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FatWallet predicts Black Friday promotions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Beloit, Wis. – Online coupon provider FatWallet predicts a larger selection and assortment of lower-priced Black Friday deals in 2013 as compared to the previous year. Notable predictions include:

HDTVs: Expect new 4k TVs to push down the price of older 1080p TVs with some 60" models under $400 and select doorbusters featuring 40-50" TVs to fall lower than $300. Thinner, lighter, higher quality models will be bundled with soundbars, blu-ray players and possibly Netflix or Hulu Plus subscriptions to make for smart hidden savings.

Laptops: Expect a host of low end laptop models, including Windows 8 touch enabled laptops to drop around $200 as tablets continue to become the more preferred everyday computing device.

Tablets: Expect Amazon to discount their new Kindle HDX 9" tablet to around $300-$325 to compete with Apple iPads, and Samsung tablets, and shoppers can already find Nexus 7 tablets for under $200.

Smartphones: Apple’s iPhone 5C will be eventually be available for free with a 2 yr contract from select mobile carriers and some "phablets," like Samsung Galaxy Notes and Sony Xperias, are expected to be advertised at their lowest price ever, especially when factoring in FatWallet cash back.

Deals under $20: Don’t under estimate loss-leader bargains as they are what make Black Friday the best time of year to save the most money. Expect a record selection of deals under $20 (12,000+), half of those under $10 and hundreds of "buy one, get one" style of offers from big-box stores.

Bundles and Sales: Bundled product deals, whether including extra accessories, software, games, gift cards, store rewards, etc., will be plentiful and some of the best values of the holiday season. Niche apparel brands like Diesel, Kate Spade, Jos A Bank and Columbia will keep making big strides to pull in holiday shoppers with generous, timely online discounting needed to compete with Macy’s $10 off all $25 purchases and Kohl’s expected 30% off site-wide with additional $15-$20 Kohl’s cash

"Many major retailers will showcase more than 1,000 Black Friday deals each with aggressive pricing, and price matching," states Brent Shelton, FatWallet Shopping Expert. "Apple and Samsung will garner a lot of the holiday product buzz, but each year there are great discounts offered from newer brands looking to catch the eyes of Black Friday shoppers.”


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Ikea standardizes POS infrastructure

BY Dan Berthiaume

Leiden, Netherlands – Ikea is deploying a standardized, comprehensive and internationally deployed POS software platform from Wincor-Nixdorf. During the next two years, Ikea will install nearly 12,000 POS terminals at 300 stores in 25 countries using Wincor Nixdorf’s TP Application Suite and TP.net software.

The recently signed six-year contract covers the installation and operation of POS systems and associated peripherals. It includes the operation and further development of Wincor Nixdorf’s POS software TP.net, which controls all checkout transactions in each Ikea store and consolidates all data across the retail group. Another component of the agreement is to provide services that ensure operation of all POS solutions.

“For Ikea, having a complete solution provided by a single source, Wincor Nixdorf, means not only less coordination in equipping our stores worldwide but also significantly lower rollout and operational costs,” said Paolo Cinelli, CIO of Ikea Group.

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Paper Store leverages on-demand enterprise solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Acton, Mass. – Regional specialty gift retailer The Paper Store is leveraging the Epicor Retail SaaS solution, a hosted enterprise software suite that includes Epicor Retail Store, CRM, Merchandising, Sales Audit, and Loss Prevention applications.

Benefits The Paper Store has received from switching management of these functions to an on-demand, hosted enterprise solution include enhanced customer engagement and streamlined POS transactions, more precise and cost-effective inventory management, improved associate productivity and efficiency, ability to respond faster and more effectively to operational demands, and reduced IT infrastructure, staff, and associated costs.

“If we didn’t have Epicor we probably wouldn’t be in business,” said Tom Anderson, CEO of The Paper Store. “It’s not only saved our business but has given us the ability to grow. Every day we employ it more and more.”

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