FINANCE

Checkers/Rally’s selects Cardfree platform for end-to-end digital solution

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Cardfree, a mobile commerce provider to large merchants, announced that quick-service restaurant chain Checkers/Rally’s will leverage its full commerce platform to provide consumers with a complete mobile experience.

Checkers/Rally’s will be the first QSR to use mobile to lead key consumer initiatives such as CRM, loyalty and stored value. The Cardfree merchant commerce platform will enable Checkers/Rally’s to tie all programs together with mobile acting as a common thread. The platform gives merchants a comprehensive view of their customers that traditional programs have been unable to do.

By leveraging the data tied to a user’s master account, Cardfree gives merchants the ability to engage customers based on individual behaviors and preferences. In addition to powering smart offers, gifting, and true surprise and delight rewards, Cardfree also provides a digital stored value solution that’s optimized for mobile. Checkers/Rally’s will be the first customer to launch Cardfree’s stored value product.

“The Cardfree team brings unparalleled experience in launching successful mobile commerce programs, and they offered a fully integrated platform that will make deploying easier for our franchisees,” said Terri Snyder, chief marketing officer of Checkers/Rally’s, which has nearly 800 locations. “We were looking for a one-stop solution and Cardfree stood out for its depth of platform and thought leadership. This technology allows us to leapfrog our competitors and provide real-time value to our customers.”

The Checkers/Rally’s mobile application will launch in early 2014.

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Coca-Cola navigates global macroeconomic challenges in Q3

BY CSA STAFF

The Coca-Cola Company is focusing on the positive following third quarter results for the period ended Sept. 27. The company experienced continued global value share gains in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages for the 25th consecutive quarter.

The company also reported worldwide volume growth of 2% in the third quarter against the backdrop of increasing volatility in several emerging markets. Coca-Cola Americas grew volume 1% in the quarter, with North America volume up 2% and Latin America volume flat in the quarter.

Coca-Cola International grew volume 3% in both the quarter and year to date, with third quarter Pacific volume up 5%, Eurasia and Africa volume up 4% and Europe volume down 1%. The company reported solid volume growth in the quarter in key developed markets, including Germany (up 3%), the Northwest Europe and Nordics business unit (up 3%) and North America (up 2%). The company’s China business grew volume 9% and India delivered 6% volume growth in the quarter driving sequential improvements for both countries compared to last quarter.

The company reported a net revenue decline of 3%, with comparable net revenues down 2%. The 3% decline reflects a 1% increase in concentrate sales and 2% price/mix, offset by a 4% impact from structural changes, principally the deconsolidation of bottling operations in the Philippines and Brazil, and a 2% currency headwind.

“We delivered sound third quarter results in the confines of an ongoing challenged macroeconomic environment driven by increasing volatility across emerging markets,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO. “Our global volume grew 2% in the quarter and we continued to grow worldwide value share in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages due to the strength of our portfolio, the diversity of our global footprint and an ongoing concerted focus on marketplace execution. While we saw sequential improvement in the business compared to the second quarter, together with our global bottling partners, we remain constructively discontent and resolutely focused on further advancing our growth trajectory.”

Kent added that while the company is hardly immune to the impact of global macroeconomic events, its 2020 Vision plan and long-term strategies remain firmly intact. Together with its global bottling partners, the company is investing in its brands and capabilities to drive sustainable growth and value.

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FINANCE

GE Capitol and Penney extend credit card program

BY Staff Writer

Stamford, Conn. — GE Capital Retail Bank announced a long-term extension of its private label and dual card credit program with J.C. Penney Co.

Launched in 1999, the credit card program is managed by GE Capital’s Retail Finance business and available for purchases at any of the nearly 1,100 J.C. Penney stores across the United States and Puerto Rico.

“We are pleased to extend our successful 14-year relationship through February 2020 and expand the dual card program in the process,” said Margaret Keane, CEO and president of GE Capital Retail Finance. “The card program provides convenience and value for millions of J.C. Penney customers and we look forward to continuing to work with the entire J.C. Penney team to drive loyalty and satisfaction and play an important role in helping to grow their business.”

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