Dollar General inks deal for secured managed cloud services
St. Louis — Interface announced Monday that Dollar General Corp. has signed a multi-year contract for secured managed cloud services provided by Interface.
Interface’s secure managed cloud services for Dollar General includes wide-area network management, PCI compliance, wireless access Management, IP alarm system monitoring, IP video surveillance, and interface digital voice.
Under the agreement, Dollar General will use Interface managed cloud services for its entire retail store network, which includes more than 9,500 store locations.
GGP rolls out back-to-school programs in shopping centers
Chicago-based General Growth Properties is kicking off back-to-school shopping with two promotional programs – Shop til You Rock and Family Recess.
Shop Til You Rock, a music-inspired mall tour that empowers teens to look and feel like rock stars, is back for its second year. Teens are invited to watch live performances by some of today’s hottest bands, participate in exclusive activities and take advantage of special mall offers, prizes and sweepstakes, including a chance to win valuable shopping sprees and a gaming system.
Shop Til You Rock will travel to 38 GGP malls across the country from July 23 through Sept.10.
Family Recess kicks off back-to-school fun with family-friendly activities, including games, music, special deals, prizes and a chance to win a family vacation for four to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Orlando, Fla. Family Recess travels to 21 GGP malls across the country from Aug. 6 through Sept.10.
The Shop Til You Rock and Family Recess programs also reward shoppers with a $20 mall gift card, while supplies last, when they spend $150 or more during the event. Plus, interactive mall activities include:
- Center Stage: Center stage features an event emcee/DJ, freeze modeling, as well as games, trivia and a prize wheel.
- Gaming Station: Teens can experience and play “Just Dance 2.” The interactive station includes discount offers, fan challenges and prizes.
- “DIY” Station: Kids can customize apparel and hats with a variety of airbrush designs.
- Band Meet & Greets (exclusively at Shop Til You Rock): Fans get up close and personal with featured bands and have an opportunity to purchase their music and promotional merchandise.
- Pepsi Refresh Lounge (exclusively at Shop Til You Rock): Teens trade in Pepsi bottle caps to receive a Pepsi branded drawstring bag. Plus, they’ll have a chance to vote for their favorite Pepsi Refresh Project and make a difference.
- Sierra Mist Natural Putting Challenge (exclusively at Family Recess): Shoppers get to put forth their best putting shot and “hole in one” winners will receive prizes.
Food inflation to benefit comps in months ahead
American consumers may not like inflation, but retailers are enjoying the favorable impact rising prices have on their same-store sales calculations. It was evident last month when most retailers reported healthy comp increases, and more of the same could be in store for July as it appears retailers are effectively passing through increased prices to shoppers.
This week, evidence to that effect is provided courtesy of Credit Suisse, which shows retail prices on a basket of 60 items at stores in Dallas and Chicago were up 1% compared with May and up 2.7% compared with the same month the prior year.
The firm again had Walmart as the lowest price retailer with Target next closest at 5% higher, or essentially even for shoppers who pay with their Target branded REDcard.
“Walmart and Target both raised prices (month to month) by 1.1%,” according to Credit Suisse. “Year over year, Walmart raised prices 3.8% and Target raised prices by 3.4%. Target’s price gap versus Walmart decreased slightly from 4.7% to 4.6%.”
Target and Walmart both enjoy a commanding lead over other retailers included in the monthly survey. Walmart’s average price gap relative to other competitors was 17.5%, although that figure is skewed by the inclusion of Target on the low end and chain drug retailers Walgreens and CVS on the high end. The drug chains were 27% higher than Walmart.
“While recent commentary from some companies, notably Dollar General and Walmart, suggest that the lower-end consumers are starting to feel the strain of higher prices, we believe most retailers have been successful in passing through cost inflation and will look to continue to do so,” according to Credit Suisse. “Thus far the pricing environment has remained rational, although the key player to continue watching is Walmart.”