OPERATIONS

Kroger names VP, human resources and labor relations

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. announced that Timothy Massa will be promoted to group VP human resources and labor relations.

Massa, 47, currently serves as VP of corporate human resources, talent development. In this expanded role, he will take responsibility for labor relations when Paul Heldman, executive VP, secretary and general counsel, retires in May.

"Tim is a trusted human resources professional and valued partner," said Mike Ellis, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. "In just four years at Kroger, leaders and associates throughout the company know they can count on him for strategic direction and advice. He leads by example, bringing life to the Kroger Leadership Model through his passion for people and results every day. We are pleased to welcome Tim to our leadership team."

Massa joined Kroger in 2010 in his current role as vice president. Prior to joining the company, he served in various human resources leadership roles for 21 years at Procter & Gamble.

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ChannelAdvisor upgrades omni-channel platform

BY Dan Berthiaume

Research Triangle Park, N.C. — ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing now offers support for Google Merchant Promotions so retailers can advertise special offers within Google product listing ads, and ChannelAdvisor’s new Portfolio Bidder predicts optimal bids to help maximize revenue for online retailers and manufacturers.

In addition, ChannelAdvisor Repricer with Pricewatch includes predictive capabilities that give retailers a preview into how certain repricing rules compare to other retailers’ prices before setting a strategy. The Repricer provides immediate feedback on the repricing strategy, and ChannelAdvisor’s new Pricewatch feature keeps a constant eye on retailers’ Amazon products and reprices in near-real-time.

Also, the new Multiple Distribution Centers feature manages all fulfillment options and allows retailers to give certain distribution centers priority over others with Prioritized Distribution Centers. ChannelAdvisor’s Proximity Order Routing allows retailers to fulfill orders from the distribution center closest to the customer. Other features include mapping of products to Amazon’s catalog and synchronizing inventory data between a retailer’s Webstore and listings on Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces.

“In our ever-changing industry, the only way for retailers to stay ahead is by working smarter, not harder, and the 2014 spring release offers features to do just that,” said ChannelAdvisor VP of product management Link Walls. “It’s our job to deliver the tools necessary to simplify the online selling process, and our new functionality allows retailers to improve core strategies and processes to make the most of every e-commerce opportunity.”

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NRF: Retailers committed to protecting consumer data

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation told a congressional panel on April 16 that the retail industry is committed to safeguarding and protecting consumer data and information from cybercriminals and hackers. Tom Litchford, NRF VP for retail technologies, testified before a field hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, where he outlined specific steps that the nation’s retailers are pursuing and implementing to identify, prevent and combat cyber attacks.

He described NRF’s support for immediately transitioning away from fraud-prone credit cards that utilize 1960s technology (magnetic-stripe and signature) to more advanced and secure cards that incorporate a Personal Identification Number or PIN, or Chip and PIN cards that include a computer microchip.

PIN-based cards, along with data encryption and tokenization, would help prevent cybercriminals from monetizing consumer financial information and provide better fraud protection for retailers, banks and consumers than proprietary Europay, MasterCard and Visa or EMV technology that does not require the use of a PIN.

“Retailers make significant investments every year in order to protect [consumer] data,” said Litchford. “Collectively, retailers spend billions of dollars annually to safeguard data and fight fraud, as well as hundreds of millions annually on [credit card security] compliance. Chip and PIN technology dramatically reduces the value of any stolen ‘breached’ data for in-store purchases because the payment card data is essentially rendered worthless to criminals. The failure of U.S. card networks and banks to adopt such a system in the United States is one reason why cyber attacks on brick-and-mortar retailers have increased.”

Litchford went on to state that the nation’s retailers are pursuing the establishment of a Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or Retail ISAC, that would provide retailers and merchants (NRF members and non-members) with actionable and timely threat intelligence to help identify and mitigate cyber risks.

NRF called on Congress to support the retail industry’s efforts on data security and cybersecurity by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act or CISPA, which would further encourage businesses and retailers to share information across sectors on cyber threats in real time.

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