OPERATIONS

Duane Reade seeks to expand customer engagement with location-based game from Niantic Labs

BY Staff Writer

New York — Duane Reade announced that its 250 plus stores are integrating into Niantic Labs’ new mobile game, Ingress. The drugstore chain is one of the first retail partners in the New York metropolitan area for "Ingress," which blends the physical and virtual world to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience.

"Customer engagement strategy via location-based gaming has elevated to new levels and Duane Reade understands that", said Calvin Peters, PR/Online manager for Duane Reade. "Strategically engaging gamification experiences that utilize LBS platforms are becoming increasingly relevant as mobile concentration within the retail space continues to expand. It’s important for us to be where our consumers are; including the virtual world. We’re excited to have this opportunity to work with Niantic Labs at Google and participate in this exciting new endeavor while continuing to provide the best possible customer experience."

An Ingress logo is located on the front window of Duane Reade stores around the city signaling players of the company’s participation and the existence of a value-added game asset located inside the store. Each asset will display its own unique code, which gives players a range of resources for playing the game including energy (XM), offensive and defensive game objects (resonators, weapons, shields) and possibly media objects. Each code may be used only once, but can be shared with each player’s online community. As the game evolved, cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory for either faction.

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FINANCE

Report: J.C. Penney files lawsuit to block bondholders from declaring default

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penney Co. filed a lawsuit on Monday asking a Delaware judge to declare that it is not in a default of its bond agreements, protecting nearly $3 billion of debt from being due in the coming months, Reuters reported.

According to the report, J.C. Penney received a letter earlier on Monday from the Brown Rudnick law firm that said J.C. Penney had breached a covenant of a bond indenture agreement by granting a lien on its inventory. J.C. Penney filed the lawsuit after receiving the letter.

The indenture agreement related to $326 million of outstanding bonds that mature in 2037. However, the letter said that J.C. Penney could be in default on all of its $2.9 billion bond debt, according to the lawsuit.

"We believe this notice of default is invalid, completely without merit and is intended to create self-interested trading opportunities in the market, and we will therefore vigorously defend the interests of J.C. Penney and all of our constituencies," J.C. Penney CFO Ken Hannah said in a statement.

J.C. Penney said in the complaint that the demand from Brown Rudnick came as the company is investing significantly to update its stores.

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News

Target loyalty program comes to Canada

BY CSA STAFF

TORONTO — Canadian consumers eager to get their hands on a Target loyalty card can now apply for one. Target Canada announced that pplications for its REDcard products – the Target Debit Card and the Target RBC‡ MasterCard – are now available online at Target.ca/redcard. Guests planning to shop at Target stores in Canada with a REDcard will receive an additional 5% off Target’s already low prices, applied instantly at the time of purchase.

The Target Debit Card, a proprietary card issued by Target Canada, will link to the cardholder’s existing chequing account and can be used only at Target stores in Canada. Royal Bank of Canada will issue the no-annual-fee Target RBC MasterCard, which can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. In addition to the instant 5% savings on almost everything at Target stores, Target RBC MasterCard cardholders will earn Target GiftCard Rewards on purchases outside of Target, anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

"Target’s REDcard Rewards program is a key part of our "Expect More. Pay Less." brand promise, offering guests an additional 5% savings on top of our already low prices," said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. "We know our guests value the instant savings that come with a REDcard and we want to ensure Canadian guests apply now so they are ready when their neighbourhood Target store opens its doors."

Applications for both cards are available online at Target.ca/redcard. In addition, guests can apply for the Target RBC MasterCard in RBC branches and at rbc.com/target. Once Target stores are open, Canadian guests will be able to apply for both REDcard products in-store. Target plans to open 124 stores across Canada beginning in March/April 2013.

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