REAL ESTATE

Mrs. Fields to debut new store at Arista Place

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Broomfield, Colo. — Mrs. Fields Cookies said Tuesday it will open a new location at Arista Place, located in Broomfield, Colo.

The flagship store, which is slated to launch construction this month, will feature a new store design and branding. It is expected to open in March 2013.

The new design, said the company, will incorporate more soft seating and a retail area for ordering cookie gifts online. The corporate location will also serve as the company’s training university for new franchisees.

The enhanced design, completed by Fitch Design Services, will be utilized as the company’s new brand identity and store design moving forward.

“This new location will be a great addition to the emerging development taking place at Arista Place,” said Tim Casey, CEO of Mrs. Fields Cookies. “Mrs. Fields is an iconic brand and we feel that Arista is a great place to debut our new look, including the addition of innovative products, brand imagery focusing on the 35-year history and a unique retro design, all of which are key components included with the concept’s 2013 brand re-launch program.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

IDC releases preview of Top 10 Predictions for Retail Industry

BY Marianne Wilson

Framingham, Mass. — The impact of omnichannel retail on the supply chain, customer experience and merchandise optimization is one of IDC Retail Insights’ Top 10 Predictions for the Retail Industry in 2013.

IDC will reveal the complete list on Dec. 6 (click here for more information), but as a “preview,” the company predicts the following three trends will make an impact on the retail industry in the coming year:

  • Omnichannel retail, now at the heart of modern retail strategies, create a new set of operating rules for supply chain, customer experience, and merchandise optimization.
  • Retailers will come to grips with the relative lack of maturity when it comes to offering an engaged and genuine customer experience. Investments that create a unified brand experience will accelerate to make up ground.

  • Supply chains will evolve into trusted, efficient, and effective (TEE) ecosystems that assure that the brand promises made to the consumer at the front end of a shopping episode are kept when executing on the delivery of the order regardless of channel.
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News

Staples ask small business to join its network

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples and LinkedIn have teamed up to launch SUCCEED: Small Business Network, an online forum for small business professionals.

SUCCEED gives small business professionals the opportunity to network, seek advice, have discussions and share success stories and professional hurdles, while giving Staples the opporunity to engage with one of its core customers segments. The forum will also offer information and content in a variety of ways, including a small-business oriented special edition of LinkedIn Today, an editorial platform that aggregates and curates highly relevant and targeted news from one million publishers across the web.

“At Staples, we’re always providing new ways to help our small business customers succeed,” said Alison Corcoran, SVP of marketing, Staples Retail. “Together with LinkedIn, we have the opportunity to develop a vital small business community and build on our relationships with this important segment through the leading social network for professionals.”

To engage members, the managed group will offer benefits such as industry expert profiles, targeted events, incentive awards, spotlight Q&As and weekly polls. The content will be managed and monitored by a dedicated editorial staff at LinkedIn.

“We are pleased to work with Staples to create an environment which offers content that matters to small business professionals,” said Jonathan Lister, VP, North American Sales, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn. “Through SUCCEED, we aim to give our members the resources they need to be more productive and successful within the digital and social context that is most relevant to them.”

Staples branding will be visible throughout the group’s page, including a “Powered by Staples” tag and four areas of branded content on the right rail. LinkedIn has also placed measurement tools on the group’s page for administrators and members to gauge performance using on-site analytics.

Both companies aim to engage existing Staples customers as well as capture the attention of new small business professionals. As such, both companies will amplify insights from the group through a combination of member-facing emails and e-newsletters, messaging on the Staples LinkedIn Company Page and posts on social media channels. The forum is accessible at Linkedin.com/succeedsmallbiz.

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