OPERATIONS

Loehmann’s commences going-out-of-business sale Jan. 9

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — After almost 93 years, off-price specialty retailer Loehmann’s is going out of business.

On Jan. 7, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan approved an order authorizing a joint venture formed by SB Capital Group, LLC, Tiger Capital Group, LLC, and A & G Realty Partners, to conduct "Going Out of Business" sales in each of Loehmann’s 39 locations in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

More than $65 million of current in-season inventory and new arrivals will be liquidated during the sale, which begins Thursday, Jan. 9. The company said in a press release that declining economic conditions in the retailer’s key markets of California, New York, Florida and the Midwest adversely affected Loehmann’s operations. The company’s performance was also impacted by intense competition from other off-price and outlet retailers, as well as the e-commerce channel. In November 2013, Loehmann’s tried to sell its business as a going concern, but was unable to secure meaningful bids. On Dec. 15, 2013, Loehmann’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Loehmann’s stores are located in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, California and the District of Columbia.

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IBM to release digital storefront curator

BY Dan Berthiaume

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM has announced it will release a new storefront curator as part of its WebSphere Commerce platform. IBM Commerce Composer gives line of business leaders control over the look, feel and functionality of their online store fronts with no technical coding skills required.

Using intuitive click-to-install templates, marketers and e-commerce leaders can customize page layouts, optimize navigation and add new site functionality in minutes. IBM Commerce Composer features an array of new store front applications from certified IBM partners, all delivered through a new cloud-based solutions exchange that gives developers plug-and-play functionality to quickly build apps that retailers can deploy as a service.

The first wave of partner apps delivered through this program include:

Content Management & Rich Media: Dynamically creates and delivers relevant content to inspire shoppers and drive sales with apps from Amplience, CoreMedia, Fluid and Invodo.

Community, Social & Customer Engagement: Taps into the power of social networks to build customer confidence and brand loyalty with apps from Bazaarvoice, Genesys, OpinionLab and Pluck.

Product Management & Configuration: Automates sales with seamless business processes that support the way customers want to purchase products with apps from Fluid.

Search Optimization: Maximizes organic search ranking and makes it easy for shoppers to find products to drive traffic and sales with apps from Bloomreach.

“Today’s savvy, dynamic customers expect a relevant shopping experience,” said Vlad Kuznetsov, CTO, The Men’s Wearhouse. “In order to meet this need and create an immersive online experience, it’s crucial for the Men’s Wearhouse to be able to react and capture new opportunities at a moment’s notice. IBM Commerce Composer will give us the control and flexibility we need to dynamically change our online storefront and satisfy our discerning customer’s demands.”

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Posiflex unveils new POS terminals at NRF

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hayward, Calif. – Posiflex is announcing an intelligent foldable base for its XT series of 15-inch touchscreen terminals, now available for purchase, at the National Retail Federation Conference and Exposition 2014. The sleek new fold-flat design optimizes height and viewing angles to satisfy a variety of cashier and user viewing positions. This foldable form results in a 40% reduction in the package size and weight to reduce deployment shipping costs.

There are two sleek XT Series 15-inch touchscreen models. Posiflex XT4015 has a choice of three processor options; or the Posiflex XT3215. XT4015 offers a choice of three Intel processors; the G540 2.5 GHz, the Core i-3™-3220, 3.3GHz or the Core i5™-3550s, 3.7GHz, for the most demanding applications. The XT4015’s bezel-free projective capacitive or resistive touchscreen terminal comes standard with 4GB DDR3 RAM, and can be upgraded up to 16GB to run virtually any retail, hospitality or healthcare software. To secure valuable data, the XT4015 optionally offers RAID 1 (disk mirroring).

XT3215 is designed for cost-effective power with a slender, contemporary design. The XT3215 features an Intel D525 1.8GHz dual core, 2GB standard DDR3 RAM (4GB maximum) and a 15-inch resistive touch TFT LCD touch-screen.

Included in the XT series are many flexible features: ive USB ports, dual LAN ports, VESA wall mount capability, control of two cash drawers, a mini-PCI-e slot for optional WiFi along with 3 DB9 and 1 RJ45 port. XT Series options are SSD, secondary display and a parallel port with an optional extension cable.

“The XT series integrates well with our current product portfolio now providing price, performance and form factor options to meet virtually any point-of-sale, kiosk, surveillance, PC replacement, kitchen video, or self-checkout applications,” said Ron Chan, director of marketing, Posiflex.

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