OPERATIONS

DDR Corp. launches location-based mobile marketing program

BY Staff Writer

Beachwood, Ohio — DDR Corp announced the launch of ValuText, a location-based, mobile marketing service specifically designed to drive sales and productivity at the company’s prime assets. ValuText couples physical retail assets with state-of-the-art, location-based mobile marketing. The program allows shoppers to connect with desired retailers as they enter the shopping center to avail themselves of real-time sales and promotions.

The service will send immediate offers from retailers within a designated shopping center via text message to opted-in shoppers once they enter a "geo-fence," a pre-defined, virtual space established around DDR’s prime assets. Since geo-fence technology is compatible with 92% of U.S. mobile phones, this initiative will allow all DDR tenants to reach the broadest possible audience.

"DDR is committed to ensuring that our retailers have every tool they need to succeed," said John S. Kokinchak, senior executive VP and chief administrative officer of DDR. "ValuText helps our tenants by giving potential customers access to real-time, location-based offers, thereby driving traffic to their stores. In addition, the program creates value for shoppers by providing timely information at the exact point of purchase — the shopping center."

In contrast to existing value-oriented mobile or social media programs, ValuText simplifies usability for both shoppers and retailers. It works on nearly all phone types, and merchandise values are delivered via text message without the burden of downloading or activating a smartphone app, repeatedly checking into a virtual location or printing an actual coupon. Shoppers simply opt-in once.

To create ValuText, DDR has partnered with a pioneer of geo-fence mobile marketing, Placecast. Geo-fence technology has been used today by over six million opted-in consumers through different programs from carriers like AT&T in the United States and Telefonica in Europe, as well as over 75 major consumer and retail brands.

DDR is an owner and manager of 538 value-oriented shopping centers representing 134 million sq. ft. in 41 states, Puerto Rico and Brazil.

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OPERATIONS

Starbucks mobile transactions exceed 26 million in first year

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks has racked up 26 million mobile transactions since it launched its mobile payment program in January. Currently, the top five U.S cities for Starbucks mobile app adoption are New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and San Jose.

In the first nine weeks of the program, there were 3 million transactions and in comparison for the nine week period starting in October, there were 6 million transactions, demonstrating a significant jump in customer adoption and use, the company reported.

Globally, the Starbucks Card program had $2.4 billion loaded onto cards during FY11, and Starbucks Cards are currently used for 1 in 4 transactions in the United States. Since the card launched just over 10 years ago, more than $10 billion has been loaded on Starbucks Cards. On the mobile front, since January 2011, there has been $110.5 million reloaded onto Starbucks Cards directly through the mobile app.

Starbucks took its mobile payment program beyond its nearly 7,000 U.S. company-operated stores and more than 1,000 Target stores to include nearly 1,000 Safeway stores in June.

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News

Christmas tree delivery, courtesy of Meijer

BY CSA STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer is taking up the latest retail trend to offer home delivery of fresh-cut Christmas trees.

The company began shipping fresh-cut Fraser fir Christmas trees on Thanksgiving Day, and saleshave exceeded expectations within the first few days, announced Liwanag Ojala, VP e-commerce for the Grand Rapids, Mich. -based retailer.

"More and more people today are converging online for their shopping needs. Offering these beautifully full and fragrant fresh-cut holiday trees online is another example of how we’re getting ahead of that curve," Ojala said. "Meijer.com is really a convenient, one-stop shop for your gift-giving, entertaining and decorating needs."

Meijer is selling five varieties of fresh-cut Fraser firs, ranging in size from 4.5 feet tall to 9 feet tall, online at www.meijer.com. The average retail price ranges from $89.95 to $199.99 , but through Dec. 16 , they will be on sale for $74.99 to $179.99 . Shipping costs start at $25, with the order arriving at their home between five to 11 business days.

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