News

Direct Source expands mobile retail offering

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis — Direct Source is enabling its retail customers to protect their mobility investments and help ensure worker productivity with help-desk and mobile device management (MDM) services through its relationship with Enterprise Mobile. The Enterprise Mobile offering supports all operating systems, including Apple iOS, Windows, Blackberry and Android, letting retailers outsource ongoing management for devices used by corporate employees and store associates.

Beyond assisting retail-store associates with mobile device help-desk services designed to resolve issues with hardware, software, application use and connectivity, the Enterprise Mobile team also helps retailers’ IT organizations assess support needs through comprehensive professional services. These include developing mobility policies and creating operational workflows to increase efficiency. Centralizing mobile support with one provider gives retailers more visibility into the performance of mobile systems so they can track ROI over time and identify areas for additional cost savings.

“Mobility is taking retail by storm,” said Brad Fick, president of Direct Source. “But retailers often need the help of mobile experts as they navigate this uncharted territory. For example, one of our enterprise retail clients wanted to roll out tablets for mobile point-of-sale to their 1,500 stores across North America, but didn’t have the experience to provide iOS technical support and help-desk services for store associates. By working with Enterprise Mobile, our retail customers now have the expertise to support this platform.”

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OPERATIONS

Costco co-founder Jim Senegal to receive NRF Gold Medal Award

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Jim Sinegal, Costco co-founder and board member, will receive the Gold Medal Award in 2014 during the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Conference and Expo in New York City. In addition, NRF has named South Korea’s Lotte Shopping as the International Retailer of the Year.

Nike has been named Retail Innovator of the Year, and Half Price Books’ Executive VP and chief strategy officer Kathy Doyle Thomas has been selected as 2014’s Silver Plaque recipient.

The award members are selected each year by the Awards Committee, comprised of select members of the NRF Board. The recipients, two distinguished industry leaders and two renowned retail companies, will accept their awards during the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon at NRF’s Annual Convention and Expo on Monday, Jan. 13. The conference will be held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, Jan. 12-15.

“Jim was an obvious choice for NRF’s Gold Award, given his commitment to the industry and Costco, and dedication to creating such a well-respected culture throughout the organization he helped build,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “All of the award winners have successfully been able to cut through the clutter and make an outstanding name for themselves by continuing to innovate and effectively serve their customers in an ever-changing world.”

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News

A holiday headache for Bed Bath & Beyond

BY CSA STAFF

Soft sales at leading home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond led to a puny comp increase of 1.3%, lower than expected third quarter profits and a downward revision to fourth quarter expectations.

Sales for the company’s third quarter ended November 30 increased 6% to nearly $2.9 billion while earnings per share rose 8.7% to $1.12, three cents less than analysts forecast. As a result of the softness in top line results, the company reduced its fourth quarter profit forecast to a range of $1.60 to $1.67 from prior guidance of $1.70 to $1.77. The company now expects full year earnings per share to be in the range of $4.79 to $4.86 versus earlier guidance in the range of $4.88 to $5.01.

The company ended the third quarter with a total of 1,491 stores, including 1,011 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and various other formats.

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