OPERATIONS

The Bay testing virtual greeter

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Canadian department store retailer The Bay is testing a virtual greeter at its Toronto flagship, according to the Globe & Mail.

The greeter, a life-like digital image of a female that is projected on a glass panel, is located near an interactive display of high-end gifts on the main floor. Named Anna, the image is prompted by sensors in the ceiling to start talking when customers approach.

The system was developed by 4D Retail Technology Corp., according to the report.

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OPERATIONS

Lowe’s names senior VP store operations

BY Staff Writer

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. announced the promotion of Kevin S. Measel to senior VP store operations for the company’s West division. Measel replaces Jim Frasso, who retired from Lowe’s following a 17-year career with the company.

Measel has more than 28 years of retail experience in both store operations and merchandising, having served most recently as merchandising VP nursery.

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Walmart, Target, Home Depot top list of 50 most valuable U.S. retail brands

BY Marianne Wilson

Dayton, Ohio — Walmart takes the top spot on a ranking of the most valuable U.S. retail brands from branding consultancy firm Interbrand. The discounter’s brand value is put at a whopping $139 billion. By comparision, the second highest ranked U.S. brand, Target Corp., has a value of $23 billion.

The annual Most Valuable Retail Brands report ranks the top 50 U.S. retail brands by brand value, as well as the top retail brands from the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and the Asia Pacific. The U.S. brands are valued for the fourth time in collaboration with Interbrand Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio.

With the exception of a couple of shifts in positioning, the top 10 U.S. brands remain almost unchanged from last year. The one exception: eBay made the top 10 for the first time, replacing Dell, which is no longer eligible for contention with its shift from branded stores to its enterprise business. The fastest-growing brand in the top 10 is Amazon.com, whose brand value increased by 32% over last year.

Here are the top 10 retail brands:

  1. Walmart (Brand value: $139,190 billion)
  2. Target ($23,444 billion)
  3. The Home Depot ($22.020 billion)
  4. CVS/pharmacy ($17,343 billion)
  5. Best Buy ($16,755 billion)
  6. Walgreens ($15,018 billion)
  7. Coach ($13,442 billion)
  8. Sam’s Club ($12,854 billion)
  9. Amazon.com ($12,758 billion)
  10. eBay ($9,805 billion)

"One of the most compelling lessons from the list is that the best brands didn’t stand idly by, waiting for further signs of recovery. They contributed to it by anticipating their customer’s desire to return — not to shopping as usual — but to something better," said Bruce Dybvad, CEO of Interbrand Design Forum. "For the most part, companies have invested in better store experiences and put more capabilities into the hands of their shoppers."

Looking beyond the U.S. list, Tesco (U.K.), Carrefour (France), Aldi (Germany), Zara (Spain), and Woolworths (Asia Pacific) are ranked as the number one retailer in their respective markets — all holding their top spots from 2011.

Visit BestRetailBrands.com to download the full report.

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