OPERATIONS

Contingent Network Services helps Finish Line overhaul customer experience

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Contingent Network Services has announced the successful completion of a strategic IT project to deploy new in-store technology to stores operated by The Finish Line. The retailer has reinvented its in-store shopping experience at all locations with a total store overhaul and technology refresh that included implementation of innovative mobile POS and interactive kiosk technologies. Contingent provided Finish Line with incremental project and technology experts to manage the in-store deployment for 320 of the 664 sites completed within the overall project.

The benefits of this changeover include better information at the fingertips of store associates, a more convenient mobile checkout process, and an increasingly interactive customer experience for Finish Line customers, according to Contingent.

“Contingent has proven their ability to manage a complex deployment project that satisfies our high standards for timeliness and quality,” said Rob Baugh, director of store application delivery for Finish Line.

To execute the project, Finish Line leveraged Contingent’s On Demand StoreWorX service which offers full project management, real-time project status visibility, a lifetime workmanship warranty, and a predictable pricing and service level approach that is consistent across all sites.

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Club Monaco launches lookbook on Tumblr

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — International lifestyle brand Club Monaco is leveraging the power of social media to promote its fashion apparel and accessories. It has launched an interactive fashion lookbook on Tumblr.

Club Monaco hopes to use the visually driven platform to expand its reach and entice consumers to see and share fashion looks months before they hit the stores.

"Tumblr allows us to take an industry standard press-room and redefine it as a social media outlet for consumers," says Ann Watson, VP of marketing and communications, Club Monaco. "This innovative, exciting collaboration is an industry game-changer because it gives editors direct access to seasonal assets that are downloadable and allows consumers to curate, and share Club Monaco fashions by downloading the fashion themed, Tumblr template. In effect, consumers can become their own editors and develop their own wide-scale fashion community thanks to the help of Club Monaco and Tumblr."

Club Monaco opted to use social celebrities instead of traditional models in its fall campaign and is relying on Tumblr bloggers to be models in the lookbook, leveraging their social currency and celebrity status to expand its network.

Club Monaco considers Tumblr the perfect brand partner because its platform features more than 100 million blogs giving it an enormous, global reach of nearly 50 billion posts. Club Monaco has already reported success on Tumblr. Its Culture Club blog offers a glimpse into the brand’s lifestyle and how they curate the world of culture. The blog’s motto "Get Inspired By What Inspires Us," has sparked global conversations on food, art, fashion, photography, music and travel and has already amassed more than 200,000 followers.

"It was a strategic decision to expand Club Monaco’s presence on Tumblr, as both companies already have an established and engaged social community," noted Watson. "As the first online social experience rooted in creation and curation, Tumblr’s DNA is about connecting users via creative content. The new Club Monaco Lookbook on Tumblr provides the consumer with an interactive, engaging, brand experience. With today’s launch, we are taking our social experience for the consumer one step further."

Headquartered in New York City’s Chelsea Gallery district, Club Monaco operates more than 140 points of distribution worldwide with flagships in the United States, Canada, Sweden, Hong Kong and Shanghai. A subsidiary of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, it is an international retail concept that designs, manufactures and markets its own men’s, women’s and accessory collections.

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Engaging employees with gamification at Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

BOSTON — Walmart has partnered with Inward Strategic Consulting to design an innovative way to engage with staff and foster what the company hopes is a fun yet productive work environment that enhances customer experience.

Walmart plans to introduce gamification to increase employee engagement and plans to discuss that process and the lessons it has learned at the Conference Board, Extending Your Brand to Employees, on May 16-17, in Chicago. Gamification is a form of learning and engagement that uses games to tap into people’s natural desire for competition, achievement, status and rewards. Presenting will be Kurt Templeton, director of workforce planning at Walmart, along with Whitney Cook, consultant and account manager at Inward Strategic Consulting.

"This is the third year Inward has been a sponsor of this conference, and we are thrilled to use this opportunity to promote employee engagement as a means to improve customer experiences," said Allan Steinmetz, CEO and founder of Inward Strategic Consulting.

"By using innovative strategies like gamification, major brands can engage, educate and interact with their employees on new and exciting levels," added Cook.

Inward Strategic Consulting is a leading brand engagement consulting firm that specializes in vision, mission and values, team alignment, internal branding, change communications, external branding and communications planning with offices in Boston, Bentonville, Chicago, San Francisco and Orlando.

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