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Game UK teams with IBM toward customer engagement

BY Katherine Boccaccio

London — UK PC and video game retailer Game UK will use IBM’s big data analytics and cloud-based software to optimize its online marketing efforts and provide personalized product recommendations based on each customer’s shopping interests and online behavior.

Game’s drive to upsell and increase loyalty within its customer base is powered by technology from IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative. This latest purchase of marketing automation software extends Game’s existing Smarter Commerce investments.

In addition, Game’s solution is delivered via IBM’s SmartCloud from a set of recently announced Cloud Suite for the C-Suite solutions.

“We are looking for our developmental work on our new digital engagement platform to grow our online share to 30% in channel by the end of the year,” said Andy Grainger, chief technology officer at Game UK.

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Dillard’s maintains momentum in 2Q

BY CSA STAFF

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Strength in ladies accessories and lingerie contributed to a 1% second quarter same store sales increase that helped Dillard’s exceed profit forecasts.

Total merchandise sales, adjusted to exclude CDI, were $1.46 billion — unchanged on a percentage basis for the 13-week period ended August 3 compared to the same period last year. Sales were also strong in juniors and children’s apparel, but weakest in the home and furniture category followed by ladies apparel. Sales trends were strongest in the Central region, followed by the Western and Eastern regions, respectively.

Dillard’s reported net income for period was $36.5 million, or $0.79 per share compared to net income of $31 million, or $0.63 per share, for the prior-year second quarter.

“Following a strong start to the year, we made further progress in the second quarter. Positive comparable store sales and gross margin expansion combined with continued expense control enabled us to report another quarter of year over year improvement at Dillard’s,” said Dillard’s CEO William T. Dillard II.

During the quarter, the company closed its Randolph Mall location in Asheboro, N.C. As of August 3, the company operated 282 Dillard’s locations and 18 clearance centers spanning 29 states and its e-commerce site.

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Coldwater Creek nabs LOFT exec to lead marketing

BY CSA STAFF

Deborah Cavanagh has joined women’s specialty retailer Coldwater Creek as SVP and chief marketing officer after serving in a similar capacity at the LOFT division of Ann Taylor.

Cavanagh will join the company September 16 and lead multi-channel brand marketing and creative services, reporting directly to Coldwater Creek president and CEO Jill Dean. Her appointment follows the release of disappointing first quarter results that saw same store sales at the operator of 347 stores decline 10.5%

"(Cavanagh) brings a tremendous amount of experience building and repositioning brands, as well as driving growth through a multi-channel business platform,” Dean said. “We look forward to the many contributions she will make leading our marketing efforts."

Previously, Cavanagh served as SVP brand marketing at LOFT, where she is credited with successfully repositioning LOFT as a fully differentiated brand from Ann Taylor Loft. Prior to LOFT, Cavanagh was the associate publisher, creative services at Vogue. She also held marketing roles at media brands such as Harper’s Bazaar, Men’s Health, Conde Nast Traveler, and SELF.

"I am excited to join Coldwater Creek and to be part of the revitalization of this brand,” Cavanagh said. “There is a meaningful opportunity to continue to reengage our core customers, and connect with new ones, through strategic and creative marketing campaigns. I look forward to working with the talented team at Coldwater Creek to create compelling and differentiated marketing campaigns to enhance brand awareness and customer loyalty."

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