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Flooring Asset Lifecycle Management

BY CSA STAFF

Executing the installation and managing the ongoing repairs and maintenance of the flooring asset is a challenge for everyone. Meet Matthew Whelan from W Services Group, a leader in executing open store floor installation services, and providing ongoing maintenance programs to support the life of this critical asset.

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Publix toasts 85th year by giving back

BY CSA STAFF

Publix is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year with an annual day of service in which more than 4,000 of its employees will participate in service projects.

Publix employees across the company’s six operating states will be volunteering with more than 125 nonprofits whose focus is on youth, education or the plight of the hungry and homeless.

The Lakeland, Fla.-based chain will give $1,085 to retail districts through its six-state footprint — $1,000 plus $85 to mark the anniversary of the founding of Publix in 1930 by George W. Jenkins. The money will be used to provide supplies for community efforts, or to make donations to food pantries, soup kitchens, backpack programs, beautification efforts and reading libraries just to name a few. See the activity by following the hashtag #PublixServes.

“Publix Serves celebrates our associates and embraces our communities. We’re thrilled to have more than 4,000 associates volunteering today in the communities we serve,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “Community service is ingrained in our culture – it’s who we are. We serve our customers in our stores; we serve each other and our communities in times of need. There is nothing more gratifying than to hear and see the impact our associates make in our communities each and every day.”

The company launched Publix Serves earlier this month as its community program that unites its more than 175,000 associates in community service efforts.

As part of its Publix Serves campaign, the company has been sharing lessons from founder George Jenkins. April’s lesson is Give Back. Jenkins was once asked how much he thought he would be worth if he hadn’t given so much away. He responded, “Probably nothing.” He believed in the importance of giving, and he set the example for being involved in the community. He felt giving back was an investment, a responsibility and a privilege.

Publix operates 1,098 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Consumer Reports recently ranked Publix the No. 2 supermarket chain in the United States.

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New product pipeline filled with crowdsourced creativity

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers who rely on a steady stream of new products from suppliers to drive sales will find a new source of digital inspiration in a product development deal between Mattel and the online collaboration community known as Quirky.

Mattel and Quirky formed a partnership the companies believe will spark invention in toys, play and baby gear by harnessing the power of Quirky’s global community and Mattel’s iconic brands. The arrangement is noteworthy in that it blends an old school toy company with a modern and open approach to product development enabled by the Quirky community.

The companies recently invited everyone to submit new product ideas for toys, games, and family products to Quirky’s online platform to support Mattel’s vision to create deeper consumer connections and reimagine how children play, learn, and grow. Quirky and Mattel will begin developing the new products alongside Quirky’s global community, the first of which may be available for holiday 2015.

“This marks a new era for Mattel,” said Richard Dickson, Mattel’s president and COO. “Leveraging Quirky’s platform allows us to discover new ideas for our toys and unique solutions for our baby products. Just as importantly, this new partnership will enable us to accelerate the speed and scope of invention by tapping into Quirky’s dynamic community. This is an industry about creating and inventing, whether based on a consumer insight or a really fun idea, with the power of our own talented inventors and now Quirky, we are realizing our vision to reimagine Mattel’s core brands and bring truly great unexpected play to families.”

The deal with Mattel is the third for Quirky’s “Powered by Quirky” initiative whereby the company seeks to partner with industry leading companies.

“Few companies inspire creative imagination like Mattel,” said Ben Kaufman, Quirky’s CEO and founder. “Partnering with Mattel gives our community the opportunity to tap into their own childhood memories to dream up entirely new ways to play.”

Already, Quirky has received close to 15,000 toy-related idea submissions from its community and one of those ideas could become Mattel’s next big product. The way it works is Quirky’s in-house team of designers and engineers collaborate with Quirky’s online community on nearly all aspects of development. Anyone in the community can make their mark by submitting a problem-solving idea or weighing in on others'. And when a product is sold, Quirky shares its revenue with every community member that had an impact.

Founded in 2009, Quirky’s products can be found at Home Depot, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Amazon.com.

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