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Nook Media to preview new ‘Angry Birds’ game at Barnes & Noble stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Nook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Inc., together with video game manufacturer Rovio, will make the upcoming “Angry Birds Stella” game available for preview exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores from Aug. 29 to Sept. 3. During that time, customers can come to any Barnes & Noble store nationwide and visit the Nook Counter to play the game, before anyone else, on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook in-store demo devices.

“With the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, we highlighted our commitment to bringing the very best content and experiences to our customers,” said Jonathan Shar, VP and general manager of emerging digital content at Nook Media LLC. “One way we are delivering on this is by inviting Angry Birds fans to Barnes & Noble stores to exclusively experience the upcoming Angry Birds Stella game on the fantastic new Nook. Rovio has always been a strong partner with Barnes & Noble/Nook and we are thrilled that we could work together to bring this exciting new game to our stores for fans to experience on our best-in-class new Samsung Nook.”

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Chalkfly leverages SLI search on responsive site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Detroit – Office and school supply e-commerce retailer Chalkfly has launched a redesigned, fully responsive website that leverages SLI Systems search technology. Chalkfly’s use of SLI’s intuitive site search functionality enables customers to quickly and easily find and purchase items amid more than 60,000 products in office and school supply categories.

In preparation for the revamped site, and to address the unique back-to-school product needs for parents and students, Chalkfly used historical data and worked with local PTOs to learn which supplies are key for each grade. With this information, the “searchandising” team curated categories and Back to School kits organized by grade, providing refined options for shoppers. The kits make shopping easier and increase purchases by marketing additional in-demand Back-to-School products to users.

“Given our broad selection of products and the looming presence of some pretty hefty competitors, we knew search would provide us with a critical edge, and SLI has a great solution,” said Lissa Cupp, CMO Chalkfly. “Since implementing SLI, our conversion rates, for customers who performed a search have increased 30% and the average order values overall have increased by 33%. On top of upping the search ante with SLI, we’ve gained some tips on simplifying the search process for customers, especially during back-to-school season.”

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Omnichannel aids Brown Shoe BTS efforts

BY CSA STAFF

Famous Footwear parent company Brown Shoe said it believes stepped up omnichannel efforts will drive sales this back-to-school season sales after reporting better than expected second quarter results.

The operator of more than 1,200 Famous Footwear and Naturalizer stores said sales increased 2.3% to $636 million with same store sales at Famous Footwear brand stores up 1.6%. The company also operates 14 branded ecommerce sites and is known for brands such as Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl’s, LifeStride, Ryka, Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, Fergie Footwear and Carlos Santana.

“Our second quarter results reflect the health of both our retail and wholesale businesses, as we continue to benefit from, and expand on, our portfolio realignment efforts,” said Diane Sullivan, CEO, president and chairman of Brown Shoe Company. “At Famous Footwear, our focus on delivering a seamless omnichannel experience to our consumers helped kick off our back-to-school selling season. At our wholesale brands, our trend-right merchandise is resonating with both consumers and retailers.”

Second quarter profits increased 17.6% to $18.1 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to prior year profits of $15.4 million, or 35 cents a share. That was good enough to cause the company to raise its full year forecast.

“Despite a continued, industry-wide decline in traffic patterns and an overall tough retail environment, we were able to deliver against expectations in the second quarter,” said Russ Hammer, Brown Shoe’s CFO. “To account for our better-than-expected second quarter performance, we are raising our annual guidance range to $1.50 to $1.60.”

The company expects its Famous Footwear stores to produce same store sales growth in the low single digits this year.

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