OPERATIONS

Kohl’s, Toshiba partner with Plug and Play in retail accelerator program

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Kohl’s Department Stores and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions have teamed up with Plug and Play to participate in Plug and Play Retail, an accelerator program that is focused on technologies and teams innovating in the retail industry. (Based in Sunnyvale, California, Plug and Play is a business accelerator that specializes in growing tech startups.)

“We are pleased to announce Plug and Play’s partnership with Kohl’s and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions and plan to leverage their deep industry knowledge and expertise to advise our investment strategy in the retail space. With their guidance, we will look to invest $25K-$100K in up to 30 retail-focused startups from around the world,” said Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO, Plug and Play.

The Retail Accelerator is a 12-week program designed for early and growth stage startups. Qualified companies are developing solutions in areas like inventory management, forecasting, augmented reality and Beacon. Through tailored deal flow, themed workshops, and face-to-face interaction, Plug and Play Retail aims to enable corporations to engage with startups that may complement their respective suite of offerings or create new potential revenue streams.

Startups accepted into the program receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought-leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects, all culminating at Plug and Play’s quarterly demo day.

"Through our commitment to innovation, Kohl’s is investing in the new technology, platforms and partnerships that will elevate customers’ connection with Kohl’s,” said Ratnakar Lavu, Kohl’s executive VP digital technology. “The way consumers shop and share is changing faster than ever, and we are staying several steps ahead to ensure their experiences with Kohl’s remain both easy and exciting."

Plug and Play Retail will be accepting applications until May 31 and the program begins June 30.

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OPERATIONS

Krispy Kreme taps Papa John’s exec as president/CEO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. has named Anthony N. (“Tony”) Thompson, 47, as president and CEO, effective June 1. Thompson joins the company from Papa John’s International Inc., where he most recently served as president and COO.

Prior to joining Papa John’s in 2006, Thompson worked for firms including Gulf Coast Coca-Cola, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and Conagra Grocery Products Company. Thompson is expected to be appointed to the company’s board of directors in the near future. James H. Morgan, 66, current president, chairman and CEO, will continue to serve Krispy Kreme on a full-time basis as its executive chairman.

“All of us in the Krispy Kreme family are excited to have Tony Thompson joining us as our CEO and president,” said Morgan. “Tony’s background, accomplishments, professionalism and commitment to excellence all are a perfect complement to the culture, mission and values of Krispy Kreme. I am confident that Tony is the ideal leader to guide our company to even greater success in the coming years and, personally, I am greatly looking forward to working with him.”

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STORE SPACES

Report: Abercrombie plans 100 China stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Albany, Ohio – Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reportedly plans to open 100 new stores under both its marquee and Hollister banners in China. According to China Daily, Abercrombie seeks to expand its presence in China during the next 10 years, and will also open a dedicated Chinese e-commerce site.

Abercrombie executives said China represents the company’s largest growth opportunity. The retailer currently has a flagship Chinese store in Shanghai. The Shanghai store is in a four-story glass building in the Jing’ai commercial district and includes store greeters and models.

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