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Hurricane Ike Won’t Stop J.C. Penney Openings

BY CSA STAFF

Plano, Texas J.C. Penney Co. announced it will open two new stores in the Houston market as planned on Oct. 3. The stores, at Teas Crossing in Conroe and Victory Lakes Town Center in League City, were located in the path of Hurricane Ike.

“Despite the effects of Hurricane Ike, we are proud to say we are opening as planned,” said Steven Steele, J.C. Penney district manager. “With these two stores, we will have opened nine new stores in the greater Houston area since 2005.”

The Conroe store will be the first Texas location to reflect J. C. Penney’s newest store-exterior prototype that is characterized by a sleeker, modern design.

Both of the new stores will feature in-store Sephora boutiques, comprising approximately 1,500 sq. ft. Additionally, both stores will have an updated layout that includes wider aisles and centralized customer-service outlets.

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Now playing in Aisle 3: ‘Register to Vote’

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, ARK. —As Wal-Mart prepares to rollout an aggressive advertiser-driven in-store media network, it is using its current in-store TV system to promote what is arguably a more noble cause than product promotion—namely, a get-out-the-vote campaign.

As part of the retailer’s efforts to engage both customers and associates, Wal-Mart will begin a non-partisan voter registration campaign next week with public service announcements on its in-store television network. The program is designed to encourage 136 million weekly customers, as well as 1.4 million U.S. associates, to register and vote in the November elections. The campaign will include two, 15-second PSAs, which will run through Election Day.

In the same vein, the company has begun hosting a voter registration portal on its corporate Web site, www.WalmartStores.com/Vote , and will put up posters with voter registration information at nearly 600 of its domestic Sam’s Club locations.

“Pollsters have found that our core shoppers—Walmart women—are an influential demographic in the upcoming presidential election,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s evp of corporate affairs and government relations. “Our voter registration campaign is designed to encourage millions of customers and associates to register and cast their votes.”

Click here for coverage of Wal-Mart’s Smart Network.

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Trend Tracker: Framing the environment

BY CSA STAFF

Burnes is launching a line of photo frames made from sustainable materials. A percentage of sales from the line will be donated to Save the Earth.

The line’s reclaimed, “idle wood” frames—material recovered from old bridges, warehouses, factories and shipping pallets—include marks of wear to provide an authentically distressed look. They come in natural and walnut finishes and two crackled styles, chocolate/cream and grass green (pictured). The line’s plastic frames, which come in gold and bronze metallic finishes, are made from recycled materials that would have otherwise gone to landfills, Burnes stated.

Frames range in size from 4-inch by 6-inch to 8-inch by 10-inch and in MSRP from $8 to $25.

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