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The Finish Line accelerates omnichannel commerce with Demandware

BY Staff Writer

Burlington, Mass. — Demandware announced that The Finish Line has launched new e-commerce and mobile commerce sites on the Demandware Commerce platform. The initiative is part of the retailer’s strategic move to a cloud-based digital commerce solution to power its omnichannel strategy. The company will also use Demandware to power Run.com, a specialty brand that focuses on all things running.

The Finish Line’s aggressive omnichannel growth initiatives drove its decision to move away from legacy in-house managed software to Demandware’s flexible and scalable cloud-based solution. With Demandware, Finish Line has a customizable digital commerce platform that enables users to execute highly branded, personalized and consistent consumer experiences across channels. Dermandware’s cloud model eliminates the burden of infrastructure management and provides merchants and marketers with complete control over the user experience and site functionality, empowering them to drive innovation and growth, and accelerate time-to-market.

“Our goal is to transform our business, not just maintain it. We want to drive innovation and propel the business. Demandware reduces operational complexity and puts the power in the hands of our users to create world-class brand experiences. It provides customers a better and faster online experience, rather than having technology get in the way,” said Chris Ladd, executive VP and chief digital officer for Finish Line, which operates more than 640 stores.

The new finishline.com features a new design and enhanced user experience, including:

  • The ability to buy online and pick up at a Finish Line store location;
  • Real-time product inventory information provides accurate availability updates;
  • A mobile shopping site that leverages Responsive Web Design to optimally display on devices;
  • Seamless integration of Finish Line’s Winner’s Circle loyalty program into the shopping cart lets consumers view their points balance at checkout;
  • Enhanced brand landing pages showcase brand-specific content, such as products, offers, promotions, videos and blog posts;
  • Streamlined navigation and search functionality helps consumers locate products more quickly and efficiently; and
  • Flash sales provide exclusive access to new, high-demand merchandise.
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Fancy footwork in the shoe department

BY CSA STAFF

The footwear category is one fire judging from the recent performance of two leading retailers.

Brown Shoe Co., operator of 1,300 Famous Footwear and Naturalizer stores, said its same store sales for the quarter ended October 27 increased 6.8% and adjusted earnings increased 18.3% to $25.9 million or 51 cents a share.

Rival DSW, operator of 364 stores, said its same stores sales for the third quarter ended October 27 increased 6.1% and adjusted net income increased 17% to $46.6 million, or $1.02 per share,.

Brown Shoe president and CEO Diane Sullivan said the company had a solid back-to-school season and favorable business trends were evident throughout the quarter.

"We also saw improvement in sales for both our contemporary fashion and healthy living brand portfolios, as we continued to deliver trend-right products that are must-haves for consumers," Sullivan said.

Accordingly, the company, known for brands such as Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl’s, LifeStride, Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Via Spiga, Vera Wang, Vince, Avia and Ryka, raised it full year profit forecast and said it expects same store sales to grow by low single digits.

Brown Shoe’s performance followed an equally impressive showing by DSW where a string of same store sales increases was extended to 13 quarters.

"During the quarter, we opened a record 26 new stores," MacDonald said. "We also paid a special dividend of $2.00 per share to DSW shareholders this quarter, the second such dividend in the last 13 months. Finally, we continued to make strategic investments that will enable DSW to maintain its growth trajectory."

DSW said it expects to open 25 to 30 new stores next year.

Meanwhile, one of the most noteworthy developments in the footwear category involved Macy’s and its flagship Herald Square location in Manhattan. The company last week unveiled what it called the "world’s largest shoe floor," featuring more than 250,000 pairs of women’s shoes on the stores 63,000-sq.-ft. second level.

 

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M&M’s makes gift giving even more personal

BY CSA STAFF

MT. ARLINGTON, N.J. — Looking to capitalize on the trend of personalization in time for the holiday season, M&M’s is offering customers who personalize their M&M’s new packaging options and product formats that they can order online.

Customers can go to Mymms.com, and get creative with their personalized chocolate gift-giving by choosing from iconic "m" acrylic containers, re-sealable stand-up bags with keepsake scoops, holiday stockings, teddy bear gift sets and an upscale gift box with a magnetic closure.

"Our new packaging better complements the tremendous thought and creativity that people put into personalizing their M&M’S," said Dan Michael, director of R&D, Mars Retail Group, which operates the MyM&M’S business. "With these new packaging and gift sets, people will have an even more memorable experience when they open and enjoy their personalized chocolate M&M’S."

Customers can customize M&M’S online with names, phrases, photographs and clipart to commemorate special events such as weddings, birthdays and the holidays.

MyM&M’S has been selling personalized M&M’S online since 2005, featuring custom printing messages, logos, FACES and clipart images on 20 printable colors. The company also offers custom licensed blends from the MLB, NFL, NBA and Disney.

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