OPERATIONS

Gerald Storch, former Toys ‘R’ Us chief, named chairman of Supervalu

BY Staff Writer

Minneapolis — Supervalu Inc. said that it has named Gerald Storch, who served as CEO of Toys “R” Us from 2006 to 2013, as board chairman.

The supermarket company said Storch will replace Robert Miller, who is resigning as chairman in March to focus on “other demands.” Miller, then president and CEO of Albertsons, was named chairman last March after Supervalu completed the sale of five of its grocery chains.

Storch is chairman and CEO of consulting firm Storch Advisors, which focuses on retail, consumer products and services.

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OPERATIONS

SAP launches new retail mobile apps

BY Staff Writer

New York — SAP AG announced the launch of SAP Shopper Experience a personalized and engaging retail mobile app that transforms the entire consumer shopping experience with social media sharing, loyalty programs and a self-payment system for shoppers.

SAP also released the latest version of the SAP Retail Store Ops Associate mobile app, which allows store associates to execute core merchandising, inventory and customer service functions directly from the shop floor without leaving a consumer’s side.

With SAP Shopper Experience, retailers can offer consumers the ability to create collaborative shopping lists, redeem unique offers specific to a particular store and manage loyalty accounts. For consumers, the app enables shoppers to self-scan merchandise and pay, as well as share offers with friends on Facebook — all from their mobile device while shopping in the store.

The app is customizable to a retailer’s unique brand identity. After linking a loyalty account, consumers are immediately recognized and can review points, status levels and upcoming rewards. They can plan and easily collaborate with family members on shopping lists and locate the nearest store. Once they check into the store, shoppers receive personalized, local offers that they can share with friends. While shopping, consumers can scan items to research product details and add items to their mobile shopping cart. Consumers can also instantly transfer their cart to the point-of-sale and avoid the check-out line by paying directly from their mobile device.

To further enhance the in-store experience, SAP also released the latest version of SAP Retail Ops Associate. New updates include the ability to order products, perform in-store markdowns, make inventory corrections and transfers, post receiving from vendors and distribution centers and provide access to product history and information. Store associates can manage consumer requests with a few swipes, helping to boost sales, enhance consumer loyalty and optimize inventory accuracy and replenishment. SAP Retail Ops Associate is currently available on iOS devices.

“Now more than ever it’s essential for us to provide our customers with the best in-store experience,” said Peter Bucher, head of IT for Retail Stores for Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer. “To do so, we’ve armed some of our employees with SAP Retail Store Ops Associate, an intuitive, easy-to-use app that lets them access vital and up-to-date product, availability and pricing information instantaneously from the store floor.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: GE Capital to enter loyalty program business

BY Staff Writer

New York — GE Capital and Kobie Marketing, a loyalty program service provider, will unveil a new product to help retailers establish and maintain loyalty programs that will create a unified profile for shoppers, according to a report by the New York Times.

The new product, expected to be announced this week, is reportedly called Integrated Multi-Tender Loyalty. With the new product, customers can sign up for a credit card that feeds into the program so retailers can devise reward programs. This means that shoppers can be monitored across any platform they may use, such as an app or Facebook, and their purchases can be integrated into their profile.

According to the report, GE Capital already works with 175,000 retailers on branded credit cards and views loyalty programs as a high growth area.

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