POS/PAYMENTS

Alipay expands North American presence

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

More North American shoppers will have access to Alipay.

Through a partnership with leading luxury travel retailer DFS Group, Alipay’s in-store mobile payment service will be available in DFS’ Honolulu International Airport store, and its downtown T Galleria by DFS, Hawaii store in advance of the Chinese New Year. DFS Group launched Alipay in its airport stores in SFO, LAX, and JFK in 2016.

By bringing Alipay’s in-store payment solution to the U.S. and Canada, Chinese consumers shopping at North American retailers can use their Alipay mobile wallet during the checkout process, where they are prompted in Chinese to approve the transaction in either U.S. dollars or Chinese yuan. Chinese tourists can also use Alipay to search restaurants, shop nearby and discover deals — functionality that is expected to fur-ther drive business and increase sales for North American merchants.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Alipay to introduce its payments and lifestyle platform to Chinese consumers visiting Hawaii,” said DFS Group’s Mike Osorio, region president North America, Mid-Pacific and Japan.

“We are committed to delivering the best in-store shopping experience to all shoppers visiting North America,” he said. “As the Chinese traveler continues to be an important consumer segment for us, offering Alipay mobile payments in our Hawaii retail stores is another opportunity for us to further enhance their shopping enjoyment.”

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C-SUITE

C-suite tech moves at Nordstrom

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom is realigning and streamlining its top technology positions.

The company said that Dan Little, Nordstrom’s chief information officer, plans to retire next fall. Little joined Nordstrom in 2002, as VP, supply chain strategy. He was named to his current position in 2014.

The news about Little’s retirement comes on the heels of the departure of Kumar Srinivasan, who left his position as Nordstrom’s chief technology officer in early January. Srinivasan, a former Amazon veteran, left Nordstrom after less than a year on the job to return home to India.

In the wake of the two departures, Nordstrom said it is launching a search for a new chief technology officer who will have accountability for all aspects of technology at the company. The position will also absorb responsibilities that previously were part of the retailer’s traditional CIO role.

In a letter by Blake Nordstrom to company employees, the company president said that Little addressed a number of goals since becoming CIO, including improving collaboration between business leaders and technology leaders, updating legacy and architecture platforms, identifying specific skill sets within technology to support the business and creating a more agile organization with few layers, better able to serve and respond quickly.

“With Kumar Srinivasan’s recent decision to move back to India and in determining how we would address the leadership of technology going forward, Dan felt it was the right time to share his intention to retire later this year,” Nordstrom wrote. This enables us to conduct a full search for our new CTO who will bring us the deep technical and strategic experience we’re after to lead technology at Nordstrom. Dan has been a trusted partner and has contributed in many ways to the company. I want to personally thank him for all his efforts.”

Nordstrom currently has a variety of tech leadership roles open. The company said that as it works toward selecting the best candidates for the roles, it has created an interim leadership structure in place to support various functions:

• Magali Muratore will take on interim leadership of the merchandising technology organization in addition to supporting the data & services team.

• Travis McElfresh will take on interim leadership of the digital technology organization in addition to supporting the engineering team.

• Steve Brewer will take on interim leadership of the stores & payments team.

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FINANCE

Nine West acquires women’s clothing brand

BY Marianne Wilson

Nine West Holdings has entered into an agreement to purchase a 30-years plus women’s apparel company.

Nine West said it has used the net proceeds from the December 2016 sale of its Easy Spirit wholesale business to purchase the Kasper Group. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Kasper Group's apparel is sold under its flagship Kasper and other well-known brand names.

"We are pleased to welcome the Kasper Group to Nine West Holdings. The Kasper Group is a well-known leader in the women's sportswear market," said Ralph Schipani, interim CEO of Nine West Holdings. "This acquisition of Kasper's reputable branded apparel will enable Nine West Holdings to offer its customers an array of women's affordable, wear-to-work tailored clothing, footwear and accessories."

The Kasper Group was a part of the Jones Apparel group of companies purchased by Sycamore Partners in April 2014 as part of the take private acquisition of The Jones Group Inc. Nine West Holdings and the Kasper Group currently are separate portfolio companies of Sycamore Partners.

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