REAL ESTATE

City Sports to open largest store to date, in NYC’s Financial District

BY Marianne Wilson

Boston — City Sports today announced plans for two new stores, including its largest store to date, in New York City’s financial district. Slated to open at the end of March, the bi-level, 10,500-sq.-ft. space will feature an open floor plan and many other details that nod to the building’s origins as a bank. The store will be City Sports’ third location in NYC.

In addition, the chain announced a new location for its Chestnut Hill, Mass., store, set for a March 16 opening to coincide with the brand’s 30th anniversary.

"We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off City Sports’ 30th birthday than with the housewarming of our new home in Chestnut Hill," said City Sports president and CEO Edward Albertian.

At over 9,200 sq. ft., the new Chestnut Hill space will feature new and expanded departments for women’s apparel, footwear, youth and team sports. The chain’s footwear department also gets an upgrade with an in-store track and treadmill to test out more than 300 styles.

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Sweets & Snacks Expo to feature international attendees

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — A show devoted to snack food is expected to draw suppliers from 22 countries when it kicks off in May, the show’s sponsoring organization said.

The 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo, which will take place May 21-23 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, is expected to be the most successful in the event’s 16-year history, with a nearly sold-out show floor, according to the National Confectioners Association.

"NCA recognizes the power of U.S. brands around the world, and the expo serves as a destination for global markets to come together," NCA president Larry Graham said. "The 2013 expo is the ideal venue to connect with industry professionals from around the world and to discover international products and trends that will set retailers apart from the rest."

In addition to Brazilian, Chinese, German and Mexican pavilions, the show will have its first-ever Ecuadorian pavilion. Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis will visit the show as well, and the show will feature products from companies like Sweden’s Solberga Konfektyrfabrik, Netherlands-based Hellema Hallum, Latvia-based Pure Chocolate and products from Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

"Every year, we host a number of country pavilions, but in 2013, we are thrilled to host a new country’s pavilion, and number of new international companies as well," Graham said.

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SAP helps businesses enhance customer experience

BY CSA STAFF

HANOVER, Germany — SAP announced that it has enhanced its OnDemand software solution to empower businesses to know their customers like never before, guide them through each step of the buyer’s journey and groom customers to become loyal brand advocates.

With SAP Customer OnDemand, SAP empowers people through a consumer-grade user experience, purposeful collaboration and insightful analytics for sales, service and marketing professionals across businesses of all sizes. The latest innovations from SAP Customer OnDemand are geared toward delivering a personalized customer experience.

The new home page for SAP Customer OnDemand brings consumer-grade user experience to sales professionals. The dashboard equips sales professionals with everything they need to know about the customer to orchestrate the sale from lead-to-cash. Based on what they deem relevant, insightful and productive, sales professionals can personalize the home page through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

Having customer information at hand is essential to ensuring each customer engagement is relevant and differentiated. New offline capabilities for the iPad application for SAP Customer OnDemand means sales people have complete customer insight wherever they are. With this new must-have sales feature, meaningful customer engagements no longer halt when cell signal does. In addition, the new "sales assistant" provides guided selling that helps ensure representatives are leveraging best practices, delivering the right message and making each customer engagement personalized at every stage of the sale.

"Mobile is a must-have capability for our sales teams," said Jaap Stoppels, manager managed training services for Schouten Global. "SAP Sales OnDemand delivers full-feature mobile apps — at no extra cost — that helps our mobile sales team in China to collaborate on the road, all with a complete customer view. With the SAP Sales OnDemand mobile app, they’re prepared to make every customer engagement relevant and meaningful."

Additional communication channels in SAP Service OnDemand and SAP Social OnDemand now include a powerful self-service Web portal and an interface for computer-telephony integration (CTI). These channels allow customers to truly do business on their own terms. Customer service agents can now leverage an even greater number of sources for proactive customer interactions, such as branded online communities, websites for product ratings and customer reviews with pre-built integration into Bazaarvoice, a social commerce company that enables customer-powered marketing.

Customer service leaders can now access relevant service information such as ticket status, escalations and key service metrics while on-the-go with the new iPad application for the SAP Customer Insight mobile app. Turning customer service from a cost center into a revenue-generating team has never been more important. To foster this, product registration and warranty information have been added to help service agents identify targeted upsell and cross-sell opportunities with their clients, and to serve their customers in a more targeted way.

With new scheduled alerting capabilities in SAP Social Media Analytics, marketers can stay on top of the latest social media trends across the globe. This powerful feature has added support for 19 new languages — from Arabic to Vietnamese. Now campaign managers can quickly capitalize on opportunities to adjust messages and launch corresponding campaigns or promotions almost anywhere in the world while also giving communications teams a chance to get ahead of risks before they go viral. Additionally, with the new "Focus Wizard," a streamlined approach to topic refinement, marketers can access research topics faster than ever. Through increased research efficiency, marketers are able to evaluate the quality of any social Web topic they wish to analyze. It also helps eliminate any irrelevant chatter by applying filters with a single click, instantly providing a clean set of accurate results.

For marketers seeking the next level of customer insight, SAP has partnered with FanAppz, a personalized marketing platform for social media. This platform allows marketers to deliver compelling experiences on their social media pages, driving engagement and capturing social data as well as permission to use it. Now brand managers can fine-tune the way they connect with their audience and drive conversations across multiple channels.

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