OPERATIONS

NRF asks for healthcare reform delay

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Neil Trautwein, VP and employee benefits policy counsel of the National Retail Federation, told a congressional panel today that retail and chain restaurant companies continue to have serious concerns about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and remain worried by the quickly approaching deadlines for full healthcare reform implementation, anticipated for January 2014.

“Our nation — particularly employers — cannot afford for the ACA to stumble out of the starting gate,” Trautwein said in prepared testimony. “We fear that as time diminishes between now and January 2014, a cascade of additional last minute regulations will create added confusion and thus could encourage more employers to back out of coverage.”

Trautwein is scheduled to testify before a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the “Challenges Facing America’s Businesses Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” There he will present the NRF’s view that Congress should mitigate the potentially adverse impact of the ACA on retailers by redefining full-time coverage eligibility to 40 hours, and reiterate NRF’s call on Congress and the administration to delay ACA implementation for up to one year.

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RetailMeNot opens Canadian coupon site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Digital coupon provider RetailMeNot is expanding into Canada with the launch of its new RetailMeNot.ca site. The site provides Canadian consumers with access to thousands of digital coupons for more than 6,000 retailers doing business in Canada.

"This cross-border expansion of the RetailMeNot brand is part of our long-term commitment to become a trusted source of savings for online consumers globally," said Cotter Cunningham, the CEO and founder of RetailMeNot. "We’re excited to enter the Canadian market so we can help millions of shoppers save money using digital coupons available online at RetailMeNot.ca and enable our retail partners in the region to boost their sales."

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OPERATIONS

Catalog Spree adds brands to mobile shopping app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Altos, Calif. – Catalog Spree, which promotes itself as a “digital mall” providing online access to retail catalogs, has added several brands to its mobile shopping app. Retailers — including Forever 21, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Target, Toms Shoes, Torrid and Urban Outfitters — now have Catalog Spree “lookbooks” that provide online browsing of catalog-style product selections. Catalog Spree also has added a price watch feature that sends users automatic notifications when prices on desired goods drop to a certain point.

"Fashion retailers have long faced a challenge in delivering highly-engaging content to mobile devices, especially tablets," said Joaquin Ruiz, CEO of Catalog Spree. "The traditional utilitarian online shopping mentality of ‘search-find-buy’ does not offer the same enjoyment and satisfaction that teens and young women get when discovering new fashion, trends or inspiration through a very visual and lifestyle medium — such as a lookbook or a catalog. By creating exclusive lookbooks for these popular brands, and many more to come, Catalog Spree delivers that desired visual experience."

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