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Garden Ridge to rebrand stores to At Home

BY Marianne Wilson

Plano, Texas — Garden Ridge announced that it is investing $20 million to rebrand all of its stores to the At Home brand.

"Our new name, At Home, better reflects our company’s home décor heritage, as well as our aspirations for the future. By aligning our in-store transformation and merchandise offerings, the new brand best positions us to succeed as we move forward with our expansion strategy," said CEO Lee Bird.

Along with the new name and branding, the stores have been redesigned to enhance the self-help shopping experience, making it easier for customers to find exactly what they need and make themselves feel “At Home.” The newly redecorated stores have been redesigned to provide a welcoming atmosphere with easy-to-read signage that takes the customer on a journey through the space, guiding them to the various departments and down the aisles for specific items they are seeking.

New in-store merchandising vignettes offer design ideas for every room in the house and the outdoor entertaining area. The displays are changed out seasonally to remain relevant and on-trend, offering design inspiration for how products can be put together and displayed in customers’ homes.

The rebranding and refreshing initiative in all locations is expected to be complete by the holiday shopping season. The company currently operates 71 stores across 21 states with plans to open 13 net new stores in 2014.

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Report: Michaels seeking up to $528 million in IPO

BY Staff Writer

New York — Michaels Cos. seeking as much as $528 million in its U.S. initial public offering, Bloomberg reported. The arts and crafts retailer is offering 27.8 million shares at $17 to $19 each, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

The IPO is being managed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Michaels was taken private in 2006 by Bain Capital and Blackstone Group in a $6 billion leveraged buyout. Each firm will own 40% of the company after the offering, the report said.

Michaels operates 1,263 stores in the U.S. and recorded $4.6 billion in sales in fiscal 2013.

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7-Eleven in Australia taps Wipro

BY Staff Writer

Sydney, Australia — Wipro Ltd. announced that it has won a “transformational IT applications and infrastructure engagement” from 7-Eleven in Australia.

The solution is aimed at paving the way for a company-wide retail process re-engineering at 7-Eleven to enable it to launch new merchandise categories, improve the efficiency of existing merchandise categories, initiate real-time targeted promotions, and easily on-board new processes during mergers and acquisitions. All of these will result in an enhanced experience for the customers of 7-Eleven in Australia, Wipro said.

The integrated engagement includes the upgrade, migration and consolidation of 7-Eleven’s IT applications and infrastructure, which will help improve speed and agility of its go-to-market initiatives. Wipro will implement SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA for this project, making this one of the first implementations of the SAP for retail solution portfolio on the SAP HANA platform across Asia Pacific & Japan.

The aim of this project is to improve business functionality at 7-Eleven through the deployment of a consolidated, real-time transactional and reporting infrastructure. Powered by the cutting-edge SAP HANA platform, it will also set the foundation for predictive customer analytics, to forecast and manage the retailer’s future business requirements.

Michael Peck, CIO for 7-Eleven, said: “Wipro has been a strategic technology partner to 7-Eleven since November 2012, and is working with 7-Eleven to deliver a number of transformational technology projects. One of these projects is the implementation of new infrastructure so we can flex our development environments on demand to support multiple business initiatives. In addition, we are upgrading our current IT environment to run the latest versions of SAP software, including implementing SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. We are pleased to be working with Wipro on this project, which we anticipate will deliver positive outcomes for our franchisees and customers."

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