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Macy’s is first retailer to deploy enhanced mobile technology from Shopkick

BY Marianne Wilson

Redwood City, Calif. — Macy’s flagships in Herald Square, New York, and Union Square, San Francisco, are the first major retail locations to deploy Shopkick’s Apple iBeacon-based presence signal. The trial pairs Shopkick and Macy’s, an inaugural Shopkick partner, at the forefront of the mobile in-store experience. Now in closed beta, the trial is anticipated to go live to Shopkick users within weeks.

As shoppers enter Macy’s, ShopBeacon can remind those who’ve opted in to open their Shopkick app, and in the future, also deliver personalized value with department-level granularity. Building on Apple’s iBeacon, an iOS 7 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) mobile protocol, ShopBeacon adds encrypted signals to protect retailers and consumers, and complements it with Shopkick’s other proprietary technologies for added accuracy and scale.

ShopBeacon can welcome shoppers when they enter a Macy’s store and shows them location-specific deals, discounts, recommendations, and rewards, without having to remember to open the app. It can also tie at-home browsing behavior to in-store benefit; if the customer "likes" a specific product online, if they so choose, ShopBeacon can remind them when they enter the store that Macy’s sells it. Even better, in the future it can also deliver department-specific offers throughout the store – so favorite boots show up at the most useful time: in the shoe department.

"We have made great strides in creating the best omnichannel experience at Macy’s, and delivering the most relevant messages and offers to our customers at what is arguably the most helpful moment – while they are shopping in our stores – can be very advantageous for the customer," said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. "With this ShopBeacon trial, we are testing the most leading-edge mobile technologies, because we believe they can even further enhance the in-store experience for Macy’s shoppers."

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J.C. Penney looks on bright side following third-quarter loss

BY CSA STAFF

Despite posting a larger-than-expected loss for its third quarter, J.C. Penney pointed to hopeful signs that its business is starting to stabilize as its heads into the holiday season.

Penney reported a loss of $489 million in the three months ended Nov.2, compared with a loss of $123 million in the year-ago period.

Sales fell 5.1% to $2.78 billion. Same-store sales were down 4.8%, but the period ended with its first monthly gain since December 2011. And online sales rose 24.5%, to $266 million.

“We are proud of the company’s October sales performance, encouraged by the early weeks of November,” Myron E. Ullman III, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement released Wednesday, Penney CEO Myron Ullman said that he is "encouraged" by sales in the early weeks of November, and the company believes it is “making strides” toward a path to long-term profitable growth

"Our strategies to reconnect with customers are beginning to take hold, and this became increasingly clear as the quarter progressed," Ullman stated.

In an encouraging sign, the retailer said that gross profit margin improved to 29.5% in the quarter, compared with 32.5% last year.

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Lowe’s Q3 profit up; raises forecast

BY Staff Writer

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. net income rose 26% in the third quarter, just short of projections, amid the housing market’s ongoing resurgence. The retailer raised its fiscal 2013 outlook, but its earnings forecast was still below expectations.

Lowe’s earned $499 million for the period ended Nov. 1, up from $396 million last year. Its earnings were a penny per share short of Wall Street expectations.

Revenue rose 7% to $12.96 billion from $12.07 billion, beating analysts’ predictions. Same-store sales increased 6.2%.

"I am pleased we delivered another solid quarter driven by balanced performance," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. "This balanced performance resulted from our improved collaboration and execution within a strengthening home improvement market, combined with our employees’ hard work and continued dedication to serving customers.”

"The home improvement industry is poised for persisting growth in the fourth quarter and further acceleration in 2014," Niblock added.

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