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Dunnhumby beefs up senior leadership

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI, Ohio — DunnhumbyUSA, a global leader in building brand value for consumer goods and retail companies, has made changes to its Cincinnati-based senior leadership.

The company has hired Ernest Leffler as VP of global infrastructure and Michele Weissman as VP of client solutions. The company has also promoted Jack Engle to the role of SVP of global products and services.

In his new role, Leffler will be responsible for all technology infrastructures within Dunnhumby’s global operations. Prior to joining the company, Leffler served as VP and GM at Peak 10, where he was responsible for all operations within the Cincinnati market. Leffler earned a bachelor of science in systems analysis from Miami University. He resides in Mason.

In her new role, Weissman will be responsible for leading a team that develops models and analytical solutions to help Dunnhumby’s clients deliver relevant strategies. Prior to joining the company, Weissman spent 20 years at IRI, holding positions of increasing responsibility and scope. Most recently serving as SVP, Weissman provided strategic direction for IRI’s customer and shopper insights advantage solution. Weissman earned a bachelor of arts in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts & Sciences.

In his new role, Engle will be responsible for leading a team that defines and delivers the platform for global products and services. He was previously VP of data solutions, and in that capacity, he supported merchandising and core data functions for Kroger. Prior to his tenure at Dunnhumby, Engle served as VP of business systems for Entertainment Publications. Engle earned a bachelor of science in management information services from Oakland University, School of Business Administration. He resides in Mason.

Dunnhumby analyzes data and applies insights from more than 400 million customers across the globe to create better customer experiences and build loyalty. It is a joint venture of Kroger and London-based Dunnhumby. Dunnhumby employs more than 2,000 employees in offices throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, and its clients include Kroger, Tesco, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kimberly-Clark, Macy’s, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble.

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IBM helps 1-800-Flowers connect with shoppers

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — With 25% of annual flower sales (for an estimated $1.9 billion) tied to Mother’s Day, it’s no wonder the holiday looms large for 1-800-Flowers. IBM is helping the retailer simplify Mother’s Day gift-giving for its digital customers no matter where or how they shop, including through the website, with a mobile device or via social media.

Using analytics found in IBM’s Smarter Commerce solutions, 1-800-Flowers is now able to better understand web traffic, identify best-selling items, gauge campaign effectiveness and visitor behavior. With these insights, the retailer has been to adjust ads and provide special offers or coupons on the spot to better serve clients and boost sales.

The company is also aggressively pursuing ways to keep them coming back for all special occasions. For instance, when a shopper buys flowers for Mother’s Day, 1-800-Flowers applies IBM analytics to come up with an incentive that will drive the customer to come back to the site for Father’s Day and buy a gourmet food basket.

Tech-savvy retailers like 1-800-Flowers are using social media to listen to consumer opinions and participate in discussions, allowing them to gain new insights into shopper preferences that would otherwise not be possible. As another direct communications channel, customers use 1-800-Flower’s presence on social media sites like twitter to inquire about their orders and delivery times. Customer service representatives monitor these sites and are able to respond in minutes to concerns.

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May-14-2013 07:39 am

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P.Tmdt says:
May-14-2013 07:39 am

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Weather impacts Alco Stores Q1 sales

BY Staff Writer

Abilene, Kan. – Discount retailer Alco Stores blamed the impact of cold weather across the Midwest for helping to produce sluggish sales performance during fiscal first quarter 2013. Alco Stores reported sales of continuing operations excluding fuel of $116 million, up 0.9% from $114.9 million during the same period in 2012. Same-store sales excluding fuel were down 2.2%.

“Sales in the first fiscal quarter were negatively impacted by extended winter weather conditions, which lasted through April throughout much of the Midwest,” said Alco Stores president/CEO Rich Wilson. “More than 80% of the decrease in same-store sales performance came from seasonal businesses such as outdoor living, horticulture, sporting goods and menswear. The decreases in outdoor businesses were partially offset by favorable sales performance in domestics, housewares, and women’s apparel where customers have responded favorably to the introduction of our new apparel lines.”

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