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French retailer Auchan inks franchise deal with India’s Max Hypermarket

BY Staff Writer

Dubai, India — A Monday report by Reuters said that French retailer Auchan has entered into a franchise agreement with Max Hypermarket, India.

Max operates 13 hypermarkets in India, which will be rebranded as Auchan stores in early 2013.

The pair said they plan to open 12-15 new stores annually across India. Because Max Hypermarket India Ltd is controlled by retail and hospitality company Landmark Group, which operates hypermarkets under the Max brand only in India and therefore is not restricted under foreign ownership regulations.

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Ikea Canada launches interactive catalog

BY CSA STAFF

BURLINGTON, ON — Ikea Canada has given its 2013 catalog an interactive makeover. When holding a smartphone or tablet over a page, users are able to access films about Ikea products, experience 3D models, look behind closed doors with an x-ray function or change the curtains and get creative. To access the bonus material, users must download the Ikea App to smartphones or tablets.

In addition to the new, interactive features, For the first time, Ikea Canada will be posting a selection of preview pages from the catalog on Pinterest, so that people can find a page and Pin their favourite kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms or living rooms, granting them the opportunity to win Ikea gift cards for Pinning.

"With the 2013 catalog, we have packed in lots of new interactive features, 300 new products and the latest design trends that truly inspire the imagination," says Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, public relations manager for Ikea Canada. "We want our customers to interact with our Catalogue and experience our products in a unique and creative way."

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Whole Food’s idol is raw and unprocessed

BY CSA STAFF

Network television is rife with talent shows, and now Whole Foods has jumped on the bandwagon with a unique brand engagement initiative.

The nation’s leading retailer of natural products on Monday launched public voting for an internal talent competition the company created back in April called “Raw and Unprocessed.” Whole Foods employees were invited to participate in the musical talent competition, and 729 did so before the entrants were whittled down to 10 finalists. Now through the end of the month the public has an opportunity to weigh in on their favorite song at Rawandunprocessed.com.

The winning entry will serve as the opening act for a VH1 artist from the music network’s “You Oughta Know” franchise, which showcases up-and-coming acts at the Napa Valley music festival Live in the Vineyard. The private festival gives attendees access to A-list recording artists, top tier wine makers and world-renowned chefs, according to Whole Foods. Voters in the contest have an opportunity to enter to win a trip for two to the festival.

“Whole Foods Market team members are as creative and gifted as they are diverse, and this competition is a fun new way to highlight their musical talents in a way that might help them fulfill their dreams,” said Sirr Less, the company’s global VP communications. “We were blown away by the talent exhibited by our team members and we appreciate VH1 for providing an outlet to showcase their abilities and help them pursue their passions.”

In addition to the opportunity to play at the Live in the Vineyard festival, the winner will also receive a professionally-produced music video and additional exposure through a concert with a VH1 You Oughta Know artist at the Whole Foods store in Napa in November. The winner will also receive a Creative Music Integration deal with VH1, with the opportunity to have their original music featured within a VH1 show or promotion.

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