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Motorola sled turns handhelds into RFID readers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Schaumburg, Ill. — Motorola Solutions has released the RFD5500 UHF RFID sled that can instantly turn the MC55N0, MC55A0, MC65 and MC67 mobile computers into lightweight, rugged, handheld RFID readers that deliver fast read rates and improved productivity for retail storefronts, warehouses and field applications.

The RFD5500 offers a combination of intuitive audible and visual cues to guide a worker to the precise location of any desired item. As the device moves closer to a specific item, a tone beeps louder and faster, while a sliding graphical bar increases in size enabling mobile workers to quickly locate any individual item. By building on the enterprise mobile computers’ leading bar code data capture capabilities, the RFD5500 offers dual data capture functionality in a single device. Mobile workers can locate products, read non-line-of-sight RFID data, and capture damaged and poor quality bar codes without interrupting workflows.

The RFD5500 is supported with a portfolio of services designed to help minimize equipment downtime and significantly reduce unforeseen repair expenses

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Selective pricing initiatives help drive Dick’s Sporting Goods in Q3

BY CSA STAFF

Dick’s Sporting Goods said marketing efforts, improved customer experience and selective pricing initiatives in the third quarter helped traffic which resulted in net sales of $1.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of 6.7% compared to the year-ago period.

Margins were still slightly lower than anticipated, however, thanks in part to the shifted calendar, due to the extra week in 2012. Adjusting for that shift, consolidated same store sales increased 3.3%; the year-ago quarter’s same store sales increased 5.1%. E-commerce penetration for the quarter was 6.5% of total sales.

"Despite the continued challenging consumer environment, we delivered better than expected results in the third quarter, exceeding both our sales and earnings expectations. The marketing efforts, improved customer experience and selective pricing initiatives we began in the third quarter were successful in driving traffic and sales, but at slightly lower than anticipated margins," said Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO. "We remain excited about the long-term opportunities in our business that we presented at our analyst day in September, and we will continue to drive towards those goals."

In the third quarter, the company opened 25 new Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, one new Golf Galaxy store and two new Field & Stream stores. The company also relocated one Dick’s Sporting Goods store, repositioned one Golf Galaxy store and completed three full and 22 apparel remodels of Dick’s Sporting Goods stores. As of Nov. 2, the company operated 552 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in 45 states, with approximately 29.9 million sq. ft. and 82 Golf Galaxy stores in 30 states, with approximately 1.4 million sq. ft.

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Unilever to part with three of its brands

BY CSA STAFF

Unilever wants to sell its Soft & Beautiful, TCB and Pro-Line Comb-Thru brands to Strength of Nature. The sale excludes TCB’s business in Africa.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and it is expected to close in early December.

“Soft & Beautiful, TCB and Pro-Line Comb-Thru are each terrific brands with a long legacy in the ethnic hair care category. These brands are part of one of the fastest growing categories in the personal care sector and we believe their potential can now be more fully realised with Strength of Nature,” Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America stated.

“We are extremely pleased to add these great brands to our expanding portfolio. Soft & Beautiful, Soft & Beautiful Botanicals, TCB and Pro-Line Comb-Thru are brands with strong consumer following, high awareness and a long tradition of serving their consumers. We are excited about their potential, and strongly believe they each provide an excellent foundation for expanded innovation and product improvement,” Mario de la Guardia, Strength of Nature CEO added.

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