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CenturyLink provides high-speed data and voice network for True Religion

BY Staff Writer

Denver — CenturyLink announced it has turned up a new high-speed data and voice network for True Religion. The premium denim jeans company’s headquarters l in Vernon, Calif., is now securely interconnected with its 110 domestic retail stores and international retail stores or showrooms in Canada, England, Italy and Hong Kong.

The new CenturyLink IQ Networking with Ethernet Access provides True Religion with cost competitive, scalable and secure connectivity, and helps True Religion stay connected with its vendors, partners and customers. CenturyLink Business designed a turnkey solution that allows True Religion’s IT department to seamlessly onboard new locations and make service changes as the company grows. Through an integrated user interface, the IT team can now do what it formerly took additional vendors and extra business expenses to accomplish.

"Our CenturyLink Business network is helping us gain a competitive edge nationally and globally," said Jennifer Terrill, VP of IT for True Religion. "We wanted to partner for the long-term with a provider that could deliver simple, cost-effective solutions and also integrate easily with our existing infrastructure. We found that partner in CenturyLink Business."

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CE report offers holiday recap, 2012 outlook

BY CSA STAFF

Just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas, Market Research Solutions (MRS) is out with a new report that provides unconventional insights into the 2011 holiday season and outlook for 2012.

The Tampa, Fla.-based research firm surveyed 272 department managers in early December at such retailers as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Hhgregg and dominant regional players to gain a unique perspective on a category of business that is the most dynamic in retail. Among some of the key findings MRS provided exclusively to RetailingToday.com were:

  • The CE category started off strong with 61% of store managers surveyed indicating sales were higher than compared to the prior year and store traffic was higher than the prior year.

  • Brands are a big deal in the CE category. Apple was the brand most in demand during holiday 2011 – no surprise there – followed by Samsung, Sony, Vizio and Microsoft.

  • Tablets was the hottest category of 2011, and managers expect that to be the case again in 2012. Attachment rates for extended warranties were also strong.

  • Merchants and supply chain executives did a good job of accurately forecasting demand and replenishing merchandise after Thanksgiving weekend as three fourth of respondent reported inventory levels commensurate with demand.

In contrast to conventional consumer surveys, which are inherently flawed because shoppers are not always reliable predictors of their own behavior and also have poor recall of their actions, MRS seeks to understand the dynamics of the CE category from a different vantage point. By speaking with the department managers on the front lines of taking care of customers the data compiled by MRS offers a unique perspective. Quality, actionable information generated by original research doesn’t come cheap, and Retailing Today was provided with only a sampling of the data. More details on the complete report, which is available for $199 are available by clicking here.

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Best Buy completes purchase of IT, cloud services provider

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy said Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of mindShift Technologies.

The acquired firm will operate under its current name, management team and capabilities, which include approximately 500 employees at offices in Boston; Long Island, N.Y.; Minneapolis; Morrisville, N.C.; New York City; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

According to a press release, mindSHIFT has been providing IT outsourcing and cloud managed services for small and mid-size businesses for more than 10 years. The company hasmore than 5,400 clients and 25,000 managed desktops in markets throughout the nation.

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