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Neiman Marcus, Walnut Creek, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF

Neiman Marcus took full advantage of its Northern California locale in the design of its store in Walnut Creek, Calif. The interior finishes and materials draw from the rich colors of the surrounding landscape, and the space takes advantage of the famed California sunshine. The two-level store—the 42nd Neiman Marcus store to date—offers a fresh take on modern luxury shopping in a smaller format for the upscale retailer, featuring 85.870 sq. ft. of selling space.

The exterior reflects the Neiman Marcus’ contemporary, art-infused sensibility. The design architect, MBH Architects, used colored artisan glass mixed with different textures to create a façade wrapped by arched roofing, with one-inch insulated panels supported by aluminum mullions. At night, when the glass is illuminated, the mullions appear in silhouette and create a much different effect than in the daytime.

The interior, designed by Charles Sparks + Co. in partnership with the retailer, is planned as a series of informal interlocking spaces. The materials palette includes warmer, lighter tonality, and the use of glass and metal screens that provide a feeling of openness and translucency.

In keeping with a longstanding Neiman Marcus tradition, locally-inspired artwork is integrated throughout the space (the design includes “neutral” zones for the placement of the art pieces). Celebrated Bay Area artist Ned Kahn created a kinetic sculpture, called “Wind Fins,” for the exterior of the building,

Design: Charles Sparks + Co., Westchester, Ill., in partnership with Neiman Marcus

Design architect: MBH Architects, Alameda, Calif.


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Mar-31-2013 08:54 pm

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News

Gartner: Measuring ROI critical to social CRM initiatives

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Although the adoption of social media by sales, marketing and customer service departments continues to grow rapidly, by the end of 2012, only 50% of Fortune 1000 companies will receive a worthwhile return on investment from their social customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives, according to Gartner.

“For the 50% of Fortune 1000 organizations not determining, or even measuring, ROI, ignorance will mean failed projects,” said Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner. “Among the companies who will not see a worthwhile return, only 20% will even have the data to evaluate where their social strategy is falling short. These organizations will be unable to justify future funding.”

During the next two years, the success of social CRM will depend on how well companies and social CRM technology providers can make social CRM projects more than just social objectives by tying them to clear and measurable business objectives. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012 three-quarters of new social CRM initiatives that receive funding will have a business case incorporating measurable ROI.

Many organizations have established a form of social presence. However, many also lack a clear business performance objective for social CRM, being at early stage in their measurement of its business outcomes.

“Social data, such as numbers of fan pages and weekly Tweets, is not enough to correlate with the contribution of top business objectives,” said Sarner. “ROI, measurable business value and budget justification for social projects are becoming unavoidable topics for many organizations.”

Gartner analysts expect the worldwide market for social CRM software licenses and subscriptions to total $2.1 billion in 2012, up from 850 million in 2011, and that social CRM revenue will represent 10% of the overall CRM market.

Gartner said that business-to-business applications for sales use will have the fastest growth and will account for 30% of social CRM spending by 2015, up from 5% in 2011.

Today, social CRM vendors differentiate themselves on the basis of functions, analytics, ease of use and superior experience delivered through professional services. Over time, however, they will need to show quantified business cases and, more importantly, deliver repeatable social CRM processes that are not yet broadly available.

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OPERATIONS

Bill reverses right of New Jersey to claim unused gift card

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — A 2010 law that gave the state of New Jersey the authority to claim the value of unused gift cards as revenue has been repealed by the state’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Two years ago, a law was passed that allowed unused gift cards to be included as part of New Jersey’s unclaimed property law, giving the state the authority to claim ones that went unused for past years. The law went unforced as it sparked a lawsuit from retailers. It also caused American Express and select other companies to pull its gifts cards from store shelves rather than comply with complicated regulations.

The new bill would also prohibit retailers from charging fees on cards used infrequently or placing expiration dates on their use, the report said.

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