OPERATIONS

Report: Amazon expands in-home services pilot

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com is reportedly expanding a pilot of in-home installation and repair services from Seattle to markets including New York and Los Angeles. According to Reuters, Amazon has been running the pilot in Seattle since mid-2012.

Amazon offers online recommendations for services that relate to customer purchases. The retailer partners with local service providers and takes a roughly 20% share of the proceeds, while offering customers a full guarantee. Services include installing toilets and car speakers. Service providers must carry between $1 million and $2 million of liability insurance, respond to customer requests within 24 hours, and submit to annual background checks. Amazon reportedly wants to build the pilot into a full online services marketplace.

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FINANCE

Home Depot promotes finance exec to merchandising VP

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – The Home Depot Inc. has promoted Ted Decker to executive VP of merchandising, effective Aug. 4. Decker is a 14-year veteran of The Home Depot, where he most recently served as senior VP of retail finance, pricing analytics and assortment planning.

In his new role, Decker will be responsible for all aspects of merchandising strategy and operations, reporting to Craig Menear, president – U.S. retail. Prior to joining The Home Depot in 2000, Decker held various positions in strategic planning, business development, finance and treasury at Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Scott Paper Co.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Whole Foods to expand loyalty, marketing, home delivery

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Whole Foods plans to expand its loyalty, marketing and home delivery programs. In a conference call with investors, co-CEO Walter Robb said Whole Foods will launch its first national marketing campaign in fall 2014, with a focus on how the retailer is better and different than its competitors.

In addition, Whole Foods will partner with third-party providers to offer home delivery in an additional 12-15 markets beyond New York, where it is currently running a home delivery pilot. The retailer will also pilot a new loyalty program in the near future, with wider rollout planned for the 2014 holiday season.

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