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Report: Amazon readies mobile card reader for August release

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com is reportedly readying a mobile credit card reader for release in August. According to 9to5Mac, the reader would compete directly with similar devices offered by Square and PayPal, and likely connect directly to Amazon’s recently released digital wallet app.

Internal inventory documents from Staples reportedly list Amazon card readers as being available for sale at a retail price of $9.99, with no signage or promotion until Aug. 12. Amazon and Staples have not publicly commented on the report. Rumors have previously circulated about an upcoming Amazon card reader, most recently in a June 2014 report from Bloomberg.

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REAL ESTATE

Westchester’s Ridge Hill to offer interactive Dreamworks Santa exhibit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), owner and developer of Westchester’s Ridge Hill, will host DreamPlace, an interactive Santa adventure. DreamWorks Animation has chosen Westchester’s Ridge Hill as one of just seven locations around the country, and the only one in the Northeast during the 2014 holiday season.

DreamPlace will use DreamWorks Animation technology to enable children to experience the full narrative of a visit to the North Pole. The experience will include an immersive journey with the children’s animated movie character Shrek. Appointments will be made by app.

“We are thrilled to work with DreamWorks Animation to bring this creative and memorable update to the annual visit to Santa to our Ridge Hill shoppers,” said Kathryn Welch, executive VP, Forest City Ratner Companies. “At Forest City, we are dedicated to making Westchester’s Ridge Hill a regional destination for families seeking the newest and most exciting entertainment, shopping and dining experiences.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Meijer focuses on apparel

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grand Rapids. Mich. – Meijer is reportedly focusing on making its apparel, footwear and accessories assortment more appealing to fashion-conscious customers. According to the Detroit News, Meijer is taking steps including redesigning its stores, hiring outside consultants and launching a multimedia marketing campaign to improve the appeal of apparel and related categories.

Existing and new stores (Meijer has previously announced it will build 10-15 new stores a year) will feature taller walls between departments and large wall graphics. In addition, Meijer is utilizing social networks including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as a Meijer Style website with commentary from fashion bloggers.

Meijer is focusing on providing higher quality merchandise while retaining discount prices. The company expects it will take about a year to fully implement the program.

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