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LightSpeed releases omni-channel retail management solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Montreal, Quebec – LightSpeed has unveiled LightSpeed Web Store for Cloud, giving retailers a single web-based system for managing sales, inventory and customers both in-store and online. The inventory-centric solution empowers brick-and-mortar retailers to manage their business across all channels, from any device.

LightSpeed Web Store for Cloud allows retailers to view and manage inventory from all selling environments, monitor sales, manage suppliers and track customer preferences, all from a single dashboard that is accessible anywhere from a web browser or an iPad app.

“For most brick-and-mortar retailers, having an e-commerce presence is essential,” said Dax Dasilva, CEO and founder of LightSpeed. “When you have a high volume of inventory, however, adding a new sales channel can quickly make managing stock and sales quite complex. Until now, there hasn’t been a system that integrates critical functions like e-commerce, inventory management and point of sale in real-time without sacrificing the functionality that merchants need to support their retail environments. LightSpeed Web Store for Cloud is the single tool that professional retailers need to deliver a true 360-degree view of their business and realize their vision for commerce.”

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More job cuts at Sears Canada

BY CSA STAFF

Sears Canada, which laid off more than 1,300 employees on Jan. 15, is cutting an additional 624 jobs. The retailer said it is modifying its store structure to improve efficiency and increase the effectiveness of the chain of communication between management and the store associate teams within the stores.

Sears Canada will eliminate primarily a mid-tier level of leads within its full-line stores, resulting in an average reduction of five associates per store. There will also be an alignment of the regional and head office structures to reflect the new store model, and also to improve efficiency in Sears other formats and to align with the size of the business. This will result in a staff reduction of 624 associates.

“The changes we are making in stores will not affect the number of front-line associates, and service to our customers will not be impacted,” said Doug Campbell, president and CEO, Sears Canada. “Our current structure results in inefficiencies and barriers to effective communication among store associates and the changes we are making are designed to result in better store execution and consistency of presentation and standards. We continue to plan for the future of Sears Canada and are taking steps today that will allow us to continue serving customers as a viable national retailer coast to coast in stores and through our direct channel now and in the future.”

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Heartland Payment Systems files suit against Mercury Payment Systems

BY Dan Berthiaume

Princeton, N.J. — Heartland Payment Systems has filed a federal lawsuit against Mercury Payment Systems, charging the company with false advertising, unfair competition, intentional interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, alleges that Mercury is illegally competing against Heartland with deceptive trade practices.

Heartland contends that Mercury is effectively misleading merchant customers by deceptively hiding its excess profits in the interchange fees charged by credit card networks and their issuing banks, in violation of federal and state laws.

The suit seeks to stop Mercury’s alleged routine deceptive pricing practices to secure new retail customers and maintain their existing merchants. The suit also seeks to recover full value for each merchant and prospect Mercury has taken from Heartland by deceptively falsifying pass-through interchange costs and other illegal methods.

The complaint also alleges that Mercury imposes significant costs and barriers for changing providers, falsely informs merchants that they are the only processor that supports their point-of-sale card swiping equipment, and falsely represents their company in commercial advertising and promotions as guaranteeing the best rate, among other charges.

“Heartland has consistently advocated for fair, transparent and ethical credit, debit and prepaid card processing and billing procedures for small and mid-size businesses,” said Robert O. Carr, chairman and CEO of Heartland. “The deceptive pricing practice of falsely inflating pass-through interchange fees not only constitutes unfair and illegal competition, it also costs even the smallest of merchants hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of their hard-earned dollars each year without their awareness. Industry-wide, the cost of deceptive interchange practices runs into tens of millions of dollars, and has caused great harm to the reputation of the entire electronic payments industry.”

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