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Babies are ‘biggest winner’ from Kmart effort

BY CSA STAFF

Kmart is taking its long-running affiliation with March of Dimes to a new level this year with the help of America’s fiercest fitness expert.

Kmart has supported the March of Dimes for 32 years and is the organization’s top corporate fundraiser.This year, the retailer is working with celebrity fitness icon, mom, Kmart ambassador and former host of the hit show The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels, to kick-off its 2015 fundraising campaign, raising awareness and money for the March of Dimes efforts to discover causes of premature births and develop innovative treatments.

“As a mom, I'm proud to team with Kmart in support of March of Dimes because their work has made such incredible strides in its mission for healthy babies," Michaels said. "I know firsthand the transformative impact people can achieve when they dedicate themselves toward a goal – and that's what giving to March of Dimes is all about. Together with Kmart, I'm excited to drive more awareness to this great cause and help more babies get a healthy start in life."

In addition to Kmart’s 32 year affiliation with the group, the retailer has served for 23 years as national sponsor of the annual March for Babies walks, which will take place this spring in 700 communities across the country. In addition to speaking out in support of the campaign, Michaels plans to join Team Kmart at the Los Angeles walk. Michaels, whose Impact by Jillian Michaels performance activewear line is carried exclusively at Kmart, designed a custom t-shirt for members of local March of Dimes chapters to wear at walks in other major cities.

Kmart will give away a limited number of these exclusive t-shirts to fans who follow the brand on Twitter @Kmart. Kmart is encouraging its members and customers to support the fundraising campaign now through June 20 by contributing in-store at any Kmart and online via a link at kmart.com/marchofdimes, with 100% of funds raised benefitting the March of Dimes.

Kmart is also selling a collectible puppy figurine in store and online for $5 with $1 from each sale donated to the March of Dimes. And as a special thank you to it Shop Your Way members, Kmart is offering members who make an in store donation a coupon for 5% back in points on their next qualifying in-store or online merchandise purchase.

"Kmart members and associates know someone or have experienced firsthand the impact of March of Dimes' work to save babies' lives, and we are proud to be its number one fundraiser," said Alasdair James, Kmart’s president and chief member officer. "Generations of babies and their families have benefitted from this relationship and we're deeply proud of the progress that has resulted from this commitment." Kmart has raised more than $125 million over more than three decades to help advance the work being done by March of Dimes on behalf of newborns.

"Kmart's unwavering commitment to the health of mothers and babies has had a profound effect," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "Their support has led to 231,000 fewer babies being born preterm, led to new treatments, and enabled millions of women to receive much-needed prenatal care. Kmart's support benefits families and communities all across the country."

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MOBILITY

Report estimates 50 billion devices will be connected to Web by 2020

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bonn, Germany – An estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020 compared to 15 billion today, according to a new trend report from DHL Inc. and Cisco.

The study finds that growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate $8 trillion worldwide in “value at stake” during the next 10 years. (The value at stake metric is a combination of increased revenues and lower costs that is created or will migrate among companies and industries when new connections are made.). The five main factors that are driving it are: innovation and revenue ($2.1 trillion); asset utilization ($2.1 trillion); supply chain and logistics ($1.9 trillion); employee productivity improvements ($1.2 trillion); and enhanced customer and citizen experience ($700 billion).


"Digital disruption is all around us and it’s having massive implications for business. Digitization and the expansion of the Internet of Things is a catalyst for growth, which is driving new economic models and enabling organizations to remain competitive and embrace the pace of change happening globally. This report clearly demonstrates that digitization and the IoT will deliver long term efficiencies and growth opportunities across a wide range of industries,” commented Chris Dedicoat, president, EMEAR for Cisco.

According to the report, over the next decade, the logistics industry could unlock higher levels of operational efficiency as the IoT connects in real time millions of shipments being moved, tracked and stowed each day. In warehousing, connected pallets and items will be a driver for smarter inventory management. In freight transportation, tracking and tracing of goods becomes faster, more accurate, predictive and secure while analytics of a connected fleet can help to predict asset failure and to schedule maintenance checks automatically.

Finally, connecting delivery personnel with surrounding vehicles and people can become a way of monetizing and optimizing the return trip to improve efficiency and service in last mile delivery.

“The Internet of Things is the connection of almost anything – from parcels to people – via sensor technology to the web and both Cisco and DHL believe this will revolutionize business processes across the entire value chain including supply chain and logistics,” said Markus Kückelhaus, VP innovation & trend research, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “To get the maximum global economic benefit, we’ll need to understand how all components in the value chain converge and this will require a comprehensive collaboration, participation and the willingness to invest to create a thriving IoT eco system for sustainable business processes.”

Cisco Consulting Services and DHL are now also collaborating on a joint IoT innovation project that will improve decision-making in the warehouse operations through near real-time data analytics based on Wi-Fi location data of selected devices. The solution is based on Cisco's Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) which uses the high-density wireless network to collect aggregate location data on Wi-Fi connected devices.

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OPERATIONS

Giant and Martin’s Food Stores to raise wages

BY Dan Berthiaume

Carlisle, Pa. — Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets said they will begin paying all non-union workers a minimum of $9 a hour beginning in June.

The operator of 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia said the move was part of the company’s commitment to provide competitive wages.

"Our associates are the foundation of our success, and we have always believed in paying competitive wages to attract the best talent," said Tom Lenkevich, Giant/Martin’s president.

The change applies to the retailer’s 197 non-union stores and affects roughly 10,000 part time employees. The retailer employs about 33,000 people, two thirds of whom already were being paid more than $9.

"We believe that this is the right thing to do. Our goal is to continue to be an employer of choice by offering a competitive total compensation package, a work environment based upon respect, an emphasis on personal excellence and opportunities for career advancement,” Lenkevich said.

The move follows a similar action earlier this year in which Walmart said it would increase the minimum wage it pays workers to $9 this year and $10 next year. A number of other retailers including TJX companies and Target subsequently took similar actions.

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