MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

NCR releases iPad POS solution with loyalty feature

BY Dan Berthiaume

Duluth, Ga. – NCR has released the NCR Silver subscription-based iPad POS solution aimed at helping small businesses create, run and manage reward programs. Loyalty complements the existing automated email and social marketing functionality in NCR Silver, making it even easier for cafés, shops, restaurants, boutiques, food trucks, and any small business to reward customers for repeat purchases.

Loyalty fits seamlessly into the checkout process, automatically tracking rewards with each sale so customers see exactly what they have earned and eliminating the need for paper punch cards. Rewards and customer information reside on the NCR Silver POS system and merchants retain all the data rather than share it through a third-party loyalty application.

“Satisfying your best customers is critical to the success of every small business,” said Justin Hotard, general manager, NCR Silver. “We added loyalty to go along with email marketing, customer history, and reporting to make NCR Silver the perfect fit to grow any small business.”

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OPERATIONS

The Buckle shuffles leadership

BY Dan Berthiaume

Kearney, Neb. – Michelle Hoffman has been appointed to the position of VP of sales and Kyle L. Hanson has been appointed to the position of VP, general counsel, and corporate secretary at The Buckle Inc., both effective immediately.

The company also made the following changes to its leadership team:

  • Karen B. Rhoads has been appointed senior VP of finance and CFO from her current position as VP of finance and CFO, which she has held since 1991.
  • Brett P. Milkie has been appointed senior VP of leasing from his current position as VP of leasing, which he has held since 1996.
  • Patricia K. Whisler has been appointed senior VP of women’s merchandising from her current position as VP of women’s merchandising, which she has held since 2001.
  • Robert M. Carlberg has been appointed senior VP of men’s merchandising from his current position as VP of men’s merchandising, which he has held since 2006.
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FINANCE

Costco Q2 profit falls 15%; will open 14 U.S. stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Issaquah, Wash. – Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a bigger-than-expected 15% drop in net income for the second quarter amid deep-discounting during the holidays. Net income in the quarter ended Feb. 16 fell to $463 million from $547 million.

Costco blamed the lower earnings on several factors, including weaker sales of certain nonfoods merchandise categories and lower international profits. The year-ago period was also helped by a tax benefit.

The company noted that last year’s net income was positively impacted by a $62 million tax benefit.

“Even with that distinction, however, the year-over-year comparison was unfavorable,” said CFO Richard Galanti. “Despite satisfactory sales results during the second fiscal quarter, several other factors led to lower earnings. These factors included: weaker sales and gross margin results in certain non-foods merchandise categories, particularly during the four-week holiday selling season; weaker gross margins in our fresh foods business; and lower reported international profits, resulting from the significant weakening of foreign exchange rates.”

Net sales increased 6% to $25.76 billion, from $24.34 billion. Total same-store sales rose 3%. Costco cited a positive tax benefit the company received in fiscal 2012, as well as weaker sales and gross margins in several product categories and unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates as impacting its net income.

Costco also said it plans to open 14 new stores in the U.S. by the end of fiscal 2014.

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