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Canadian retailer Jean Coutu Group debuts online shopping via window displays

BY Antoinette Alexander

Longueuil, Quebec — Canadian drug store operator The Jean Coutu Group is looking to boost holiday sales and make shopping more convenient this holiday season with the launch of an “e-store” window inside the Longueuil Metro Station.

Located in the A Wing of the Longueuil Metro Station, a key public transit hub, the e-store window allows consumers to make holiday purchases online on the spot using their smartphones. Purchased items can be delivered to the address of their choosing before Dec. 24.

The e-store window offers several products of the Jean Coutu Online Boutique, such as fragrances, toys, candy and electronic products.

"This initiative differentiates us on the online shopping market and offers consumers the opportunity to make holiday season shopping both easy and effective," said Alain Lafortune, EVP of purchasing and marketing at the Jean Coutu Group.

From their smartphones, customers can scan the QR code associated to a product on display in the e-store shop window. Once the code is scanned, the consumer is directed to the Jean Coutu Online Boutique to proceed with the transaction. The e-store window will be available until Dec. 13.

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Jos. A. Bank opening stores Thanksgiving night

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – Jos. A. Bank is one more retailer planning to start Black Friday while it’s still Thanksgiving. The retailer will hold its annual Black Friday doorbusters event from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Thanksgiving night and 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29.

Jos. A. Bank will also offer discount doorbuster prices from 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving to 1 p.m. on Black Friday. Other chains including Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Kmart, Dollar General, Best Buy, and Toys ‘R’ Us will also open stores at some point on Thanksgiving.

“We are pleased to offer our largest and most varied assortment of tremendous Black Friday values to our customers this year,” said R. Neal Black, president and CEO of Jos. A. Bank. “We will be opening our full-line stores to offer this expanded doorbuster assortment on Thanksgiving Day starting at 8 p.m. local time.”

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Lowe’s introduces mobile product finder

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s has integrated Point Inside’s StoreMode mobile shopper engagement platform into the free Lowe’s mobile app to improve the in-store customer experience. Shoppers at all Lowe’s locations can use the Product Locator capability to search for products and instantly see the items’ locations on a detailed store map using Lowe’s iOS and Android mobile apps or Lowe’s mobile-optimized website.

All in-stock items’ aisle and/or bay locations are represented as pins on an interior map of the specific Lowe’s store. The Lowe’s app also provides store-specific product search, prices, inventory availability, detailed product information, customer ratings and reviews, and weekly ads. In addition, customers can create and manage personalized shopping lists the same way they would on a piece of paper using natural language terms or by scanning product barcodes.

Furthermore, the 42,000 iPhones used by in-store associates also have access to the search and mapping capability through Lowe’s store associate app.

"Helping customers complete their home improvement projects simply and easily is what Lowe’s is all about," said Ronnie Damron, Lowe’s senior VP of multi-channel testing and commercialization. "We’re constantly looking for new, innovative ways to use technology to serve our customers better. Whether customers are browsing the store for ideas or searching for a specific item in a hurry, we think the Product Locator feature will simplify the shopping process, creating a better experience that encourages customers to come back again and again."

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