OPERATIONS

Jones names group president of global retail development

BY Staff Writer

New York — The Jones Group Inc. announced that it has appointed Scott Bowman to the newly created role of group president of global retail and international development, effective immediately. He will oversee the international strategy and operations of retail and licensing for the company’s portfolio of brands.

Bowman brings more than 30 years of extensive experience in retail and brand management to Jones, including his position as CEO of Scott Bowman Associates, a global brand advisory firm. Prior roles include president of international business development for Polo Ralph Lauren and CEO of Marc Jacobs International.

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OPERATIONS

Duckwall-Alco officially changes names to Alco Stores

BY Staff Writer

Abilene, Kan. — Duckwall-Alco said Thursday it is officially changing its name to Alco Stores, Inc. An amendment at Wednesday’s annual shareholder meeting was approved. The company’s ticker symbol on NASDAQ is now “ALCS.”

The 111-year-old chain has 216 locations in 23 states, mostly in small-town environments. Plans are on tap to open five new stores in fiscal 2013 and eight underperforming stores are slated to be closed.

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Lowe’s teams with Microsoft to improve customer service

BY Staff Writer

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft said Wednesday that Lowe’s Home Improvement is engaging its services to help improve customer service. The retailer will implement Microsoft Office 365 across more than 1,745 stores, 200,000 employees and its corporate offices in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Office 365 will help Lowe’s improve customer service by providing collaboration tools to increase communication among its stores and employees.

"Office 365 is another tool we’re using to help redefine customers’ home improvement experiences," said Paul Ramsay, senior VP IT solutions at Lowe’s. "We’re giving our employees the tools to connect quickly and easily, with one goal in mind: to make home improvement simple."

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