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Pendleton teams with Micros-Retail to redesign website

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Westboro, Mass. — Micros-Retail, a division of Micros Systems, announced Tuesday that Pendleton has selected it to redesign and re-launch pendleton-usa.com.

Pendleton’s updated e-commerce presence will utilize Micros-Retail’s Open Commerce Platform, a Java-based commerce framework that can accommodate a variety of integration points including catalog functionality, content management and reporting capabilities. The redesigned site showcases the collections in a full-screen view, introduces a ratings and reviews system, invites users to explore the new "Pendleton Threads" blog, and provides a destination for editorial content and inspiration.

"We require a very design-forward look to illustrate the craftsmanship of our products while at the same time providing our shoppers the opportunity to join the conversation regarding the brand," said Peter Bishop, Pendleton VP marketing. "Micros-Retail has an exceptional creative and user experience team within its Fry division, and the approach developed was perfect for our site."

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Doc Popcorn rolls out pcAmerica Restaurant Pro Express

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pearl River, N.Y. — POS software provider pcAmerica said Tuesday that popcorn franchise Doc Popcorn selected its Restaurant Pro Express POS package to replace its outdated electronic cash registers, adding ongoing flexibility to customize software, as well as pcAmerica recommended and certified designed-to-fit peripherals.

The chain plans to expand the rollout throughout the franchise organization.

The POS system bundle that Doc Popcorn chose includes the Elo TouchSystems 15B1 All-in-One (AiO) Touchcomputer from TE Connectivity and Epson’s TM-T70 thermal receipt printer. The space-saving design was ideal for Doc Popcorn, which operates 34 stores, including popcorn carts where space is at a premium.

"We needed a point of sale setup that was small but had all of the functionality of a standard size POS terminal," said Rob Woodfield, director of operations for Doc Popcorn.

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A Christmas miracle on Black Friday

BY CSA STAFF

New York — The retail industry experienced a weekend that was a roaring success in terms of customer traffic, sales and another key metric that was overlooked: No one died! At least not in the gruesome fashion of a few years ago when a Walmart employee was trampled by an unruly mob as he opened the doors at a Long Island, NY, store on Black Friday. There was an incident this year involving an older man who collapsed at a Target store in West Virginia and later died at a hospital, but it was determined he had a pre-existing heart condition.

The retail industry has come a long way in terms of Black Friday crowd control, which is a good thing considering the mass of humanity that now turns out to shop the day after Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation put the figure at 86 million people this year, which is a staggering number of people and increases the potential for things to go wrong based simply on the law of averages. The situation is further magnified by variables that add to the frustration factor, such as crowded parking lots, unusual operating hours and long lines for limited quantities of the best deals. It’s why the retail industry should feel pretty good that there weren’t more incidents like the one involving the man at the West Virginia Target or other high-profile incidents — such as the one involving the woman who used pepper spray to disperse a crowd of fellow shoppers at Walmart so as to gain unfettered access to promotional merchandise.

This isn’t to suggest retailers don’t have room to improve crowd-control measures, and especially the distribution of feature merchandise that typically causes people to lose control and behave like a pack of starving hyenas separating the last shreds of meat from a carcass. This type of behavior has to be seen or experienced first-hand to be believed and for that we have YouTube. It is filled with videos taken by people chronicling their Black Friday adventures, which for some reason often seem to involve Walmart. While the videos of boisterous, agitated crowds clamoring for merchandise is unsettling and evokes a gut reaction along the lines of, “what’s wrong with people?” it is important to remember that the circumstances which lead to the mob mentality is of the retailers’ doing. Marketing efforts to drive early-season sales are filled with urgency along the lines of, “grab these deals before they are gone,” “our lowest prices ever,” and “savings that won’t last.”

The desire to grab discounted merchandise and the large crowds creates a kind of competitiveness that is unsettling to watch on YouTube and scary to be part of. Large stores crammed full of people are like powder kegs that can easily be ignited when one person becomes overly zealous in their pursuit of merchandise. The retail industry can be thankful that wasn’t the case this year, given the massive turnout.

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