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Oyster ebook service expands platforms

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Unlimited ebook subscription service provider Oyster has launched Web and mobile Web readers. Now available to read on Web and mobile web browsers, the expansion marks Oyster’s second new platform since June 2014, when it launched an Android platform.

Oyster continues its partnership with two of the five largest publishers in the world, and six of the top 10. Oyster is available for $9.95 per month and scrolls top to bottom like a blog.

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Williams-Sonoma streamlines leadership team as part of growth strategy

BY CSA STAFF

As part of its continued growth strategy, Williams-Sonoma made several organizational changes to its management team.

Chief marketing officer Pat Connolly has been elevated to chief strategy and business development officer. Connolly will work closely with senior management to refine the company’s long-term strategy, including the development of new businesses, and the evaluation and execution of acquisitions and alliances that can provide significant growth.

“Pat has devoted the past 35 years to building the company’s multichannel strategy and has been a driving force in our e-commerce growth,” said president and CEO Laura Alber.

Connolly will oversee all corporate communications, including continuing to partner with CFO Julie Whalen on investor relations activities.

“I am excited to work with our outstanding leadership team to identify and capitalize on opportunities that can further enhance shareholder value,” said Connolly.

Chief information officer John Strain has been promoted to the position of chief digital and technology officer. Strain will assume additional responsibility for the company’s digital and direct marketing efforts.

“John’s proven track record as CIO during the past eight years, and his almost two decades of experience in e-commerce technology will enable us to further integrate the rapid developments in digital technology into every aspect of our business,” Alber said.

Felix Carbullido has been promoted to the position of chief marketing officer, succeeding Connolly and reporting to Strain.

“Felix brings a broad range of experiences across merchandising, e-commerce, and executive management to this position. Felix is a proven leader, under whom the Pottery Barn direct business has become one of the largest and most profitable in the U.S. In his new position, Felix will oversee the marketing across all our brands,” said Strain.

Dean Miller has been promoted to the position of COO.

“During the past 14 years, Dean has added significant value to the company in a number of positions of increasing responsibility. Most recently, as chief supply chain officer, Dean led the company’s vertical integration efforts in sourcing, the development of its domestic upholstered manufacturing operations, its global logistics network, and the regionalization of the company’s U.S. distribution network. This promotion recognizes the significant contributions that Dean has made, and the importance of all aspects of our supply chain in providing the best quality service to our customers,” said Alber.

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Hunt underway for America’s smartest shopper

BY CSA STAFF

Time Inc.’s ALL YOU media property is looking for individuals worthy of the distinction of being called “America’s Smartest Shopper,” and is relying on a range of digital methods to aid in the search.

The program launched on July 25 when ALL YOU encouraged smart shoppers to enter via social media with the hashtag #aysmartestshopper or submit their best shopping tip at www.allyou.com/smartestshopper. The contest was also promoted in the August issue of ALL You available at retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Publix and other retailers with August 15 set as the dealine for submissions.

As part of the contest, which is sponsored by Samsung, ALL YOU will select 25 semifinalists who will be given a new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone to create a 60-second video that explains why they are worthy of being called America’s Smartest Shopper. The field of entrants will be narrowed to 10 finalists and then ALL YOU will open the contest to voting between September 17 and October 3 to determine the winner. Three finalists will receive a trip with a guest to New York City, where the winner will be revealed live on NBC’s TODAY Show.

"The influx of technology has propelled the smart shopping movement forward," said Suzanne Quint, publisher of ALL YOU. "In fact, 84% of ALL YOU readers use their smartphones to search for deals while shopping. There is a deep, intrinsic link between the two and we are thrilled to partner with Samsung on The Search for America’s Smartest Shopper."

The big winner is the contest is likely to be ALL YOU, a media property launched more than a decade ago as a print product available exclusively at Walmart. Since then, the brand has penetrated other retailers while consistently finding ways to successfully integrate digital and physical initiatives to engage readers and drive value for advertisers. The Smartest Shopper contest is a good example of the strategy as last year nearly 200,000 readers voted.

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