Mindshare acquires Empathica as part of growth strategy
Mindshare Technologies, a leading Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies provider, has acquired Empathica, a leading global provider of social Customer Experience Management solutions.
The acquisition establishes Mindshare as the largest VoC provider in the food services and retail industries, and will allow the company to grow aggressively in contact centers and hospitality.
The acquisition was financed in part by Sorenson Capital and Peterson Partners. Cascadia Capital served as Empathica’s financial adviser in the transaction.
Empathica’s social CEM and social media technology will be incorporated with Mindshare’s industry-leading VoC platform and extensive text analytics solutions, positioning Mindshare to consolidate and lead the VoC market. With Empathica, Mindshare will serve more than 200,000 locations and business units worldwide. Since inception, the companies will have collected more than 300 million customer reviews combined by the end of 2013. Mindshare will also significantly expand its national and international footprint through Empathica’s strong presence in both North America and Europe.
“In the age of the empowered customer, the ability to get strong, actionable feedback from each customer is becoming of paramount value to companies that want to drive business transformation and brand advocacy,” said John Sperry, CEO of Mindshare. “The addition of Empathica is incredibly valuable in helping us make the voice of the customer that much more valuable in decision making among consumer-facing companies. This acquisition gives Mindshare the strongest customer feedback solutions — and the largest client base in the food services and retail sectors — as we continue to grow across many industries.”
The combined organization will collect VOC surveys in 125 countries and 32 languages, serving the world’s leading brands with a focus in Europe and North America.
“We are excited to join Mindshare and become the dominant player in the industry as a combined entity,” said Mike Amos, founder and CEO of Empathica. “By gaining access to the deepest and widest range of insights in the market, we can empower companies to fully leverage their most valuable asset: their customers.”
“The feedback from the market is clear. Leading companies want a VoC provider that can respond to the most demanding aspects of their global business. With the acquisition of Empathica, Mindshare will stand alone, providing the technology, service and global footprint required to serve the world’s largest and most valuable brands,” added Sperry.
Kohl’s gears up for holiday shopping season
Like other retailers, Kohl’s is preparing for the holiday shopping season and plans to hire more than 50,000 people nationwide to support business in stores and growth on Kohls.com.
“Kohl’s customers know to expect great things from us when shopping in our stores or on Kohls.com. In order to ensure we provide excellent customer service during the busiest time of the year, Kohl’s is hiring more than 50,000 associates across the country to maintain the high level of service our shoppers appreciate,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief customer officer. “These additional associates will help us provide an enjoyable and convenient shopping experience to our valued customers.”
Kohl’s anticipates hiring an average of 40 employees per store at its 1,158 stores in 49 states. In addition, the company anticipates hiring approximately 6,400 seasonal positions at distribution centers across the country and approximately 350 seasonal credit operations positions.
Seasonal employees can work anywhere from a few hours to more than 20 hours per week. Typical store jobs include unloading trucks, freight processing, stocking and cash register duties. Hiring began this month, and most jobs will be filled by mid-November. Hiring for holiday positions at the company’s distribution centers began last month. Associates working at distribution centers help ensure Kohl’s products get to the retail stores and into the hands of Kohls.com customers. Associates working in Kohl’s credit operations perform a variety of jobs, including assisting customers with Kohls.com orders.
Rite Aid swings to Q2 profit; lifts view
Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. reported that it swung to profit in the second-quarter profit, fueled by increased sales and stronger margins. The drugstore chain raised its full-year forecast.
Rite Aid reported a profit of $32.8 million for the quarter ended Aug. 31, compared with a year-earlier loss of $38.8 million. It was the chain’s fourth-straight quarterly profit.
Sales for the quarter were $6.3 billion, up from $6.2 billion in the year ago period. Same-store sales were up by 1%,
“We posted excellent results in the second quarter, highlighted by another quarter of net income and an all-time company record for second-quarter Adjusted EBITDA,” said Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley. “As we continue to improve our operational and financial performance, we are also making tremendous progress in transforming our more than 4,600 stores into true neighborhood destinations for health and wellness, as indicated by our successful launch of the wellness65+ loyalty program for seniors, a strong start to our flu immunization campaign and the completion of our 1,000th wellness store remodel.”