Dell clients on cloud nine
NEW YORK — Dell has unveiled its first end-to-end cloud solution which enables retailers to seamlessly move to an in-store cloud environment.
Called Cloud Client Computing for Retail, the comprehensive cloud solution addresses endpoint devices, networking, security, virtualization, infrastructure, management tools and services to help retailers realize increased efficiency and cost savings. The Dell-designed Cloud Client Computing solution is customizable to each retailer’s specific environment and needs. Dell explains that retailers can simplify store system hardware by hosting and managing complex point-of-sale and inventory systems centrally in the store or in the cloud.
“Until now, most retailers have had to cobble together products and services from multiple vendors in order to address cloud solutions and virtualization in their store environment,” said Mike Adams, retail industry practice lead at Dell. “As a result of our recent acquisitions that include Wyse, SonicWALL and Quest, Dell is able to provide an end-to-end solution that has been tested and optimized for retail’s unique environment. Cloud Client Computing for Retail delivers a reliable, cost-effective, end-to-end solution that can allow access to any application from any device.”
Dell developed Cloud Client Computing for Retail with the changing retail environment in mind. With smart phones in hand, connected consumers have instant access to pricing and product information, are able to tap their social networks for recommendations and make purchases from competitors on the sales floor. Consumers expect a seamless experience across channels, to be recognized and rewarded and to engage with store personnel that are knowledgeable about products and offers.
The cloud solution allows retailers to access any application or content from any device; increases device reliability while decreasing cost; eliminates the need to store data on endpoint devices, greatly increasing security; supports a test-once-deploy-to-many-devices model; allows retailers to re-purpose endpoint devices for POS, kiosks, customer service or the back office; and allows for the quick replacement of endpoints without the need for imaging or staging.
“We no longer need to send our technicians out to do the initial set up of the stores,” said Dell Cloud Client Computing customer Paul Dinoia, VP of IT at Bob’s Discount Furniture. “The more Dell Wyse thin clients we have, the fewer devices we need to touch; which helps us maintain the consistency and integrity of our systems with existing staff, even though we’re supporting more users…We really don’t need to do much with our Dell Wyse thin clients. We can keep all software up to date easily.”
New cosmetics line blooms at Walmart
Flower is the name of a new proprietary cosmetics line developed by Walmart in conjunction with Drew Barrymore and cosmetics manufacturer Maesa.
The new brand is positioned as offering department store quality at mass market prices and consists of 181 products in the eye, face, lip and nail categories with prices ranging from $4.98 to $13.98.
"Today, too many women overpay for quality makeup or make a unnecessary extra trip to a department store to purchase their cosmetics," said Carmen Bauza , VP of beauty and personal care at Walmart U.S. "This partnership will save our customers time and money. Flower is the premium cosmetics line our customers have been asking for, and is the newest addition to Walmart’s broad assortment of beauty products that help women feel beautiful at a great value."
The new line will be manufactured by Maesa, a company founded in 1997 that also produces products for Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, Zara, Elizabeth Arden, KMart, L’Oreal, Ralph Lauren and Kohl’s.
Through what Maesa calls a revolutionary business model, the new Flower brand features products formulated and packaging designed at the same level as prestige brands. The company was able to achieve a high level of product quality because Drew Barrymore is an owner of the brand and will be actively involved in promotional efforts therefore saving advertising costs. As a result, the saved revenue allows Flower to spend two to three times more on formulation and packaging than the average mass market brand, resulting in high-performing, premium make-up of the highest quality at a price women can afford, according to the company.
"Drew has brought her passion and knowledge of premium cosmetics to Flower," said Petra Tucker-Moss, senior director of product development and marketing at Maesa. "Her first-hand knowledge of luxury cosmetics allowed Drew and Maesa to collaborate and develop a makeup line that delivers on its promise of bringing premium quality make-up to mass."
Target turns to Brightstar and MarketSource for mobile
Target is relying on two new services providers to operate its mobile business following an end to its short-lived relationship with RadioShack.
Target said it plans to rely on Brightstar, the world’s largest specialized wireless distributor and leading provider of diversified services to the wireless industry and MarketSource, a leading provider of integrated sales and marketing services company to support its mobile business beginning in April 2013. Target Mobile is the name of the retailer’s in-store wireless shopping stations that are available in 1,500 of its stores. Plans call for Brightstar to serve as Target’s mobile’s new supply chain and point-of-activation technology provider while MarketSource will be the in-store sales services partner.
"Collaborating with Brightstar and MarketSource will further enhance Target’s position in the wireless retail marketplace," said John Butcher, VP of electronics at Target. "These partnerships move the business forward and ensure our guests will receive the latest products and services coupled with Target’s exceptional value and best-in-class shopping experience."
The two companies assume responsibilities previously managed by RadioShack following Target and RadioShack’s inability to successfully renegotiate a contract. Since October 2012, RadioShack had been renegotiating the terms of the relationship with Target to establish an agreement that would be profitable to both companies, according to a RadioShack statement. At that time, RadioShack executed a termination notice that would allow the company to exit the Target business if an agreement could not be reached.
"In order for RadioShack to have continued this relationship, we needed to establish a new agreement that would be financially appealing to both companies," said Telvin Jeffries , RadioShack’s EVP, chief human resources officer and general manager of retail services. "Ultimately, we amicably agreed to dissolve the relationship."