REAL ESTATE

Build-A-Bear Workshop to open its first in-store shop, in FAO Schwarz

BY Marianne Wilson

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop plans an in-store shop in the FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan. Opening in early November, the location is the first Build-A-Bear Workshop store-within-a-store in the United States. (FAO Schwarz is owned by Toys “R” Us.)

“We are excited to bring two iconic brands together in one location joining the magic of Build-A-Bear Workshop with the legendary FAO Schwarz, just in time for the holiday season,” said Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop CEO. “FAO Schwarz has been a great partner, and this new store extends the reach of our interactive experience in one of the largest markets in the world.”

The in-store shop will offer shoppers Build-A-Bear Workshop’s signature stuffed animal-making experience, which has been enhanced with innovative, digital technology. The company worked with Microsoft, Samsung, and other leading technology companies to create the engaging store design, which includes:

  • A touch-screen storefront display that allows shoppers to interact with the brand by playing and exploring the latest Build-A-Bear Workshop furry friend collections.
  • An interactive “Love Me” station that enables shoppers to customize their stuffed animals by giving personality traits such as brave, silly and smart to the red satin heart, which is added to their animal at the “Stuff Me” station.
  • A “Hear Me” station where popular music and special sounds can be added to personalize their stuffed animal. Guests can also record their own voice to further personalize their stuffed animal.
  • The “Fluff Me” station where customers can play with a sensory effects digital bath tub with virtual bubbles.
  • The “Name Me” station, which allows shoppers to reveal the personality traits and customized features that were added to their stuffed animal throughout the bear-making process. They can also create a one-of-a-kind birth certificate to take home with their new furry friend.
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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Arby’s, Cosi and Bareburger adopt PunchTab’s cross-channel loyalty solution

BY Staff Writer

Palo Alto, Calif. — PunchTab, an omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform, announced that Arby’s Restaurant Group, Cosi and Bareburger have adopted PunchTab’s technology, and are benefitting by offering rewards to customers across multiple channels. In fact, research shows, customers are 2.5 times more likely to buy when engaged on multiple channels.

Arby’s, Bareburger and Così are now engaging customers across digital channels — rallying Facebook fans to make social referrals, converting social media followers into email subscribers, encouraging email subscribers to engage socially — and also using PunchTab to convert in-store traffic to digital consumers and loyalty members by improving traditional in-store touch-points.

Bareburger, chose PunchTab to create a multi-channel loyalty program that allows the restaurant to reward guests’ actions online, in order to increase in-store activity. Through the new loyalty program, Bareburger will be able to reward customers and develop long-term relationships with people that love their food.

“Our customers are so passionate and vocal about our food that we wanted to reward them. They have helped us spread the word about Bareburger from day one — and we wanted to reward that loyalty,” said Euripides Pelekanos, CEO of Bareburger. “PunchTab offered us a flexible platform, which can adapt to our changing needs. It offers POS system integration, and we can layer in new social media channels as they become important to us. This allows us to meet our customers where they are and to reward their loyalty with real value.”

When fans want to sign up for the loyalty program, they’ll go to bareburger.com/friends and join through Facebook and Twitter links to begin getting rewarded. Users are incentivized along the way, receiving a side of fries or a small shake, when they sign up.

Also, printed displays highlighting the PunchTab program will be in every table caddy in every restaurant to introduce the new program. In order to prepare for launch, the company is training its front-of-house staff to handle the increased demand the program is expected to bring through the door.


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SUPPLY CHAIN

FedEx gets ready for holiday push; expects Cyber Monday to be busiest day

BY Staff Writer

New York — FedEx expects to transport more than 22 million shipments around the world on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2, which it anticipates will be its busiest day in company history. The 11% year-over-year increase will be driven by online retailers feeding the FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost networks.

During the busiest week of the year, Dec. 1 – 7, FedEx expects more than 85 million shipments to move through its global networks. This is a 13% increase compared to last year’s busiest week. In addition to e-commerce, retail inventory such as personal consumer electronics, apparel and luxury goods will drive this increase in FedEx holiday volumes.

“Our workforce of more than 300,000 team members worldwide is ready to deliver the holidays once again this year,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx. “FedEx’s vast global network coupled with our broad suite of shipping solutions enable us to meet our customers’ every need during this busy time of the year.”

FedEx is responding to the continued boom in online purchasing with several new tools and solutions, including:

  • FedEx One Rate, a U.S.-based flat rate shipping option.
  • FedEx Delivery Manager, a service which allows U.S. package recipients to customize home deliveries to fit their schedules.

FedEx expects to increase its workforce with tens of thousands of seasonal positions to help handle the surge in holiday shipments.

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