REAL ESTATE

Express opens Times Square store March 25

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Express Inc. is opening its largest location in Times Square, N.Y. on March 25. The Times Square store is located in the landmark I. Miller building distinguished by its marbled frame and statues of iconic actresses including Marilyn Miller and Mary Pickford.

With more than 28,000 sq. ft., the location features imagery boxes, LED walls and screens, interactive iPads, mobile points-of-sale, and on-site charging stations to enhance the shopping experience.

Divided into three levels of women’s and men’s collections, the store marks the brand’s grandest location to-date with a design concept that elevates the brand’s current high-fashion runway layout. Design elements include French limestone floors, white brick walls, Carrera marble fixtures, crystal chandeliers, glass vitrines housing noteworthy trends and two expansive escalators to transport visitors among the three floors.

"It’s Express on steroids," said Michael Weiss, the chairman and CEO of Express. "This is an elevated presentation where the homes for each category are much more defined. Our billboard, with 9,000 sq. ft. of LED, is the biggest and highest-definition billboard in the whole of Times Square. You know nobody whispers in Times Square; they shout. And if you’re going to shout, you’d better be the loudest."

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REAL ESTATE

Destination XL opens Manhattan store in June

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Destination XL Group, Inc. will open its first Manhattan store in June 2014. Located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, the new DXL stores represent the company’s superstore format.

As part of the company’s new redesign, the store will feature wider aisles and larger fitting rooms, as well as sofas, chairs and flat-screen televisions.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our first Manhattan store,” said Destination XL president and CEO David Levin. “As we continue to reinvent and modernize the retail experience and merchandise offering for today’s savvy big and tall consumer, our new Chelsea location offers the ideal space to serve our diverse customer base.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Alex & Ani boosts Facebook revenue with EBay

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cranston, R.I. – During the 2013 holiday season, Alex and Ani turned to EBay Enterprise, an EBay Inc. company, to help drive sales and achieve higher ROI through its Facebook ads. Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the company’s Facebook ads drove $1.6 million

EBay Enterprise partnered with Kenshoo Social, an advanced technology platform, to optimize Alex and Ani’s highly targeted social marketing campaign. The retailer currently leverages several EBay Enterprise commerce offerings, including Magento Enterprise Edition, to customize and extend its e-commerce efforts with best-of-breed capabilities such as its marketing solutions programs affiliate, search and paid social to exceed its online goals.

“The strategies and best practices championed by the EBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions team helped drive insights that refined our Facebook advertising program, making it a force for our direct response goals,” said Ryan Bonifacino, VP of digital strategy at Alex and Ani. “The Kenshoo Social platform coupled with our team at EBay Enterprise gave us the horsepower that allowed Alex and Ani to come out of the gate strong during the second half of 2013, and we plan to continue to scale our investment in Facebook advertising as a result of the performance we’ve seen.”

When comparing performance of Facebook ads for the six months before and after launching with EBay Enterprise, Alex and Ani noted significant performance gains. ROI increased by 80%, while revenue saw a 4,388% boost. In addition, average order value rose from $14 to more than $75, an increase of 434%.

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