News

Belk launches Pinterest-based bridal campaign

BY Dan Berthiaume

Charlotte, N.C. – Belk is teaming up with social, mobile and digital engagement platform ePrize, as well as Pinterest and Instagram marketing analytics suite provider Curalate to launch a Pinterest campaign aimed at brides called “Pin to Win.” At a high level, during the promotion consumers will visit a sweepstakes microsite where they can "pin" a pre-populated pin board image based on their bridal type or select an image of their own for a chance to win a $5,000 Belk gift card.

Consumers will then be directed to the Belk wedding registry site, where they can set up their own wedding registry. In addition, Belk also created unique pin boards based on different bridal types that consumers can browse for wedding ideas.

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News

AAFES plans integrated e-commerce site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – The Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has awarded a multi-year contract to SpeedFC to build and maintain an integrated e-commerce platform, replacing a proprietary legacy environment. The SpeedFC solution will incorporate Oracle’s ATG platform for back-end systems, Speed Order, the vendor’s proprietary system for order management, Omniture for analytics and Endeca for guided navigation, faceted search and search administration.

“One of our strategic priorities is improving online offerings and the user experience,” said AAFES director/CEO Tom Shull. “Whether in-store or online, it is extremely important that we make the same Exchange benefit available to all soldiers, airmen, their families and retirees, regardless of where they are stationed or by what means they prefer to shop.”

As part of this integration, the AAFES call center will move from a direct in-house operation to an outsourced solution located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The fully integrated solution will allow best practice efficiencies which include order management, call center operations as well as warehouse fulfillment services. AAFES plans to expand its online inventory in time for the 2013 holiday season.

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FINANCE

Report: TJ Maxx, Saks Off Fifth eye online sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Discount retailers TJ Maxx and Saks Off Fifth outlets are reportedly planning to enter the online sales arena this year. According to Reuters, TJ Maxx parent company TJX Cos. will be making its second attempt at launching a TJ Maxx e-commerce site after a failed attempt in 2005 that cost the company $15 million.

TJ Maxx has apparently been working on its e-commerce launch for a while. The chain hired e-commerce executive Elaine Boltz in 2011 and purchased pure-play e-commerce retailer Sierra Trading for $200 million in 2012.

Meanwhile, Saks Off Fifth is currently undergoing a three-year, $95 million systems renovation to support e-commerce operations and is spending an additional $6 million to commence online commerce this year instead of next year. Reuters quotes Saks CEO Steve Sadove as saying Saks Off Fifth will have a limited online assortment mostly comprised of top selling merchandise.

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