OPERATIONS

PetSmart taps Hallmark exec as CIO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix — PetSmart has named Michael Goodwin to the position of senior VP and CIO, effective June 2.

Goodwin brings more than 20 years of information technology experience to PetSmart, most recently serving as senior VP and CIO of technology and business enablement at Hallmark, a $4 billion global enterprise with more than 2,600 stores and an extensive online presence.

“We’re very excited to welcome Mike to the PetSmart team,” said David Lenhardt, PetSmart’s president and CEO. “He has deep expertise in both traditional and emerging technologies and business capabilities, with a proven ability to create and lead an agile organization that explores and deploys innovative concepts quickly.”

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Eyebuydirect launches new e-commerce site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Online prescription eyewear retailer Eyebuydirect.com (EBD) has launched a new website featuring with more than 1,200 customizable frames. EBD has streamlined the online shopping experience for prescription glasses with the Eye Try tool, which allows customers to upload a photo of themselves in order to virtually try on any pair of frames available on the site.
Each pair of glasses is adjusted according to the individual’s pupillary distance (PD) and eye alignment.

“We’re pleased to introduce our new website, because it enables consumers to easily navigate and select their perfect pair of glasses from among our extensive collection of customizable frames and lenses” said Roy Hessel, Eyebuydirect founder and CEO. “Our company is vertically integrated in house from R&D and frame design; to merchandizing, customer service and shipping, which enables us to maintain the integrity of our product and services while passing minimal costs on to our customers.”

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Walmart in deal with online car insurance site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Walmart is adding car insurance to its lineup of consumer services. The retailer said it is partnering with AutoInsurance.com, which helps customers comparison shop for auto insurance, to provide customers with "a one stop shop" for their auto insurance needs.

The site allows consumers to look at prices at several insurance companies, including Progressive and Esurance (owned by Allstate), and contrast them with their current insurance.

The service is already available in eight states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas — and Walmart plans a nationwide rollout in the coming months.

Walmart will promote the AutoInsurance.com website in its stores, and receive a monthly fee in return, while AutoInsurance.com will collect commissions when insurance is sold on its site. Customers will also be able to access the site from Walmart’s own web site.

“Our business is driven by a commitment to taking products and services that are complex and pricey – and making them easy and affordable,” said Daniel Eckert, senior VP of services for Wal-Mart U.S. “Our customers too often have to settle for auto insurance policies that aren’t the best fit and cost more than they want to spend. With AutoInsurance.com, we’re helping our customers in Tennessee save money on one of their largest household expenses in a new, quick and easy way.”

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