Ikea looks to open its first store in Tennessee
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – Ikea hasa proposed plans for a possible store in the city of Memphis, Tennessee that could increase the Swedish retailer’s presence in the Southeastern United States as its first store in the state.
The potential store could open as early as fall 2016 and is contingent upon receiving all governmental approvals.
Proposed for a location in the Wolfchase corridor, 15 miles east of downtown Memphis, the 269,000-sq.-ft. possible Ikea store and more than 1,000 parking spaces could be built on 35 acres along the southwestern side of Interstate-40 near Germantown Parkway exit. The retailer also would evaluate potential on-site power generation to complement its current renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.
“We are excited at the possibility of growing our southeastern U.S. presence with a potential Memphis store,” said Ikea U.S. CFO Rob Olson. “This proposed location in such a vibrant retail corridor could provide our already 37,000 Memphis-area customers their own store and introduce the unique Ikea shopping experience to other consumers throughout western Tennessee, northeastern Arkansas, Northwestern Mississippi, and beyond.”
In addition to the more than 500 jobs that could be created during the construction phase, approximately 225 coworkers could join the IKEA family as a result of opening the potential store. An IKEA Memphis store also could provide significant annual sales tax revenue for local governments and schools.
TechBytes: Two Pros and Three Cons of TGI Friday’s ‘Mobile Mistletoe’ Promotion
TGI Fridays has been getting a lot of attention for its holiday “Mobile Mistletoe” promotion, and not all of it has been for the right reasons. While Mobile Mistletoe is a great concept in omnichannel marketing and customer engagement, some flaws in the actual execution suggest TGI Fridays should have spent more time refining it before launch.
Basically, a remote control drone hovers over the heads of seated couples and awards them gift cards if they kiss. Customers can also win prizes by posting photos of themselves kissing under the mistletoe with the hashtag #happyfridayholiday. The promotion offers some interesting lessons, so let’s review two pros and three cons of Mobile Mistletoe:
Pro #1 – Innovative Disruption
TGI Friday’s “Mobile Mistletoe” drone program is exactly the kind of disruptive, outside-the-box omnichannel promotion that can attract and delight even the most cyber-jaded of consumers. In all the discussion of how drones will disrupt retail, their utility as a marketing tool never got any significant mention. “Mobile Mistletoe” takes the proven customer engagement tool of public kissing (check out the response to the “Kiss Cam” at any NBA game if you doubt its appeal) and gives it an unexpected technological spin. This might be the best pure concept TGI Fridays has had since (allegedly) inventing the singles bar.
Pro #2 – Social Engagement
TGI Fridays was smart enough to realize that in today’s omnichannel retail environment, limiting a promotion to customers in physical stores is simply not an option. While posting a photo of a smooch under the mistletoe is less novel than kissing under a drone, it still significantly extends the reach and potential return of Mobile Mistletoe.
Con #1 – Safety
A local newspaper journalist doing a feature story on the promotion in a Brooklyn TGI Fridays location reportedly suffered lacerations to her nose and chin when the propeller blades of an errant drone struck her face. A remote control object that has to navigate the tight spaces of a casual dining restaurant poses enough safety concerns without adding the potential danger of spinning blades.
Perhaps automated robots, which have the capability to navigate themselves through crowds and do not usually have sharp spinning attachments, would have been a better choice as a delivery mechanism for the promotion.
Con #2 – Customer Comfort
Putting possible safety risks aside, hovering objects with whirling blades may pose a nuisance to customers who simply came to enjoy a relaxing meal. A drone by its very nature is distracting and may prove especially bothersome to diners seated next to the happy couple chosen to receive a reward for kissing. Again, the concept is great, but the delivery of the promotion was not fully thought out.
Con #3 – Lack of Contingency Planning
TGI Fridays was venturing into the great unknown with its drone-based marketing program, and should have done some contingency planning in case things went awry. However, the company’s response to the Brooklyn injury incident was to simply issue a public statement saying customers are not allowed to touch the drones and it didn’t expect people to stop visiting TGI Fridays as a result.
Frankly, one injury is too many, especially considering that another could occur and be far more serious. TGI Fridays should have created a backup plan, such as having employees with mobile devices replace drones in the event of malfunction, or even just making the remainder of the promotion social-only. Nothing beats a great concept, except great execution.
Payments startup Adyen valued at $1.5B
Fast-growing payments startup Adyen has secured $250 million from investors who have valued the Amsterdam-based startup at $1.5 billion.
Adyen serves as a middleman for Facebook, Spotify, Airbnb and other merchants, enabling them to accept Visa, MasterCard and soon bitcoin in nearly 200 currencies worldwide.
The eight-year-old company allows merchants to accept payments on the Web, mobile and more recently at individual points of sale.
“In a world where consumers from different regions vary in how they prefer to pay for their goods and services, the leading online merchants depend on Adyen to power global commerce,” said Pieter van der Does, CEO of Adyen. “We are proud to be the preferred partner to work with global businesses, and we are seeing a surge in demand across retail, travel, gaming, advertising, transportation and social media. Adyen has built a 21st century payment platform that is far ahead of the competition.”
With global expansion as a key growth driver for companies around the world, the global e-commerce market is expected to grow from $1.5 trillion today to $2.4 trillion in 2018. Yet, historically, most payments have been processed using legacy platforms on dated infrastructure, not optimized for today’s commerce needs.Adyen has designed and built a global, omnichannel (online, mobile and in-store) platform that the company says solves this problem.
Adyen is the partner of choice for more than 3,500 marquee customers globally, including four of the five largest U.S. Internet companies:
Facebook works with Adyen to process global transactions for its games and ads activities in 137 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Spotify partners with Adyen to enable subscription purchases in 58 countries and 22 different currencies.
Airbnb relies on Adyen to allow global hosts and guests to use local payment methods such as Alipay in China.
Among the new generation of payment platforms, Adyen is unique in allowing merchants to accept payments from nearly every country in the world and in 187 currencies. The company manages transactions end-to-end through direct connections with all major credit card companies, and it accepts more than 250 payment methods, including Apple Pay, Alipay in China, Boletos in Brazil, Qiwi in Russia, SEPA Direct Debit in Europe and Konbini in Japan.
Additionally, thanks to its omnichannel platform, Adyen has the ability to process payments made online, in-store or on mobile devices. This enables retailers to deliver compelling shopping experiences, whether through express checkout, home delivery of in-store purchases or in-store returns of online purchases.
“Adyen is at the forefront of a rapidly globalizing payments market with tremendous growth potential,” said Jonathan Korngold, managing director and global head of General Atlantic’s Financial Services Sector. “In addition to exponential growth in e-commerce, we are also seeing a rise in consumer demand for integrated experiences across in-store and online shopping. Considering the inherent opportunities in both of these trends, we believe that Adyen is well-positioned to extend its position as the leading global payments solution in the years to come.”
Headquartered in Amsterdam and San Francisco, with offices across North America, South America, Europe and Asia, Adyen serves more than 3,500 businesses and four of the five largest U.S. Internet companies, including well-known brands such as Facebook, Airbnb, Spotify, Groupon, Evernote, Booking.com, Viagogo, Yelp, Vodafone, Mango, O’Neill, SoundCloud, Indiegogo, KLM and JustFab.