OPERATIONS

Columbia Sportswear names Mexx exec as senior VP, retail

BY Staff Writer

New York — Columbia Sportswear Company has appointed Shawn Cox as senior VP of retail, a newly created position that will report directly to president and CEO Tim Boyle. In his new role, Cox, 49, will be responsible for leading the company’s brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce operations in the U.S., Europe and Canada.


Cox has 24 years of experience developing, managing and improving profitability of branded retail networks with operations in the U.S., Europe, South America, Middle East and Asia. Since 2009 he has served as global retail senior VP with contemporary lifestyle retailer Mexx, where he led a successful turnaround of the company’s 300 locations in 15 countries.

From 2007-2009 he served in London as global chief retail officer for Samsonite Corp., where he directed a network of 350 owned retail stores and 700 franchised stores spanning 40 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

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RadioShack woos younger consumers with Beats By Dr. Dre

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas — RadioShack is teaming up with Beats By Dr. Dre, the popular brand of headphones and HD sound systems, on a new advertising campaign featuring recording artist Robin Thicke’s hit single "Blurred Lines" and the Beats by Dr. Dre Pill portable Bluetooth speaker.

The 30-second commercial ties into a special in-store offer that will allow RadioShack customers and music fans to download an exclusive remix of "Blurred Lines" with the purchase of any qualifying product.

The electronics retailer is leveraging the popularity of the Beats By Dr. Dre brand to reestablish its relevance, particularly among younger consumers.

"Partnering with a strong brand like Beats marks one of the ways RadioShack is broadening our customer appeal," said Jennifer Warren, SVP and CMO for RadioShack. "Teaming up with Beats on this campaign invites more consumers to discover RadioShack as a destination for the hottest music accessories, including the Pill and Beats headphones."

Since its release March 20, Thicke’s single "Blurred Lines" has gone viral, racking up more than 8 million views on YouTube and VEVO.com. Thicke is currently in the studio finishing up his sixth studio album, still untitled and with a release date expected soon.

Consumers purchasing any qualifying Beats by Dr. Dre product, mobile phone, tablet or MP3 player in-store at a participating RadioShack location between now and June 22 will receive an exclusive "Blurred Lines" remix download. In addition, consumers will get $10 back when they spend $30 or more at participating RadioShack locations through June 1.

The ad will appear on networks such as MTV, VH1, Spike and Comedy Central. It will also run during the NBA Finals on ESPN and ABC.

The TV spot can also be found on RadioShack’s techspecs blog and on the Beats by Dr. Dre Facebook page. Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage taken during filming of the "Blurred Lines" video will also be posted during the promotion.

RadioShack also plans to launch a social contest later in the campaign that will give consumers the chance to win two tickets to a future Robin Thicke concert.

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Smart appliances from Whirlpool

BY CSA STAFF

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Global appliance leader Whirlpool Corporation has launched a line of smart appliances with 6th Sense Live technology.

The company’s flagship Whirlpool brand is making smart home management a reality in the Chicagoland area with the release of a suite of smart appliances along with a free mysmartappliances app, which is already available in the iTunes app store.

The convergence of technology with everyday household appliances is evolving to optimize energy consumption and allow consumers to manage everyday household tasks from their smart phones.

Whirlpool’s latest connected appliances include a smart refrigerator, smart dishwasher and smart washer and dryer. Each has the ability to be controlled using an app and will communicate with the emerging Smart Grid.

“Smart grid-enabled appliances have evolved into a broader conversation around the connected home and home management. Consumers want to connect to their homes in a meaningful way and benefit from functions that allow them to save energy and monitor their appliances even when away from home,” said Warwick Stirling, Whirlpool Corporation’s global director of sustainability. “As connectivity becomes more of a priority in our daily lives, seamless home management is what 6th Sense Live technology provides. We’re proud to provide our consumers with the peace of mind that they can manage daily, essential tasks from anywhere with ease.”

Whirlpool brand’s new appliances come with Smart Assistant features such as Vacation Assistant, Remote Start/Pause and alerts or text messages. They also offer notifications and alerts via smart phones and tablets and deliver real-time information, such as what cycle the smart dishwasher is on as well as energy rates and consumption.

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