OPERATIONS

Ascena appoints executive VP and COO

BY Staff Writer

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group announced that John Sullivan has been appointed executive VP and COO.

In this newly created position, Sullivan will be responsible for information technology, distribution, and human resources information systems across all brands. Prior to joining the company, he served as executive VP and CIO for QVC.

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OPERATIONS

Brookstone teams with Swagg for mobile app

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Mobile commerce enabler Firethorn Mobile Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc., and Brookstone announced Brookstone as its latest retail partner for its Swagg mobile application, which provides shoppers with mobile access to purchase digital gift cards. Mobile shoppers also can receive special offers and manage customer loyalty programs through the app.

In celebration of the announcement, Brookstone and Firethorn Mobile will conduct a national promotion beginning Nov. 7, where consumers can enter to win a digital Brookstone gift card, ranging in value from $25-$500. Over the course of the promotion, which will run through Nov. 21, more than 1,600 digital gift cards will be given away.

To enter the sweepstakes, consumers simply need to download SWAGG onto their iPhone or Android device and enter promotional code ELF11.

"Mobile shopping has grown 44% t since 2010, and Brookstone is engaging consumers through our mobile site, QR code integration and social media," said Ron Boire, president and CEO for Brookstone. "Swagg is the perfect fit for our technology and quality-conscious consumers who lead the mobile lifestyle, and we’re excited about putting the Swagg app’s functionality into their hands."

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News

In battle of toy books Target lands a body blow

BY CSA STAFF

Target is out with a beast of a holiday toy catalog that weigha in at 52 glossy pages that employs a variety of incentives to promote sales in advance of Thanksgiving weekend. Nothing unusual about that or the fact that the publication features all sorts of cool products and high quality photography that is sure to have kids drooling if parents make the mistake of leaving the thing lying around.

Of course that might be preferable to buying the wrong toy and risking disappointment so Target has employed some interesting wrinkles to simplify holiday gift giving. For example, the catalog is designed with little squares so parent or kids can check off the desired items. The simplicity directive is taken a step further with an insert that features images of toys that only someone with the hawk-like vision of a seven-year-old can discern with a corresponding code that can be entered to order online.

This novel wish list concept is designed so parents can turn their kids loose with the catalog to “circle all the toys you really, really want.” The list can then be share with grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., so they can buy the toy the little ones really want.

Of course no promotion would be complete in the current economic climate without a healthy dose of coupons and Target doesn’t disappoint on that front. Incorporated into the wish list insert in the center of the toy book are six pages featuring 48 coupons in denominations of $3, $5, $10, $15 and $20 for specific items. However, they have to be used before Nov. 23, because as is noted at one point in the catalog, “leave last minute shopping to the amateurs.”

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