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Pennsylvania center gets innovative traffic control system

BY Al Urbanski

The new Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania, will benefit from an innovative new traffic control system that manages signal timing based on continuously monitored traffic volumes.

The system allows traffic approaching the center from a major artery to the mall “largely unstopped” by lights, township engineer Alan Fornwalt told Allentown’s Morning Call.

Hamilton Crossings, a joint venture of The Goldenberg Group and TCH Development, will present the first Costco, Whole Foods, and Nordstrom Rack stores to the Allentown-Bethlehem area. Nordstrom Rack opened this month; the others are set to debut in October. Target staged the first big opening at the center in July.

The center will bring 619 full-time jobs and 301 part-time jobs to the area, development team Tim Harrison told the Lehigh Valley News, noting that many would be living wage positions.

“Our leading retailers have discovered it’s a good investment to pay a living wage, because you have motivated employees and they stay longer. You save on retraining,” Harrison said.

Other tenants at Hamilton Crossings include Smashburger, Ulta Cosmetics, BJ’s Brewhouse, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Petsmart, and Designer Shoe Warehouse.


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Express beats customer expectations through outsourced services

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Omnichannel has pushed the envelope on customer expectations, and retailers need to deliver — literally.

Express is not only meeting customer expectations, it is exceeding them by outsourcing its fulfillment and freight operations to Radial. The omnichannel technology and operations provider’s Richwood, Kent.-based fulfillment center features space specifically built out to support Express’ back-end omnichannel needs.

Meanwhile, the company’s fulfillment and freight managed services help the specialty retailer improve transit times and order fulfillment, regardless of volume spikes. For example, during peak seasons, shipped units can increase by 10 times the volume shipped during an average week.

"Radial has the scalability and expertise to support both expected and unexpected volume spikes without impacting the customer experience," shared Steve Nicholas, director, e-commerce sales and operations at Express. "It can do capacity leveling either in the same building, or the same campus. In addition, Radial's scale positively impacts our transportation speed and cost."

As the specialty retailer’s omnichannel model heats up, Nicholas is relying on Radial to help Express find ways to further drive customer service. For example, this month, the team will be leveraging auto baggers and other freight optimization initiatives to further improve its packing efficiencies, costs and fulfillment times.

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Report: EMV adoption remains sluggish

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Chip-based payment terminals seem to be everywhere. But that does not mean they are being used the way they intended.

However, almost a year after the imposed Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) mandate deadline, barely one-third of retailers actually accept chip-based payments, according to an infographic from The Strawhecker Group (TSG).

EMV is a globally accepted payment card standard that uses an embedded microchip to provide unique data protection when the card is inserted into a chip-card reader. After the October 2015 liability shift, U.S. card-accepting merchants without the ability to accept EMV cards are liable for fraudulent transactions.

As the industry approaches the first anniversary of the EMV liability shift, 44% of U.S. card-accepting merchants have EMV terminals, and a mere 29% are processing chip-enabled transactions, the infographic revealed.

TSG’s January survey of payment processors and other payment providers estimated that more than 50% of companies would have an EMV terminal by this time, proof that adoption has slowed more than expected, according to a company statement.

“EMV terminal vendor supply and delays in the [device] activation/certification process are the bottlenecks in the migration,” said Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at TSG.

Delays aside, TSG remains optimistic, estimating that consumers will be able to use their chip-based credit and debit cards at 51% of U.S. merchant locations by December. The sooner they make the move, retailers will protect themselves against liabilities — both big and small. For example, more than 60% of respondents experienced an increase in the number of chargebacks due to a lack of EMV compliance, the report said.

“It is clear that non-EMV compliant merchants have felt the impact of the liability shift,” said Drieling. “The good news is that as merchants refresh their terminals for EMV, they are also adopting the contactless capability which lays the foundation for future payments, such as mobile proximity payments.”

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