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McDonald’s South Africa taps IBM to enhance social media facilitating

BY Staff Writer

Johannesburg — IBM announced that McDonald’s South Africa is using IBM social business software to embrace the convergence of social, mobile and cloud facilitating its expansion to new markets and enabling its employees to collaborate more effectively.

McDonald’s is working with IBM and its business partner, Knowledge Dimension, to transform the way its almost 200 restaurants and 8000 employees communicate and collaborate, thereby helping the company communicate and operate more effectively. McDonald’s will begin transforming into a social enterprise to help geographically dispersed employees to communicate more effectively, sharing ideas that will allow them to deliver exceptional customer service.

“With our intended aggressive expansion plans – growing the number of restaurants by approximately 25 restaurants a year – improved communications is undoubtedly a business imperative,” said Greg Solomon, managing director for McDonald’s South Africa. “Equipping our employees with a social network to improve communication is critical in helping us fulfill our brand promise to customers for quality, service, cleanliness, and value.”

McDonald’s SA is currently using IBM Connections and IBM Sametime instant messaging software to support internal communication and training requirements across their branch network.

The McDonald’s crew (staff at restaurant level) will access the platform via a first-to-market in South Africa mobile solution, supplemented by in-restaurant touch-screen docking stations. This phase is scheduled for completion in first quarter 2013.

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REAL ESTATE

Australia’s Lorna Jane expanding in the U.S.

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Australian import Lorna Jane will open the largest store in its U.S. portfolio, a 3,000-sq.-ft. unit in San Francisco, in February.

The retailer, which specializes in fashionable yoga clothing, opened 10 stores in Southern California in 2012, and is now expanding into the Bay Area. Lorna Jane is also looking at locations in Corte Madera, San Jose, Palo Alto and Walnut Creek, as it looks to open 15 more stores by the end of this year, the report said.

Valued slightly over $13 billion and growing nationwide, the market for yoga clothing and other activewear is the fastest growing segment of the apparel industry.

Lorna Jane operates more than 135 stores worldwide.

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Samsung launches crowd-sourced designer bag

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Samsung Electronics has partnered with New York-based designer to create the industry’s first co-created print inspired by crowd-sourced sketches and images using the Galaxy Note II. The print will appear on a limited-edition bag that will be sold in key markets around the world to raise funds for Art Start, an award-winning, nationally-recognized charity that uses the arts to nurture the creative talents of at-risk children and youth.

Leveraging the Galaxy Note II’s inherent create-and-share benefit, Wang will engage a group of special friends, stylists, photographers, and others to create "doodles" – an image, pattern, or a photo – on their Galaxy Note II device. Gathering from active idea-capturing and immediate-sharing, the celebrated New York designer will then curate these sketches into one collectively-inspired final print.

"I am most inspired from my everyday life and the people that surround me, so the idea of a co-creation with the people that I admire and respect the most is very exciting," said Wang. "This collaboration represents a new way that technology and style can come together. And, through a concerted effort, I am happy to be a part of supporting such a great charity as Art Start that embraces creativity and art in a way that can change lives."

"Wang’s passion for experimentation, his playful sensibility and his on-the-go lifestyle are the traits that we seek to empower with the Samsung Galaxy Note II," said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Samsung Mobile. "Technology is becoming more deeply linked with the creative processes of fashion designers, and Samsung products are empowering users with the freedom to be creative and productive without limits. As technology and fashion converge, we will continue to create products that inspire passion through innovation."

San-Francisco born Wang launched his eponymous label with a full women’s ready-to-wear line in Spring 2007. He was the recipient of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund in 2008, and in 2009, was recognized by his peers by winning the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year and the Swiss Textiles Award. In 2009, Wang also launched the T by Alexander Wang women’s and Footwear line, followed by the Men’s T by Alexander Wang a year later. The brand’s ready-to-wear line for men was launched in 2011 and Wang was acknowledged by GQ as Best Menswear Designer of the Year and by the CFDA for Best Accessory Designer that same year.

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