May 1, 2012.

The facility will allow the company to reduce import and logistics costs and provide an even higher level of service to East Coast retailers, making it possible for Ace stores to more effectively respond to consumer needs dictated by hurricanes and other weather emergencies in the region.

The new Import RDC will receive international goods arriving at the Port of Virginia. Ace executives considered the Panamax – which expands the Panama Canal and is scheduled for completion in 2014 – an added incentive to selecting the location. Panamax will allow larger container vessels easier access to East Coast ports, further lowering land-transportation costs.

This RSC receives and warehouses product shipments from thousands of manufacturers. The products are sorted to fill customized orders received from retailers and then shipped to those stores.

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News

Cabela’s signs on for Swagg mobile application

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Mobile commerce enabler Firethorn Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, announced Cabela’s as its latest retail partner for its Swagg mobile application.

"Our customers are increasingly expecting a mobile experience to assist with their shopping and gift-giving needs," said Mindy Knight, merchant relations manager of Cabela’s, Sydney, Neb. "Swagg is the perfect fit for our country’s outdoor enthusiasts who lead a mobile lifestyle while hunting, fishing or camping."

Cabela’s is the first Swagg merchant in the outdoor/sporting category. The application is designed to provide shoppers with convenient mobile access to purchase digital gift cards and send them to family and friends. Mobile shoppers can also receive special offers and manage customer loyalty programs through the app.

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OPERATIONS

Burberry, Walgreens and Tesco among winners of Oracle World Retail Awards

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Burberry, Walgreens, Ralph Lauren’s Roger Farrah and Tesco were among the winners at the annual Oracle World Retail Awards, which took place on Tuesday during the annual World Retail Congress in Berlin.

Burberry took home the Retailer of the Year Award. The luxury brand was cited for its far-sighted leadership, professionalism and a compelling offer across multiple platforms.

Walgreens was awarded the Retail Advertising Campaign of the Year Award for its “Arm Yourself for the Ones You Love” flu-shot campaign. The campaign was created by Arc Worldwide, the marketing services arm of Leo Burnett.

Roger N Farah, president and COO of Ralph Lauren, received the Outstanding Leadership Award. The retail veteran has been president, COO and a director of Polo Ralph Lauren for over a decade, since joining from Venator Group (now Foot Locker) in 2000. Before that he enjoyed tenures with Federated and Macy’s and remains a board member of Toys “R” Us.

Tesco was named the Multichannel Etailer of the Year. Its initiatives over the last 12 months have included providing one-hour delivery time slots in London, as well as innovations such as ‘click & collect,’ ‘refund the difference’ and ‘wine by the case.’ Tesco’s iPhone application now accounts for 12% of customer traffic.

Other award winners included:

  • Spanish fast-fashion giant Inditex was awarded International Retailer of the Year. In the first half of 2011 sales rose 12%, with profits up 14% as he company opened 177 stores, bringing its total to 5,221 across 78 markets. From September all of its brands have been available online and it will enter South Africa, Taiwan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Peru in the coming months.
  • Eataly New York in Manhattan received the Retail Innovation Award (Format Innovation), designed to reward and recognize innovative new business concepts or a new approach to delivering customer service. The New York City location is an evolution of the original Turin concept, with less space for product sales and more for direct catering. It includes seven thematic restaurants.
  • Marks & Spencer was awarded Responsible Retailer of the Year. Its “Plan A” CSR plan, which has been constantly reviewed and reignited since its launch back in January 2007, is an all-encompassing initiative to improve its social, ethical and environmental performance.
  • Adidas received the Retail Innovation Award (Business Innovation), designed to reward and recognize innovative new business concepts or a new approach to delivering customer service. The company was honored for its adiVERSE Virtual Footwear Wall, is a rich and immersive customer experience developed by Intel that combines the best of retail with the best of digital. The digital wall puts all of Adidas’ shoes literally at its customers’ fingertips, even if they are not all physically available in store.
  • Myer received the Store Design of the Year Award, for its iconic department store in Melbourne, Australia. The century-old space was consolidated from two stores across two city blocks to one singe, modern store – consolidating from two stores across two city blocks to one single, modern and stylish store.
  • Grupo Pão de Açúcar was named Emerging Market Retailer of the Year. A pioneer in the food retailing business in Brazil, Grupo Pão de Açúcar is the largest retailer in Latin America, with more than 1,800 stores across formats. In 2009, it acquired furniture and electronics chain Ponto Frio and the following year completed the purchase and merger of Casas Bahia, the country’s largest electronics retailer. In 2010, the group integrated its three e-commerce sites as Nova Pontocom.

“Each year, Oracle World Retail Awards winners continue to demonstrate excellence, innovation, creativity and above all, success,” said Mike Webster, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail.

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