OPERATIONS

Pier 1 Imports, Alliance Data sign long-term private-label credit card deal

BY Staff Writer

Fort Worth, Texas — Pier 1 Imports said Thursday it has, through a subsidiary, signed a new, long-term private-label credit card agreement with Alliance Data.

Under terms of the new agreement, Alliance Data, through its bank subsidiary, will provide end-to-end private-label credit card services from account acquisition to multichannel marketing and customer service for Pier 1 Imports.

Pier 1 Imports’ current private-label credit card program will remain in place until portfolio conversion occurs, which is anticipated in the first quarter of 2012. Alliance Data expects the program portfolio to be in the $120 million range by the end of 2012.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Two out of three U.S. consumers surveyed want self-service options when shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

Duluth, Ga. — A majority of U.S. consumers believe that self-service technologies such as self-checkout and kiosks improve the store experience, with almost half of younger shoppers preferring to use self-checkout in stores, according to a new survey by The NPD Group for NCR Corp.

In the report two out of three U.S. consumers surveyed want self-service options when shopping, and nearly half of shoppers surveyed under 45 want stores to offer self-checkout. In other findings, almost 46% of consumers surveyed want stores to offer more self-service options, like self-checkout or kiosks, to improve the shopping experience.

“Survey results highlight how consumers are embracing self-service and their growing preference for self-service options when shopping,” said Scott Kingsfield, senior VP and general manager of NCR’s retail line of business. “By offering consumers the choice of self-checkout as part of their full-service portfolio, retailers can offer consumers a convenient and enhanced shopping experience.”

Additional NCR research data shows that U.S. grocers who implement self-checkout see self-service usage rates of approximately 35% of all transactions.

“The option of self-service, when delivered as part of a strategic customer engagement program, can help many retailers cater to today’s time-starved and on-the-go consumers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group. “This survey demonstrates that self-checkout is a popular choice for these shoppers, who appreciate the speed and convenience of self-service.”

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