MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

IBM closes acquisition of Unica

BY CSA STAFF

Armonk, N.Y. IBM announced Wednesday the closing of its acquisition of Unica Corp.

Through Unica, IBM is acquiring enterprise and cloud-based marketing software solutions that help businesses streamline and automate marketing processes, and understand and predict customer preferences. Through both the Unica and Coremetrics acquisitions, IBM will enable its clients to develop more relevant and targeted communications while minimizing marketing expenditures.

“IBM is committed to helping CMOs address the challenges facing marketing organizations today,” said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions Group. “Together, the Unica and Coremetrics acquisitions help deliver the customer insight our clients demand, along with the measurable results they are seeking across sales channels. We will support the web analytics investments Unica and Coremetrics customers have made by delivering industry-leading web analytics capabilities for line-of-business users and analysts both on-premises and in cloud environments.”

Together with IBM’s WebSphere Commerce software, the company’s recent acquisitions of Sterling Commerce, Coremetrics, and now Unica enhance its ability to offer the technologies marketing organizations need to streamline, automate, and optimize mission-critical business processes. These processes include awareness and demand generation, sales process automation, order processing and fulfillment.

With the closing of this acquisition, approximately 500 Unica employees join IBM’s Software Solutions Group.

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Here comes the Modern Bride line at JCPenney

BY CSA STAFF

Here comes the Modern Bride line at JCPenney

PLANO, Texas – JCPenney announced that it is partnering with Conde Nast to launch Modern Bride, a new line of bridal accessories, to expand its bridal offerings.

The fine jewelery line will launch in February 2011 in stores and online with merchandise targeted primarily to the 25 to 34 year-old customer. The line will include an expanded assortment of bridal jewelery including engagement rings and wedding bands.

"This collaboration with the experts at Conde Nast will allow us to take our bridal business to the next level, creating an even more comprehensive and distinct destination for brides," said Myron Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney. "Conde Nast’s deep understanding of the bridal market and valuable direct connection to potential customers make them the ideal partner, allowing JCPenney to cater to brides who will appreciate the Modern Bride name and continue to shop with JCPenney beyond their wedding day."

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NRF anticipates moderate growth for holiday sales

BY CSA STAFF

NRF anticipates moderate growth for holiday sales

WASHINGTON – One of the world’s largest retail trade associations is projecting that holiday sales will increase by a moderate 2.3% to $447.1 billion.

The National Retail Federation said that while growth remains slightly lower than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5%, it would be a marked improvement from both last year’s 0.4% uptick and the dismal 3.9% holiday sales decline retailers experienced in 2008.

“While many consumers will be wishing for apparel and electronics this holiday season, retailers are hoping the holidays bring sustainable economic growth,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Though the retail industry is on stronger footing than last year, companies are closely watching key economic indicators like employment and consumer confidence before getting too optimistic that the recession is behind them.”

NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators, including employment, industrial production, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales reports. NRF defines holiday sales as those made in November and December.

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