OPERATIONS

Hot Topic on hunt for new chief store officer

BY Staff Writer

City of Industry, Calif. — Hot Topic announced that Jerry Cook has resigned as chief store officer, effective February 28, 2013. He is leaving the company to relocate his family to Texas, and will pursue other professional opportunities.

We are thankful to Jerry for his dedicated service to the company over the years, and he will be missed,” said Lisa Harper, chairman and CEO of Hot Topic, Inc. “We wish Jerry and his family much success, and are grateful he has given us plenty of time to identify a successor and ensure a smooth transition.”

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OPERATIONS

Walgreens launches loyalty program with online sweepstakes

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens said that customers can begin online enrollment into its new customer loyalty program, Balance Rewards. Customers who join online before the official program launch on Sept. 16 will have a chance to enter the chain’s 10 Million Point Giveaway sweepstakes.

“We are initially opening enrollment in one of the most important programs in Walgreens history through online and mobile technology as a testament to the company’s legacy of innovation,” said Graham Atkinson, Walgreens senior VP and chief experience officer.

During the online enrollment period, Sept. 6 – Sept. 15, customers who join Balance Rewards will have a chance to enter into the sweepstakes. Customers can earn additional entries into the sweepstakes by referring friends and family to the program.

A key component to the online enrollment period is the release of the new Balance Rewards mobile card as part of the Walgreens mobile app.

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Kronos: More people applying for jobs, getting hired in the retail industry

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chelmsford, Mass. — A report released Thursday by workforce management solution-provider Kronos Inc. found that retail experienced gains in job applications and hiring during the month of August.

The Kronos Retail Labor Index, which characterizes the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector, revealed that the index declined two-tenths to 3.9% in August. (This index is defined as the ratio of hires to applications within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3.0% means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred).

The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 34,776 hires (seasonally adjusted) in August 2012, partially reversing declines over the previous two months. While hiring has improved since the lows reached following the recession, with total hires so far this year of 280,940 up 6.5% from the same period last year, it remains well below levels seen prior to the recession, when firms hired an average of nearly 55,000 workers per month.


The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample rose 8.8% to 881,517 in August 2012 from a level in July that was revised substantially higher, all on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“While this was the second monthly gain in applications, the downward trend appears intact, suggesting less competition for those seeking retail positions than at this time last year,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers, which conducted the survey for Kronos. 
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“Until a strong, sustained recovery in consumer spending emerges, retailers are likely to remain cautious about hiring decisions."
 


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