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Best Buy testing location-based mobile shopping application

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco Best Buy has partnered with shopkick, a Palo Alto, Calif., startup, to test a location-based system that allows consumers to receive retail rewards on their mobile phones when they walk into a store. The retailer is testing the system at a store in San Francisco, and is due to launch over the coming weeks in several additional markets.

The application uses a cell phone’s GPS technology to detect when a consumer enters a store. Retail rewards become instantly available to consumers when they walk in. Consumers must first download the free “shopkick” mobile application for their smart phones. (The “shopkick” app for iPhone will be available in the coming weeks on the App Store, followed by apps for additional smart phones.)

When the “shopkick” app is open on the smart phone, it detects the “shopkick Signal” technology installed in the retail location as the consumer walks through the door, and the shopper instantly receives rewards, called “kickbucks.” Because the detection occurs on the consumer’s phone, the privacy of presence information is completely under the user’s control.

“Smart phones and mobile technology, increasingly used for research during the shopping process, are bridging digital and physical shopping experiences in promising ways for consumers – in the store, from check in to check out, right on their smart phones,” said Richard Rommel, senior VP new business customer solutions group, Best Buy. “The convergence of location technology and rewards to personalize an experience with Best Buy is at the heart of our vision of the connected world, and we will work with services like shopkick that can add value to our customers.”

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Safeway names SVP government affairs

BY CSA STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway announced that it has appointed 16-year veteran Jonathan Mayes to SVP government relations, public affairs, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.

“Jonathan is an exceptional leader and has successfully represented the company and its stakeholders in his role as our key Government Affairs person,” said Larree Renda, EVP, chief strategist and administrative officer. “Certainly he will bring the same level of excellence and commitment to these other functions that interact on a daily basis with our customers and communities.”

 

Mayes joined Safeway in 1994 as a senior attorney focused on employment law, business litigation, and consumer protection matters. In 1996, he joined the company’s government relations team as a director and was promoted to VP of that function in 1999. In 2008, Mayes was named group VP government relations in charge of the team of professionals that focus on local, state and federal government matters in the geographies in which Safeway operates in the United States and Canada.

Before joining Safeway, Mayes was senior corporate counsel for Lucky Stores, and an attorney at Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP.

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Diddy goes green for M&M’s

BY CSA STAFF

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. Mars Chocolate North America announced that Ms. Green is officially America’s favorite M&M’S character, and Sean “Diddy” Combs will produce a special M&M’s Green party in her honor.

Diddy will plan the party for “Party Like Diddy” Sweepstakes winner B.C. Ashmall-Liversidge and 20 of her friends. The party will take place in New York City this summer.

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