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Katy Perry to help Staples ‘Roar’ this BTS season

BY CSA STAFF

Staples’ secret weapon this back-to-school season looks to be Katy Perry. The retailer recently aligned itself with the pop mega-star who has the potential to influence the shopping behavior of 50 million Twitter followers and 71 million Facebook fans.

Staples said it will be the presenting sponsor of the North American leg of Perry’s Prismatic World tour when it resumes on June 22 in Raleigh, N.C., and also donated $1 million to the DonorsChoose.org charitable organization which helps fund teachers’ and students’ classroom needs.

The retailer’s actions are part of an initiative to “Make Roar Happen,” which is a play on the popular single “Roar” about female empowerment and independence from Perry’s album released last fall called “Prism” after which her world tour is named.

“‘Make Roar Happen’ with Katy Perry builds on Staples’ commitment to teachers in a new and engaging way,” said Alison Corcoran, Staples SVP, North American stores and online marketing. “With music that inspires people worldwide, Katy Perry is a powerful voice to encourage people to ‘Roar’ and recognize teachers for their impact both inside and outside the classroom. Our $1 million donation will help teachers supply their classrooms just in time for back to school.”

She is also a powerful voice to encourage her fan base to shop at Staples for the back-to-school and back-to-college needs. She and other celebrities are routinely subject to allegations that their social media statistics are inflated because they include fake and inactive accounts, but even if only half of her fans and followers are active a few choice posts and tweets from Perry has the potential to move the sales needle at Staples in the coming months.

Already she has posted photos of herself on Facebook of the $1 million Staples donation and the announcement of Staples’ tour sponsorship has generated enormous publicity.

“I’m glad to partner with Staples on my Prismatic World Tour to raise awareness and funds for DonorsChoose.org, and to remind my fans that a small gesture can make a large impact on the very basic materials classrooms need for teachers to help students reach their full potential,” Perry said.

Staples is also looking to social media to tap the potential of its relationship with Perry. Beginning on June 25, fans of the singer will have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to meet her and attend her concert on Sept. 19 which is taking place at, where else, the Staples Center. The contest involves submitting ‘Make Roar Happen’ videos in which entrants are encouraged to “Roar” about their educational goals, inspirational teachers, or how education has positively affected their lives. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 3 and participants are encouraged to share their videos on their social channels using the hashtag #MakeRoarHappen.

In addition, to help drive sales, Staples is offering customers who spend $10 or more at any of its stores a unique code based on the amount spent so they can enter online at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen for a chance to win two tickets to a concert in the U.S. portion of the tour.

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The Children’s Place adds Amex exec to board

BY CSA STAFF

The Children’s Place has added Susan Sobbott to its board of directors as a Class II director to serve for a three-year term.

Sobbott is currently president of global corporate payments, a multibillion dollar global division of the American Express Company serving the payment needs of midsize and large companies. From 2004 to early 2014, she was president and GM of American Express OPEN, a multibillion dollar business unit within American Express Company. Since 2009, she has also served as a member of the Business Operating Committee, a group of senior leaders at American Express Company working with the CEO to develop strategic direction.

Sobbott’s addition to the board brings the total members up to eight.

"Susan brings to The Children’s Place broad-based managerial and leadership experience in the areas of marketing, branding, customer insight and customer management," said chairman Norman Matthews. "We are pleased to welcome her to The Children’s Place board."

At the annual meeting, the company’s stockholders also approved a name change to The Children’s Place, the declassification of the company’s board of directors, the election of incumbents Joseph Alutto and Joseph Gromek as Class II directors, the appointment of BDO, USA LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2015, and the compensation of its named executive officers on an advisory basis.

As of May 3, the company operated 1,106 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, an online store and had 48 international stores open and operated by its franchise partners.

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New flower bears name of Roundy’s exec

BY CSA STAFF

Roundy’s Supermarkets executive Kathy Hession has received an unconventional accolade for her long-running contributions to the floral industry.

Hession is VP of bakery and floral at Roundy’s, the $4 billion operator of 171 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, and she was the recipient of a unique distinction when the 27th annual International Floriculture Expo took place June 10-13 in New Orleans. During a ceremony at the Expo a new variety of a popular flower type called Gerbera that is frequently used in showy arrangements was named “Gerbera Kathy” by Florist Holland B.V., the grower that created the cultivar.

“There is not one supplier, grower, farm or retailer she worked with or for that doesn’t have a story about how she helped them improve and grow their business,” Cindy Hanauer, founder and CEO of Grand Central Floral and past recipient of the naming award said when introducing Kathy Hession at the naming ceremony. “A Gerbera has amazing versatility and flexibility. It can be a beautiful standalone flower or a part of a stunning bouquet. This amazing, vibrant red Gerbera represents Kathy Hession perfectly. With the same versatility and strength of a Gerbera, Kathy continues to pioneer, inspire and grow the floral industry today.”

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