OPERATIONS

Bloomingdale’s launches new loyalty program

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Bloomingdale’s said Monday it has launched a new customer loyalty program called Loyallist in all U.S. retail locations and online.

The new tender-neutral program delivers benefits to any customer shopping with a U.S. address at Bloomingdale’s — regardless of how they pay. Members of the loyalty program will accumulate points each time they shop and for every 5,000 points will receive a Reward Card worth $25. The Rewards Card can be redeemed on all merchandise (exclusive of gift cards) and are issued the moment earned, in the store or overnight via e-mail if earned online, for use the very next day.

“Through this new loyalty rewards program, Bloomingdale’s is reinforcing our commitment to our customers,” said Tony Spring, president and COO. “We want to recognize those shoppers who continue to be loyal to our brand and engage new shoppers by offering a very distinctive program.”

The program will kick off on March 8 during a semi-annual promotion.

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OPERATIONS

eBay boosts mobile offerings with new partnerships

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Barcelona — eBay on Monday announced a number of strategic moves including a new partnership with major carrier Three.co.uk; integrations with merchants such as Yotel and Entradas.com; and mobile app updates that evolve mobile commerce selling and shopping experiences for consumers.

In 2011, eBay mobile commerce generated $5 billion in retail volume, and PayPal mobile generated $4 billion in payment volume. eBay’s mobile apps have been downloaded more than 70 million times, according to the company. In 2012, eBay expects to do $8 billion in mobile commerce retail volume, and PayPal expects to process $7 billion in mobile payment volume.

“Mobile commerce is changing the way people shop and pay, and the ways in which merchants of all sizes engage consumers,” said John Donahoe, eBay Inc. president and CEO. “We’re seeing a new retail paradigm emerge through mobile. Consumers are in control, and they want to shop anytime, anywhere. That creates opportunity.”

eBay and Three.co.uk have partnered to deliver mobile devices pre-loaded with eBay apps, bringing the mobile shopping experience directly to consumers. With this deal, Android smartphones on the United Kingdom’s fastest growing network will now come with eBay’s mobile app directly on the device.

PayPal launched on Monday the PayPal Carrier Payment Network, to make mobile carrier payments more viable for a wider number of online merchants. PayPal will work with its more than 250 carriers and more than1,500 digital goods merchants to expand the carrier payment experience. PayPal teamed up with Spain’s leading ticketing company, Entradas.com, to allow consumers to buy tickets with a mobile phone and PayPal, and also collaborated with Yotel to allow consumers to soon book rooms via PayPay on a smartphone.

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FINANCE

Sears to close six stores in Illinois, months after getting tax credit

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Two months after Sears Holdings Corp. received a $150 million Illinois tax credit for cementing its plans to keep its home base in the state, it announced Monday that it would close six stores in Illinois.

The retailer had already announced in December – two weeks after the tax credit – that it would close 100 to 120 stores, but no Illinois stores were on the initial list.

Sears laid off 100 headquarters employees earlier in February, but said the terminations did not violate the terms of the tax credit, which require that the retailer keep at least 4,250 jobs in state.

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