OPERATIONS

J.C. Penney to celebrate Black Friday with its ‘only sale’ of the year

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — J.C. Penney announced it will celebrate Black Friday with its only sale of the year. The retailer said more than 1,100 J.C. Penney stores will open their doors at 6 a.m. on Black Friday to offer low prices on gifts for the entire family — with no coupons or rebates required. Associates throughout the store will be equipped with mobile checkout devices.

“Black Friday is America’s greatest shopping tradition and we’re celebrating the occasion with our only sale of the year,” said Ron Johnson, CEO. “It’s our way of kicking off the holiday season and saying, ‘Merry Christmas, America!’”

Throughout the holiday season, J.C. Penney associates will hand out more than 80 million buttons to customers at J.C. Penney stores — no purchase required. Each collectible button features one of 50 classic designs and whimsical expressions reflecting wonderful holiday traditions. A unique code on the back can be entered online at jcp.com/christmas for a one in four chance of winning a gift.

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OPERATIONS

Woolworths extends agreement with Retalix

BY Staff Writer

Ra’Anana, Israel — Woolworths Limited, Australia’s leading retail group, has signed a five-year system integration (SI) services agreement with Retalix Ltd.

Under the agreement, Retalix will provide Level 2 and Level 3 support for more than 3,000 Woolworths locations and 25,000 point-of-sale terminals, serving more than 24 million customers every week across Australia and New Zealand.

Retalix will also provide IT installation at new stores and manage ongoing system configuration for all stores. The Retalix SI services team will include a group of dedicated retail IT experts from Retalix in Australia and other Retalix locations, which will allow for "follow the sun" operations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"We are pleased to extend our relationship with Retalix due to our long partnership and their depth of knowledge of the retail industry. This expertise extends beyond technical systems to include a clear appreciation of retail culture, which makes a real difference to our business," said Chris Stanley, head of customer technologies across the Woolworths group.

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OPERATIONS

Target to start Black Friday sale a day early

BY Staff Writer

New York — Target plans to open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to kick of its Black Friday promotional efforts and will follow up with additional deals that become available at 4 a.m.

The company is also rewarding its REDcard holders by allowing them early access to select Black Friday sale items at Target.com.

"We heard from our guests that they look forward to kicking off their holiday shopping with deal-hunting on Thanksgiving night. Opening at 9 p.m. gives Target’s Black Friday guests a more convenient way to create an after-dinner shopping event that the entire family can enjoy," said Kathee Tesija, Target’s EVP merchandising. "Guests can shop with confidence throughout the entire holiday weekend knowing that Target offers incredible value on items for decorating, entertaining and gift giving."

Target is among a growing group of retailers who in recent years have moved forward Black Friday opening times to the point where it became inevitable stores would open on Thanksgiving Day. Walmart stores begin offering Black Friday deals at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and like Target, attributed the decision to customer demand.

The other major structural change that has taken place around Black Friday is the early release of deals. Once tightly guarded, the digital era changed everything when several years ago deals began to leak out. Now, retailers take the proactive approach and simply pre-announce their special offers.

In Target’s case, some of the offers include a Apex brand 32 inch LCD TV for $147, a Nikon L310 digital camera for $99, a Nook Simple Touch e-reader for $49 and Beats headphones for $179.

Under the guise of "bonus doorbusters," Target has promotional pricing on other key items that kicks in at 4 a.m. and a special gift card incentive. Items offered at 4 a.m. include a Samsung 50-inch 1080p LED HDTV for $699, a Canon A3400 Camera bundle for $89 and Leapfrog Explorer Software for $15.

From 4 a.m. on Nov. 23, until noon, those who spend $50 or more on apparel, accessories or home products will received a $10 Target gift card.

For those shoppers who want an even earlier head start, Target is making 20 promotional items available on it website beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 21, but only to those who hold one of the company’s REDcards.

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