OPERATIONS

Ikea gives workers a free bike

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Ikea US sent a holiday ‘thank you’ to each of its 12,400 associates with a free bike, the retailer said Tuesday.

The gifts were part of Ikea’s “strong commitment to good health and being environmentally conscious,” while rewarding employees for a good year, the company said.

“It’s been a good year for Ikea, so what better way to celebrate our success than to thank our Ikea co-workers who made this happen,” said Mike Ward, president of Ikea US, the Swedish company’s U.S. subsidiary.

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FINANCE

Survey: Smartphone use for commerce to grow

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Nearly half of U.S. smartphone users say they have already, or soon will, use their phones to do mobile shopping, according to a recent survey conducted by ABI Research, and 53% also use, or intend to use, their smartphones for mobile banking.

“These are very exciting findings for merchants and service providers promoting mobile commerce,” says senior analyst Mark Beccue. “We see mobile commerce in the U.S. finally starting to achieve a mass-market appeal. It’s not just smartphone owners: non-smartphone mobile users’ interest in mobile banking and commerce services, while lower than that among smartphone owners, is also on the rise, with 17% of non-smartphone users surveyed using or intending to use mobile banking services.”

Click here for more on the research, “Consumer Technology Barometer: Mobile (Q3 2010).

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REAL ESTATE

Callison partners with Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters for international expansion

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle — Callison has teamed with parent companies Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters to internationally expand the Hollister Co./Gilly Hicks and Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie brands, respectively.

Abercrombie & Fitch has retained Callison as its architect of record to implement its expansion for Hollister in the United Kingdom and Germany. A total of five stores have opened under Callison’s direction with approximately 10 more locations planned.

Execution of the first international Gilly Hicks intimates store is well underway in London and is expected to be completed before year-end 2010.

Callison is also the architect of record for Urban Outfitters’ expansion of the Urban Outfitters brand and is working on store locations in Brighton, U.K., and Berlin, Germany.

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