MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Lowe’s smartens Iris strategy

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lowe’s Companies Inc. is trying to make its Iris smart home solution more accessible. The home improvement retailer is the newest participant member of the ZigBee Alliance.

Launched in July 2012, Iris by Lowe’s is a smart home solution created to monitor and control virtually everything in the home anytime, anywhere. Lowe’s is the most recent of 450 members currently working to develop and promote ZigBee Internet of Things (IoT) standards.

“Our customers tell us they want a simple way to monitor and automate their homes across a multitude of different devices,” said Mick Koster, VP and general manager of Iris Home Systems. “As part of the ZigBee Alliance, we believe we can help further demystify smart homes for consumers and also innovate to bring an ever-expanding array of products to make managing their homes even easier.”

Having Iris conform to ZigBee standards should theoretically make Lowe’s smart home solution easier for consumers to implement and customize. The Home Depot’s competing Wink smart home platform has complied with ZigBee since its launch in 2014.

"We welcome Lowe's into our ongoing work unifying the IoT around open, global, established standards," said Mark Walters, VP of Strategic Development of the ZigBee Alliance. "Iris by Lowe's brings a unique perspective as a leading smart home solution within a home improvement retailer. Their membership at the Participant level will be valuable in furthering our efforts to deliver standards optimized to benefit both our member companies and consumers."

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OPERATIONS

REI promotes 25-veteran

BY Marianne Wilson

REI has promoted Rachel Ligtenberg to VP of retail following a 25-year tenure with the company.

In her new role, she adds retail operations to her current responsibilities of leading store design, visual merchandising and the co-op's flagship strategy.

Ligtenberg will continue to enhance REI's retail experience through new store design concepts to showcase its products, services and educational programs.

Ligtenberg joined REI after college as a sales associate in the Sacramento (California) store. She served as the general manager of the Seattle flagship store for seven years before becoming director of visual merchandising and later regional VP of retail.

REI operates 141 stores in 33 states, including four flagship locations in Seattle, Denver, New York and Bloomington, Minnesota. It will open a fifth flagship, in the Uline Arena in Washington, D.C., in fall 2016.

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News

REI promotes 25-veteran

BY CSA STAFF

REI has promoted Rachel Ligtenberg to VP of retail following a 25-year tenure with the company.

In her new role, she adds retail operations to her current responsibilities of leading store design, visual merchandising and the co-op's flagship strategy.

Ligtenberg will continue to enhance REI's retail experience through new store design concepts to showcase its products, services and educational programs.

Ligtenberg joined REI after college as a sales associate in the Sacramento (California) store. She served as the general manager of the Seattle flagship store for seven years before becoming director of visual merchandising and later regional VP of retail.

REI operates 141 stores in 33 states, including four flagship locations in Seattle, Denver, New York and Bloomington, Minnesota. It will open a fifth flagship, in the Uline Arena in Washington, D.C., in fall 2016.

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Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

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