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Finish Line puts merchandising chief in dual role as president

BY CSA STAFF

Indianapolis Finish Line said Tuesday it named chief merchandising officer Samuel M. Sato to the additional role of president of the athletic goods retailer.

Sato has been with the company since 2007, coming from a 22-year career with Nordstrom.

In his new position, Sato will add responsibility for Finish Line’s online business to his merchandising and marketing duties. Don Courtney, who has led the online division since August 2009, will continue to serve as its president.

The company said president and COO Steve Schneider will continue in his current roles, overseeing store operations, real estate and information systems.

“As I take on the role of chairman in addition to my duties as CEO, I’ll focus on our company’s long-term growth, while Steve and Sam will work together at the helm of our day-to-day operations, driving our business and focusing on the continued evolution of our premium brand,” said CEO Glenn Lyon.

The company also named Steven Schreibman as VP and chief marketing officer, responsible for leading all branding and marketing initiatives.

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Polo Ralph Lauren to sponsor interactive clinic with Venus Williams

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Polo Ralph Lauren announced that it is presenting the Legends Clinic with Venus Williams as part of its sponsorship of the U.S. Open.

On Aug. 26, in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Polo Ralph Lauren will offer an interactive tennis clinic with Williams on Randall’s Island in New York. Williams will answer questions, demonstrate technique and offer hints and tips on how to improve your game during this live one-hour interactive clinic, the company reported. The clinic will reach a global audience as it will be streamed live online exclusively at RalphLauren.com and accessible on mobile devices at m.ralphlauren.com/USOpen.

“It is truly exciting to partner with Polo Ralph Lauren in this unique endeavor and to bring my professional expertise and personal experiences to tennis fans around the world,” said Williams.

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Best Buy launches mobile rewards app

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy has announced it plans to bring a location-based retail experiment, using the “shopkick” mobile application rewards system, to 257 U.S. stores by Oct. 1.

Beginning Aug. 17, shoppers can download the free shopkick application to their smart phone. Customers who have the app open when they enter a participating Best Buy store with shopkick signal technology installed will receive instant rewards, or “kickbucks,” that can be redeemed in the store or converted into Best Buy certificates through a user’s shopkick account.

 

Additionally, Best Buy said it has integrated shopkick directly into its point of sale system to streamline the redemption of special in-store offers and/or added bonuses for scanning barcodes of specific products, all of which will be sent to the user’s phone. Customers may walk up to the cashier, provide the mobile phone number connected to their shopkick account, and any applicable personalized discounts immediately appear on their receipt.

“We think consumers have more opportunities than ever to bridge their digital and physical shopping experiences, particularly through smart phones and mobile technology,” said Matthew Smith, VP marketing services, Best Buy. “We intend to explore ways we can use the power of location-based technology to personalize a Best Buy shopping experience, from check-in to check-out, with rewards and offers delivered right on a customer’s smart phone.”

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