Lands’ End launches live video chat
Dodgeville, Wis. Lands’ End on Monday launched Lands’ End Live, an online video chat tool that pairs state-of-the-art technology with Lands’ End’s signature customer service, in conjunction with National Customer Service Week.
A click of a button brings a personal shopper directly to the landsend.com user’s computer screen for real-time assistance. The launch makes Lands’ End the first apparel retailer nationwide to offer customers a video chat option, the company said.
“Establishing personal connections with our customers has always been an important part of who we are at Lands’ End,” said Joan Conlin, VP customer care services, Lands’ End. “In the wake of National Customer Service Week, we are thrilled to be able to offer our legendary customer service in new and innovative ways. Offering our landsend.com users real-time, one-on-one personal shopper assistance makes online shopping even more efficient and enjoyable.”
Landsend.com users who launch the live video chat can choose to communicate with the personal shopper via voice chat, where they can use their headset or computer’s built-in microphone and speakers or keyboard/text chat, where they type their questions using their computer keyboard. Additionally, shoppers can provide their telephone number and a personal shopper will call them directly. Lands’ End personal shoppers can demonstrate product features and details, as well as help navigate the website regardless of the chat option selected.
Deloitte: Store brands retain a strong presence in retail
NEW YORK (Oct. 1)- Deloitte released a report last week that reaffirmed the latest shopping trend among consumers: private-label purchases.
In Deloitte’s new “The Battle for Brands in a World of Private Labels” study, 77% of consumer packaged goods executives and 90% of retail executives surveyed said the market share of store brands will increase significantly by 2012 in the United States, as many consumers find that store brands are manufactured just as well as national brands and find little to no reason to switch back to national brands, Deloitte said.
“Though conventional wisdom has co-branding between retailers and CPG companies as a win-lose proposition, the results of our study indicate that nearly half of retail and CPG executives agree that working together may be the best way to win the wallets of the ‘new consumer,’” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer products practice leader. “What they need to consider are variations on current brands and what new innovations should be brought to market so as not to overwhelm an already substantial marketplace.”
Walmart, Humana unveil new Medicare Part D prescription drug offering
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart and Humana on Friday unveiled a new Medicare Part D prescription drug offering designed to help both companies gain market share and save money for those enrolled in the program. Co-branded as the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, the program involves a $14.80 monthly premium that is less than half the weighted 2010 national average, generic drug co-payments as low as $2 at Walmart pharmacies and no co-payments for select generics filled via Humana’s RightSource home-delivery service. Humana and Walmart said the program has the potential to save Medicare Part D enrollees as much as $450 annually.
“People are more likely to take the medications prescribed for them when they can afford those medications,” said William Fleming, PharmD, VP Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “And adhering to prescription-drug regimens can enable people to be healthier and prevent future illness. At Humana, we believe that this prevention helps people live healthier lives and achieve lifelong well-being.”
John Agwunobi, M.D., president of Walmart’s Health and Wellness division said Walmart is uniquely qualified to help lower the cost of prescriptions because it is the world’s largest retailer.
“We know every dollar counts, especially when you live on a fixed income. We believe no one should have to choose between buying their groceries or their medications,” Agwunobi said.
He called the program an example of Walmart’s commitment to help people save money so they can live better.
It is also an example of how Walmart can bring more shoppers to its store. There are an estimated 18 million people enrolled in the Medicare Part D program, but that figure is forecast to grow to 26 million by 2015. Open enrollment in the program begins Nov. 15 and continues through the end of the year, and Humana and Walmart are undertaking an extensive media relations and marketing campaign to drive awareness and education. A key element involves kiosks in some 3,000 stores which will occasionally be staffed by Humana representatives.