OPERATIONS

The Pantry names Harris Teeter vet chairman of the board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cary, N.C. — The board of directors of The Pantry Inc. has elected Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson, former chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., to serve as chairman of the board of directors. He replaces Edwin J. Holman, who was chairman of the board since September 2009.

Dickson most recently served as chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter, from February 1997 up to the company’s sale to The Kroger Co. in January 2014, and as chairman of its board of directors from March 2006 to January 2014. Prior to serving as chairman and CEO, Dickson served in various executive posts at Harris Teeter and its former subsidiary, the textile company American & Efird, Inc., and as a director of Harris Teeter from February 1997 to January 2014.

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Family Dollar in chain wide roll out of Checkpoint loss prevention technology

BY Marianne Wilson

Thorofare, N.J. — Family Dollar is rolling out electronic article surveillance (EAS) loss prevention technology from Checkpoint Systems across the retailer’s more than 8,000 stores nationwide. It is one of the fastest roll-outs in the industry, with 3,500 installations already completed and deployments in 120 more stores each week, according to Checkpoint.

“This rollout has already positively impacted our profitability." said Julie Giblin, Family Dollar’s VP of loss prevention. "We could not be more pleased with the results and the partnership with Checkpoint, especially with the implementation speed."

Both companies have also begun the planning process to implement source tagging and a hard tag source program. By working with Family Dollar’s consumer packaged goods and apparel suppliers, this new program will ensure merchandise arrives at Family Dollar stores EAS tagged and shelf-ready, enhancing its customer’s shopping experience. With both tagging programs, Family Dollar aims to further reduce shrink and increase team members’ productivity by focusing their time on customer-facing activities.

Per Levin, president and chief sales officer merchandise availability solutions, Checkpoint Systems, said: “Teams on both sides are enthusiastically executing one of the most ambitious EAS roll-outs in the world, and are now engaging the vendor community in source tagging to deliver even greater financial benefits to the program.”

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IBM helps Asian retailer expand into 15 markets

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — Kids 21, a children’s upscale apparel retailer operated by luxury fashion group Club21, will use IBM’s cloud, e-commerce and analytics software to deliver personalized experience while expanding its online presence across Asia-Pacific. When it launches in the third quarter, the new online site will increase Kids 21’s reach from four to more than 15 countries in the region.

Delivered through the IBM SoftLayer cloud platform, the IBM WebSphere Commerce software will give Kids 21 a customer interaction platform for omni-channel commerce. In addition, Kids 21 will use IBM’s cloud-based Digital Analytics across its branded storefronts to understand real-time shopping trends and deliver personalized promotions based on the unique preferences of its customers. The company’s online operations will also benefit from improved scalability, speed and security with faster provisioning of cloud computing resources through IBM SoftLayer’s dedicated servers.

“We are delighted to be working with IBM and their business partner Cnetric to launch our Kids21 online presence in Asia. Our ambition is to carry forward the exceptional customer experience and fashion curation we offer to our discerning and fashion conscious customers into the online world. We will also use this initiative to drive Kids21 into new markets across Asia Pacific,” said E-Len Fu, director of Kids 21, which operates stores in Singapore, Malaysia, China (Hong Kong) and Thailand.

“We selected Cnetric and IBM WebSphere Commerce due to their combined extensive experience in online retail and the rich capabilities in the software to help personalize the customer experience. We also chose the cloud-based offering to reduce overall cost and improve speed to market which is very important to our growth plans,” she added.

Kids 21 teamed up with IBM and IBM Business Partner Cnetric in a Commerce-as-a-Service deployment to further strengthen their position as both a fashion-forward retailer and future-ready enterprise. The combination of cloud, e-commerce and business analytics technologies will strengthen Kids 21’s customer service and brand loyalty.

According to a study done by the IBM Center for Applied Insights, the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) not only helps save costs but also provides a significant competitive advantage by improving the customer experience. Kids 21 can now provide a superior shopping experience, improve time to market and reduce costs without the large upfront investments required to build a new digital platform or physical storefront in each market.

“By integrating its e-commerce roadmap with analytics and cloud, Kids 21 is well-prepared to take the lead in the retail industry of the future, deepen engagement with customers and secure greater brand loyalty and advocacy,” said Elsie Tan, country manager, Software Group, IBM Singapore. “With Smarter Commerce, retailers can transform their business processes to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands in the digitally-transformed marketplace.”

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