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Kroger completes acquisition of Harris Teeter

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. said it has completed its acquisition of Harris Teeter Supermarkets for about $2.5 billion. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 per share of Harris Teeter common stock.

The company also announced that Thomas W. Dickson, chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter, has retired, and that John Woodlief, executive VP and CFO of Harris Teeter would leave the company. Woodlief previously had been a managing partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and is prohibited from working in a financial role at Kroger because PwC is Kroger’s independent accountant. He will remain available as a consultant, Kroger said, and will pursue other interests.

Harris Teeter will continue to be led by Harris Teeter’s current president, Fred Morganthall.

We are pleased that our merger is complete and look forward to bringing together the best of Kroger and Harris Teeter to benefit our customers, associates and shareholders,” said W. Rodney McMullen, CEO of Kroger.

“This merger brings the exceptional Harris Teeter brand and a complementary base of stores in attractive markets to the Kroger family. We have long respected Harris Teeter’s customer orientation, friendly and professional associates, strong management team, and company values – which are consistent with ours. Together, through our customer 1st strategy, we are going to be an outstanding combination.”

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ServiceChannel partners with GoodData for customer analytics

BY Dan Berthiaume

Albertson, N.Y. – Facilities service management company ServiceChannel is partnering with cloud-based business intelligence platform GoodData. Through this partnership, ServiceChannel customers will now be able to have access to more than a dozen years of independent GoodView cost and performance data through its ProView intuitive reporting and visualization platform.

ServiceChannel’s web-based platform helps facilities managers and their contractors collaborate to deliver responsive service. ProView automates the work order-to-cash process for customers.

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Avenue 32 provides mobile design showcase

BY Dan Berthiaume

London – Online luxury retailer Avenue 32 has launched a mobile and tablet strategy allowing designers to showcase their collections to the public without having to invest in their own online presence. Since its launch, mobile traffic has more than doubled and average transaction value has increased 270%.

Working in partnership with Usablenet, Avenue 32 provides seamless and customized experiences for both mobile and tablet; the mobile site provides a task-based experience whereas the tablet site is focused around browsing and discovery.

The sites have been optimized for touch and discovery, with quick navigation, speed of transaction, intuitive task completion and adaptive landing pages delivering a different user experience based on orientation and device. The product detail pages provide Avenue 32 with an upsell opportunity and a “wish list” allows shoppers to create personalized experiences by instantly adding items that can be revisited later or shared with friends and family. The focus on the multichannel experience has increased the number of mobile orders by 400%. While most of the brand’s m-commerce is happening on smartphones, orders on tablet constitute more than 20%.

“In fashion, where branding is everything, it is imperative to have a well-designed Web presence experience that reflects the image of the brand at all touchpoints,” said Roberta Benteler, CEO, Avenue 32. “We have created a successful and consistent shopping experience for both designers and customers across all devices in order to give us the chance to showcase our featured designers and engage with our customers at all times. Usablenet understands Avenue 32’s desire to deliver an engaging multichannel offering and we have already seen greater brand engagement.”

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