FINANCE

Amazon Q3 loss narrows; revenue soars to $17 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Amazon.com narrowed its loss in the third quarter and posted a better-than-expected 25% increase in sales. The online giant reported a net loss of $41 million, down from $274 million in the year-ago period, in line with expectations.

Amazon reported revenue of $17.1 billion, beating expectations by about 2% on strong sales growth, particularly in the U.S. market.

“It’s been a busy few months,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. “We launched a new Paperwhite and new Kindle Fires to positive reviews and surprised people with the revolutionary Mayday button. Average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds.”

Bezos added that in the last 90 days, Amazon brought 8 million square feet of fulfillment center capacity online, deployed 1,382 Kiva robots in three centers provided a new venue for artists to reach customers, and signed up millions of consumers to its Prime service.

Amazon issued guidance that cheered investors. It forecast net revenue of between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion, marking 10% to 25% growth, versus fourth quarter 2012.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

J.C. Penney gets on board with Shopkick mobile shopping app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas — J. C. Penney Company has teamed up with the shopping app, Shopkick. Shoppers will be able to earn "kicks," Shopkick’s proprietary reward currency, along with special offers from Penney, when visiting the retailer’s store locations across the country.

To celebrate the launch, the retailer will be offering Shopkick users additional kicks for a limited time when they visit a Penney store. When a Shopkick user walks into a participating store, the free app detects the Shopkick signal, which is picked up by the shopper’s smartphone. The app then deposits kicks, which can be collected and redeemed for gift cards, song downloads, movie tickets, Facebook credits, donations to charities and more.

Along with earning kicks and having access to special offers, shoppers can utilize the app’s features to browse Penney-themed look books and link directly to featured items for purchase at jcp.com; "like" favorite items and be automatically reminded of them upon walking into a Penney store; save and organize items into customizable books, complete with a personalized cover photo and connect with others with similar interests to discover and share products from their books.

“As more and more people adopt smartphones, mobile devices are quickly becoming a key shopping tool and the integration of mobile Internet has become key to delivering a modern, in-store shopping experience," said Debra Berman, Penney’s senior VP marketing. “Through our partnership with Shopkick, we are able to cater to today’s mobile savvy consumer and take our in-store shopping experience to the next level by rewarding and engaging customers who are already shopping inside a J.C. Penney store.”


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OPERATIONS

Former CMO of Kohl’s joins Cardtronics board

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — The former chief marketing officer of Kohl’s, Julie Gardner, has joined the board of Cardtronics, which operates more than 80,000 ATMs at locations throughout the United States and internationally.

Gardner spent 14 years at Kohl’s and most recently served as executive VP and chief marketing officer. Prior to Kohl’s, Gardner was with the Eckerd Corp., a regional drugstore chain that was eventually acquired by CVS.

"Julie will be a valuable asset on Cardtronics’ board, given her marketing expertise in the retail industry and background with rapid business expansion, as well as her insights with drugstore chains, a key retailer constituent of Cardtronics,” said board chairman Dennis Lynch.

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