OPERATIONS

Gift cards going mobile

BY Staff Writer

Boston –Survey results released Tuesday by Shop.org showed that almost half of all retailers plan to offer eGifting this holiday season and 44% are looking at location-based deals as a key element of their mobile marketing strategies.

The survey, sponsored by CashStar and conducted in September at the annual Shop.org Retail Summit in Boston, found a growing concern among retailers about the lack of personalization of gift cards.

Of those retailers surveyed, 72% planned to increase their mobile marketing spend this year, with 6% planning to increase it significantly. Only 2% of survey respondents planned to decrease their mobile marketing spend.

When it comes to mobile marketing, mobile coupons were the most popular offering (64%) followed by location-based deals (44%).

Retailers are planning to promote to the last minute, as 42% of those surveyed plan to stop holiday promotions on the last day consumers can ship an item and have it arrive in time for Christmas, but 32% percent plan to continue their promotions to Christmas Eve.

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MinuteClinic opens walk-in medical clinics in CVS toward 500-unit goal

BY Staff Writer

Woonsocket, R.I. –MinuteClinic said Tuesday that it has opened two walk-in medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores in Savannah and Richmond Hill, Ga.

They are the first retail medical clinics to open in the Savannah region and join 31 other MinuteClinic locations in Georgia situated throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The clinics are part of MinuteClinic’s plans to open 100 new clinics nationwide in 2011 and in each of the next four years for a total of 500 new clinics. As part of its national expansion, MinuteClinic also launched clinics in Charleston, S.C. last month.

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Claire’s Stores names head of European business

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago –Claire’s Stores, Inc. said Tuesday that it has named Beatrice Lafon President of the European Division, effective immediately.

In her position as President of Europe, Lafon will lead the continued growth and expansion of the European business, with direct oversight of buying, merchandising and allocation, supply chain, stores, and the overall operations for approximately 1,100 stores across 13 countries.

Lafon will report to Gene Kahn, CEO.

She has served in executive positions at TJ Hughes in the UK, Etam Group in the Netherlands, and Animal Ltd. in the UK, as well as held a variety of retail positions at Woolworths Group.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with Beatrice, in concert with the other members of the European and Global Senior Management Teams, as we continue to focus our efforts to reverse the recent negative performance in Europe and grow the European division to make Claire’s a dominant retailer of fashionable accessories and jewelry at affordable prices in each of our key markets for our targeted customer groups," said Kahn.

Lafon succeeds Kenny Wilson, who served in the position for more than two years.

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