OPERATIONS

Bi-Lo renews agreement with Kronos

BY CSA STAFF

Chelmsford, Mass. — Kronos announced that Bi-Lo has renewed its contract for Kronos’ selection and hiring solution.

The Kronos solution is designed to allow Bi-Lo to identify candidates who are likely to perform better and stay longer. Also, hiring managers spend less time weeding out unqualified applicants and are able to fill positions more quickly.

“We initially chose Kronos because we felt its assessments would give us an edge over the competition as well as for the obvious cost savings and paper reduction benefits,” said David J. Gill, compensation, HRIS manager, Bi-Lo, Greenville, S.C., which operates 207 locations in the South. “We’ve stayed with Kronos because we’ve been happy with the results, and feel the company has been a good business partner.”

Once an applicant is hired, Kronos enables such time-saving measures as sending offer letters automatically, sharing data with Bi-Lo’s HRIS system, and enabling many on-boarding activities to occur remotely.

The solution also offers Bi-Lo has visibility into its entire pool of applicants. Prior to using Kronos, a candidate would apply at one location and if that location didn’t need staff, but another location a few miles away did, there was no way to share applications or know of that need. With Kronos, candidates are pooled so that multiple locations have access to qualified candidates.

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OPERATIONS

Young America and 3Seventy form alliance to develop mobile marketing capabilities

BY CSA STAFF

Eden, Minn. — Young America, an engagement marketing, loyalty and incentive firm, and 3Seventy, a mobile engagement solutions company, have formed a strategic alliance to jointly develop new mobile marketing capabilities and enhance delivery of mobile-based engagement marketing and loyalty services to their client base.

“As mobile technologies have become more interactive and ubiquitous among consumers, they have become an essential element to any successful engagement marketing campaign,” said Tim Crank, senior VP marketing, Young America. “Our partnership with 3Seventy will enable us to instantly engage consumers whether it’s for sweepstakes, rebates, loyalty programs, delivery of coupons or product samples.”

A 2010 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 40% percent of U.S. adults use the Internet, email or instant messaging on a mobile phone (up from the 32% in 2009) and that text message use increased among all cell phone users from 65% in 2009 to 72% last year. However, according to recent reports, retailers report that mobile-based purchases account for only about 2% of sales.

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FINANCE

Liberty Media makes $1 billion bid for Barnes & Noble

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Liberty Media Corp. has offered to buy Barnes & Noble in a deal valued at about $1 billion, which represents a 20% premium over the bookseller’s market value Thursday. Barnes & Noble said Thursday that the cash offer, which the Wall Street Journal called a “stunner,” is worth $17 a share.

The companies have yet to sign an agreement.

Liberty Media, based in Englewood, Colo., runs three publicly traded companies — Liberty Interactive, Liberty Starz Group and Liberty Capital Group — through which it runs home-shopping network QVC and movie channel operator Starz LLC and holds stakes in numerous other online, media and communications companies.

The offer from Liberty Media came with the condition that Barnes & Noble’s founding chairman Leonard Riggio stay with the company and continue owning its stock.

Ann Taylor tops estimates, raises view
New York City — Ann Inc., the operator of Ann Taylor and Loft stores, posted a 21% increase in its fiscal-first-quarter earnings and raised its full-year sales estimate.

For the quarter ended April 30, Ann reported a profit of $27.3 million, up from $22.62 million in the prior-year quarter.

Sales rose almost 10% to $523.6 million, but margins slipped to 57.3%, against 59% last year. Same-store sales rose 7.8%.

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