News

Fleur de Mal personalizes mobile web shopping

BY Staff Writer

New York — Fleur du Mal, a recently launched online retailer of women’s specialty apparel, is deploying the Usablenet U-Experience platform and Acadaca e-commerce platform to support a new personalized mobile web shopping experience for its customers. The site is optimized for fast mobile navigation and has dynamic feeds to and direct integration with Instagram and Twitter. In addition, customers can shop via a “mobile pop-up store” that delivers individually targeted content and promotions which can be provided based onfactors such as a consumer’s location.

“Our brand is all about inspiring a very intimate experience, and we sought to create a mobile identity that enables our customer to have a great relationship with the brand,” said Jennifer Zuccarini, founder of Fleur du Mal. “Usablenet enabled us to create a mobile experience we can strategically use to drive engagement on our customers’ most personal device: their mobile phones.”

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart pleads guilty in hazardous waste case; will pay $82 million

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Wal-Mart Stores pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco to improperly handling and disposing of hazardous waste in California and Missouri, and agreed to pay about $82 million in fines. The settlement brings to a close an environmental investigation that lasted some eight years.

In cases filed by federal prosecutors in California, Wal-Mart pleaded guilty to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials. The chain also pleaded guilty in Kansas City, Mo., to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Wal-Mart said its plea agreements with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Northern and Central Districts of California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri and an administrative resolution signed with the Environmental Protection Agency bring an end to compliance issues that took place years ago.

The resolution follows previous civil settlements the company entered into with California in 2010 and Missouri in 2012 that addressed the same facts raised by the federal government in the recent settlement, In total, Wal-Mart will have paid approximately $110 million to resolve all of these related cases, which includes $27.6 million paid to the state of California and more than $1.25 million to the state of Missouri.

In 2006, Wal-Mart put an environmental compliance program into place that it says has helped to rectify such issues.

“Walmart has a comprehensive and industry-leading hazardous waste program,” said Phyllis Harris, senior VP and chief compliance officer, Walmart U.S. “The program was built around training, policies and procedures on how to safely handle consumer products that become hazardous waste, and we continue to run the same program in every store and club that was deployed years ago. We are pleased that this resolves all of these issues raised by the government.”

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FINANCE

DSW Q1 net income drops 13%, but still beats predictions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio — DSW Inc. experienced drops in both net income and same-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Net income declined about 13%, dropping to $34.5 million from $39.9 million in the year-ago period, amid hefty one-time charges. Its results, however, beat analyst expectations.

For the quarter ended May 4, same-store sales declined 2.4%. In one bright spot, sales rose almost 8% to $601.4 million, from $558.6 million.

DSW cited unpredictable swings in weather during the quarter. President and CEO Mike McDonald credited merchandise and supply chain teams with adjustments to merchandise receipts and product flow.

“We were pleased with the strong sales rebound in the final four weeks of the quarter that allowed us to minimize our comparable sales decline and exit the quarter with well positioned inventories,” said MacDonald.

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