FINANCE

Jos. A. Bank looking for acquisitions

BY Staff Writer

New York — Men’s apparel and accessories chain Jos. A. Bank Clothiers has confirmed that it is on the hunt for acquisitions to drive growth. The company has retained Financo LLC to assist it in its search.

“As part of its evaluation of strategic opportunities, the company has been and will continue to selectively seek potential acquisitions that are strategically sound and accretive in the long run,” Jos. A. Bank said in a statement. “No timetable has been set for any acquisition.”

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Jennifer Aniston joins Saks in cancer cure campaign

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have named actress Jennifer Aniston as the EIF ambassador for Saks Fifth Avenue’s 2013 Key to the Cure campaign.

In the 14 years since the inception of the Saks Fifth Avenue charity shopping weekend, the company, together with its vendors and partners, has raised more than $33 million for cancer research.

Designer Peter Dundas of Emilio Pucci created a limited-edition T-shirt exclusively to benefit Key to the Cure that will retail for $35 at Saks Fifth Avenue stores, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores and online at saks.com. All proceeds generated from each shirt sold will be donated to EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund, benefiting charitable programs dedicated to finding new detection methods, better treatments and eventual cures for women’s cancers. The T-shirt debuts at Saks Fifth Avenue Oct. 1.

“I’m so honored to join the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Saks Fifth Avenue in their continued efforts to raise funds for promising scientific research through EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund,” said Aniston. “My hope is that everyone will contribute to this worthy cause by purchasing a Key to the Cure T-shirt designed by Emilio Pucci.“

“We are so pleased to be partnering with Peter Dundas and Emilio Pucci, EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund and Jennifer Aniston this year for Key to the Cure,” said chairman and CEO Steve Sadove. “The continued support of our charity affiliates and the efforts made by our clients, vendors and associates has proven to be a true testament to the Key to the Cure legacy.”

“I am proud for Emilio Pucci to be part of such an important initiative with Saks Fifth Avenue. I think every living person has been touched by this disease through the illness or even loss of a friend or a family member. I have. It would seem that in 2013 this would no longer be a worry, but it very much is and so the fight continues,” added Dundas.

Aniston will appear in a national public service announcement wearing the Emilio Pucci limited-edition T-shirt. The Key to the Cure PSA will appear in major fashion and lifestyle magazines in September and October. Saks Fifth Avenue’s charity shopping weekend will take place Thursday through Sunday, October 17-20, at all Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores nationwide and on saks.com. During the shopping weekend, 2% of participating vendor sales up to $500,000 will be donated to our national beneficiary, the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

Specialty retailer Saks carries American and international designer collections, which include handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts. It operates 41 full-line stores in 20 states, 5 international licensed stores, 66 Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores and its e-commerce site.

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Five Things You Need to Know About E-Wallets Before Moving Forward

BY CSA STAFF

By Mohammad Hashemi, [email protected]

In the last decade, online transactions have matured from an e-commerce curiosity into the bedrock of selling goods and services online. Whether you are exclusively an e-commerce retailer or a hybrid brick-and-mortar retailer with a web presence, online payments today are a pervasive and critical sales driver.

Despite widespread retail industry adoption of online payment platforms, the technology in some ways remains in its infancy. Entrenched payments vendors often require consumers to have a bank account and a debit card, which effectively ensures that retailers cannot sell into many emerging geographic markets, nor can they reach a rapidly growing unbanked and underbanked population. One might argue that traditional payment platforms are hindering a common purpose of the commercial Internet: to market to as broad an audience as possible.

To fill the gap, dozens of providers of “e-wallet” technology have emerged in recent years. These e-wallets store a user’s money electronically for the purpose of performing online money transactions. In some cases, e-wallet-to-e-wallet transactions have become the preferred method of payment for both online merchants and their consumers because of the protection an e-wallet offers. Consumers’ financial information is never shared or stored on merchant websites; and online merchants appreciate the value-added benefits of fraud prevention, chargeback management and dispute resolution that e-wallets can provide.

Many retailers are in the evaluation stage with e-wallet technology, perhaps looking to augment a primary payments platform with an e-wallet option. With ecommerce sales set to pass the one-trillion-dollar mark by the end of this year , e-wallet providers are eager for your business. Price comparison is always important, of course, but here are five things all retailers should ask themselves in addition before moving forward with e-wallet technology:

1. Does it have a global footprint? It is important to select an e-wallet that operates in the countries you serve today, and the countries you would like to serve tomorrow. Should the time come when you want to expand your reach into South America, for example, your e-wallet should already have payment options in place to suit the needs of your business and the payment preferences of your potential customers. In order to support a global customer base, an e-wallet must be able to support different payments systems: while credit card is the payment preference of choice in the U.S., in Germany, instant banking options are responsible for the majority of online purchases.

2. Does it offer traditional and emerging payment options? Even if you have no plans to expand your business outside of a highly industrialized market such as North America, you should still look to e-wallets that are able to support both banked consumers and those traditionally under-serviced, such as those with poor or no credit. The financial landscape in once stable markets has shifted to expose new opportunities, such as prepaid debit cards as an option for those unable to utilize traditional banking services. The birth of new technologies has also contributed to the emergence of new market opportunities, such as mobile payments. The more payment options that an e-wallet can support, the more customers you can reach.

3. Does it handle all security, regulatory and compliance requirements? E-wallets must adhere to all legal, regulatory and card association rules in order to properly protect your customers’ personal and financial information, and subsequently instill consumer confidence while lowering your shopping cart abandonment rate. According to poll by the National Cyber Security Alliance, security concerns were responsible for 63% of online shoppers not completing a purchase. Making sure that your e-wallet provider complies with industry standards (such as defined by the Payment Card Industry’s regulations on storing and transmitting credit card information) and specific regional legislation (such as FinCEN’s IT Modernization Program which provides a foundation for how financial service providers collect, store, safeguard and share data) will reinforce your customer’s confidence in transacting with your brand.

4. Does it protect you and your customers against fraud? E-wallets should do more than just ensure transactions are sent and received accurately. First and foremost, your e-wallet provider should deter fraudsters from even attempting to penetrate your business. Should fraudsters sneak in, your e-wallet must be able to quickly sort the fraudulent transactions from the legitimate ones, and it must have an equally robust and balanced fraud management system in place. The processes and mechanisms an e-wallet employs to identify fraud, however, can be an obstacle for your customer: an overly lenient set of mechanisms will allow too many fraudulent transactions to occur, while an overly stringent set of mechanisms may frustrate and potentially drive away customers. Identify what level of protection is right for your business and your customers, and choose an e-wallet that maintains this balance.

5. Does it focus on the customer experience? Don’t give customers any reason for falling into the 66% of online shoppers who walk away from a purchase. Providing a smooth customer experience lowers shopping cart abandonment rate. Keep in mind that, even though the payment portion of a transaction is out of your direct control and in the hands of an e-wallet provider, your customer’s payment experience is included in your customer’s overall interaction with your business. An e-wallet that is easy for your customers to use and that provides a high level of customer support will be regarded by your customer as an extension of your business. A positive experience is more likely to create a loyal customer.

The almost ubiquitous availability of Internet access and the exponential growth in mobile phone browsing have brought perpetual connectivity to much of the world. Now, more people from more countries have the opportunity and the ability to interact with your business online, and understanding the intersection of your ecommerce goals and the emerging e-wallet landscape are key to determining how far and wide your business will grow.

Mohammad Hashemi is VP of strategy at Payza, a global online payment platform with headquarters in London. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit Payza.com.


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A.Man says:
Jul-04-2013 10:45 am

Thomson View Condo is an
Thomson View Condo is an upcoming new project situated along Upper Thomson Road. It is right opposite Thomson Plaza Shopping Centre and is a few minutes walk away from the future Thomson MRT station.

A.Man says:
Jul-04-2013 10:45 am

Thomson View Condo is an
Thomson View Condo is an upcoming new project situated along Upper Thomson Road. It is right opposite Thomson Plaza Shopping Centre and is a few minutes walk away from the future Thomson MRT station.

A.Man says:
Jul-04-2013 10:45 am

Thomson View Condo is an upcoming new project situated along Upper Thomson Road. It is right opposite Thomson Plaza Shopping Centre and is a few minutes walk away from the future Thomson MRT station.

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