FINANCE

Blackhawk acquires prepaid card provider CardLab

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Blackhawk Network has completed the acquisition of Dallas-based CardLab Inc., an online provider of customizable prepaid incentive and rewards cards. The deal is part of Blackhawk’s strategy to extend its prepaid card solutions from physical and online retail channels into the business-to-business channels that issue incentives and rewards to consumers, customers and employees.

CardLab, through its IncentiveCardLab.com website, offers a variety of prepaid cards, all of which can be sent to a recipient via e-mail or SMS text message. CardLab’s custom card design and distribution services enable users to send prepaid incentive cards in any denomination from $5 to $2,500. The fully automated website also allows businesses to upload their corporate logos or customize existing incentive card designs.

CardLab will operate as a business unit of Blackhawk Network’s InteliSpend business. David Jones, the CEO of CardLab, will report to Sheree Thornsberry, General Manager of the InteliSpend business. CardLab is expected to be earnings neutral to Blackhawk’s financial results for the remainder of fiscal 2014.

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REAL ESTATE

Bon-Ton closing Illinois store in January 2015

BY Dan Berthiaume

York, Pa. – The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. will close its Carson’s Fox Valley Furniture Gallery in the Heritage Square Shopping Center in Naperville, Illinois. The company will not renew its lease, which terminates Jan. 31, 2015.

The closing will impact approximately 20 associates at this location. Bon-Ton does not expect costs associated with the closing to be material. The closing of the Fox Valley Furniture Gallery has no impact on the operations at the Carson’s department store located in the Fox Valley Center. In addition, Bon-Ton anticipates the partial transfer of sales associated with the Fox Valley Furniture Gallery to its Carson’s Furniture Clearance Center located in Naperville.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Shopko offers Facebook giveaway

BY Dan Berthiaume

Green Bay, Wis. – Shopko is running a six-week Facebook giveaway. Now through Oct. 11, customers can enter to win prize packages from some of Shopko’s most popular brands.

To enter, customers can “like” Shopko on Facebook, and then watch for posts on the featured brand of the week with more information on how to sign up. One winner will be randomly selected every Friday and announced on the following Monday.

"Shopko’s merchandise team evaluates our brand and product assortment on a consistent basis to ensure we are offering our customers the brands they want at a great value," said Jill Soltau, Shopko president and chief merchandising officer. "We offer a wide variety of popular national brands, and we are excited to share best-selling products from these brands with six lucky Facebook winners."

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