REAL ESTATE

Five Below to enter Houston with eight stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Houston — Extreme-value teen retailer Five Below will make its Houston debut on June 6, opening eight stores in and around the city.

The company currently has 15 stores in the Dallas and Austin markets. Last year, the Philadelphia-based retailer opened 60 new stores, and has plans to open approximately 60 stores this year. With the Houston openings, there will be 338 Five Below stores in 20 states throughout the country.

"We all know that you have to go big in Texas, and that’s what we’re doing by opening eight new stores in one day in Houston," said Thomas Vellios, CEO and co-founder of Five Below. “We’ve had tremendous success in our other Texas stores, and we expect Houston to get hooked on Five Below, as well."

Founded in 2002, Five Below has expanded rapidly over the past few years. In March, the company entered Nashville with three new stores and followed it up with two additional stores in Tennessee.

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REAL ESTATE

Hershey’s Las Vegas flagship offers immersive retail experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Las Vegas — The Hershey Company has opened a retail flagship, Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The store, which occupies two floors and has an eye-catching 74-ft. high Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar that visitors can walk through, is designed to provide shoppers with an experiential concept that immerses them in more than 800 candy and chocolate offerings.

“Las Vegas is one of the country’s top tourist destinations and the perfect place to bring one of America’s most iconic brands to life,” said Mike Wege, senior VP chief growth & marketing officer, The Hershey Company. “Visiting Hershey’s Chocolate World, our guests will enjoy an interactive space where they can taste new treats, personalize sweet gifts and create keepsake photos.”

The 13,000-sq.-ft. store features custom chocolate sculptures of the Statue of Liberty, made of almost 800 lbs. of pure Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, and the Empire State Building, made of 1,800 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars.

Visitors can customize candy wrappers, choose their favorite Hershey Kisses and Jolly Ranchers flavors, and select their favorite Reese’s products, based on their personal preference for more chocolate or peanut butter.

In addition, guests can share their experience with friends and family via social media, including video of them starring in their own Reese’s TV ad.

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News

eBay Enterprise ramps up adoption of omnichannel commerce tech

BY CSA STAFF

eBay Enterprise, an eBay company, plans to increase adoption of omnichannel commerce technologies globally after securing 451 clients and 862 extension and renewals in the first half of 2014.

Leading brands that turned to eBay Enterprise to power their retail growth include Alex and Ani, BOXPARK, Destination XL, Karmaloop, MailPix and StubHub.

Current clients have also added new services to enhance the consumer experience.

“We have been using eBay Enterprise Dropship for four years and have seen great success with the solution in terms of expanding our dropship partner network, maintaining visibility to inventory, and eliminating manual processes. In January, we launched Ship-from-Store to leverage in-store inventory for online sales. As a result, we can minimize out-of-stock situations and sell down merchandise prior to markdowns. Both solutions have helped us improve our customer’s shopping experience by allowing us to offer more style, size and color assortments regardless of where the inventory is located,” stated Chris Shortall, VP of customer service at Destination XL.

“We are leading local commerce with close to 4,000 stores enabled with store-based fulfillment globally,” said Tobias Hartmann, interim president of eBay Enterprise. “We continue to help merchants compete in a global marketplace having recently launched our ship-from-store solution for a leading retailer in North America, Europe, and China, which is an industry first.”

In January, the company announced the ability to implement ship-from-store technologies for retailers in 99 days and offer clients who have implemented this solution with additional freight discounts of up to 50% off published rates. In March, the company expanded operations in Canada with a new fulfillment center.

In May, it announced the availability of two new extensions for Magento merchants available in the Magento Connect Marketplace: the eBay Enterprise Display Extension, enabling retailers to deliver personalized product-specific ads to retarget lost customers; and the eBay Enterprise Affiliate Extension, offering best-in-class reporting tools to analyze, track and launch affiliate programs and easy integration with eBay Enterprise’s network of more than 200,000 affiliates.

Magento Enterprise 1.14 and Community Edition 1.9 were launched in May, drastically reducing the barrier for merchants to get a tablet and smart phone friendly responsive site. The new editions also integrate Bill Me Later and PayPal Express Checkout empowering merchants to further streamline checkout. Initial customers on the Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 include Shop3M and Hallhuber.

“Our strategy of enabling commerce innovation for fast-growing companies through our eBay Enterprise and Magento solutions is clearly proving successful with initial synergies between Magento customers and our marketing solutions,” said Hartmann. Clients leveraging both include Munchkin, Rebecca Minkoff and Alex and Ani.

eBay Enterprise will be showcasing its commerce technologies at Booth #829 at the 2014 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition from June 10-13, 2014 in Chicago, Ill. eBay CEO John Donahoe will be presenting a keynote session titled “Connected Commerce: The New Opportunity for Retailers in an Evolving Retail Environment” Wednesday, June 11, from 8:30–9 a.m. CT.

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