OPERATIONS

Reeds Jewelers and Alliance Data team for credit card services

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dallas — Loyalty and marketing solution-provider Alliance Data Systems Corp. said Thursday that it has signed a multi-year renewal agreement to continue providing private label credit card services to Reeds Jewelers.

Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will continue to provide private label credit card services for the Reeds Jewelers Credit Card program, including account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, card authorization, private label credit card issuance, statement generation, remittance processing, customer service functions, and marketing services.

In addition, Alliance Data is collaborating with Reeds to develop and launch a program that enhances the Reeds Jeweler Credit Card value proposition to cardholders. This new ‘customer-nurture’ marketing concept, exclusive to cardholders, may include incentives to drive customer repeat visits and purchases to redeem offers such as special discounts on bridal jewelry cleaning, repair, and future purchases at Reeds Jewelers.

“Alliance Data has helped us grow our portfolio of cardholders and continuously drive incremental sales by offering promotional payment plans and flexible credit options to our customers," said Alan Zimmer, owner and president of Reeds Jewelers.

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FINANCE

H&M profit drops in Q4, still on track to open 275 stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Stockholm, Sweden — Swedish fast-fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz reported Thursday that net profit for the fourth quarter dipped to $997.2 million from $1.1 billion in the year earlier period. Sales in December, the first month of H&M’s fiscal first quarter, were up 13% year-on-year in local currencies, against a forecast 12%. Same-store sales were up 4%.

"Most indicators suggest that the macro-economic climate in many of our markets will continue to be tough during 2012," said CEO Karl-Johan Persson.

Despite the surprise drop in Q4 profit, H&M said it would press ahead with its expansion, opening 275 new stores in its 2011/12 financial year, including its first in a Latin American market, Mexico. The chain operates about 2,500 stores in 43 countries.

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News

Target gives $5 million to needy schools

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS— Target has announced the names of the 50 recipients that were selected to receive a $100,000 grant to purchase much-needed resources and improve their learning environments. The $5 million donation from Target to K-through-12 schools in 31 states across the country is part of the company’s commitment to education, which includes plans to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015.

From Nov. 25, 2011 through Jan. 4, viewers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show were invited to submit the name of a school in need along with a compelling story explaining why they felt the designated school should receive a grant from Target. Based on the nominations received, Target selected 48 schools and two school districts to receive grants. All grant recipients were chosen based on a number of factors, including consideration of Title I eligibility.

“We all have an important role to play when it comes to ensuring our children and future leaders are academically successful,” said Laysha Ward, president community relations for Target. “Thanks to the thousands of viewers who nominated a school as a potential grant recipient, we are contributing a total of $5 million to schools and districts across the country in hopes of inspiring learning and putting more kids on the path to graduation, ready for college, a career and life.”

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