News

Report: American Apparel ditches handheld readers in favor of RFID

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – American Apparel is automating in-store inventory tracking processes with a wide-area RFID, eliminating the need for handheld readers. As reported by RFID 24-7, following a six-month pilot, American Apparel has deployed an automated inventory system using fixed RFID antennae mounted in ceiling track lights at all locations in North America.

The solution uses Seintron inventory visibility technology and Impinj Speedway readers, antenna hubs and GrandPrix RFID platform. On a continual basis, the system transmits data from RFID inventory tags with Impinj Monza chips to a database providing real-time RFID coverage across the store. Ninety-eight percent of items in the store are tagged.

Reported benefits from the use of RFID to automate in-store inventory management include improvements in inventory accuracy, on-shelf availability, security, and the ability to locate merchandise. In addition, combining inventory visibility with POS data American Apparel can improve analytics of its merchandising performance and elimination of previously manual cycle counts provides store associates and managers with more time to perform customer-facing tasks.

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OPERATIONS

Meijer expands digital coupon initiative

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Meijer is expanding its mPerks digital coupon program to include pharmacy purchases, allowing customers to earn $10 off their total shopping purchase, 5% off total grocery and health-and-beauty purchases or 50 cents off per gallon of Meijer gas for every five eligible prescriptions filled. Customers can also hang onto their rewards and keep filling prescriptions to earn double rewards, saving as much as $1 per gallon on gas or $20 off their next shopping visit.

Meijer launched mPerks in the fall of 2010 as a faster, easier way for customers to clip coupons. The retailer says as many as 25,000 customers sign up for the free online program, which has a redemption rate up to four times the national average.

"Pharmacy rewards is just the latest way we go beyond offering everyday low prices and weekly specials to help our customers save money," said Michael Ross, VP of customer marketing and emerging technology. "We are excited to expand mPerks for our 1.5 million subscribers, and hope they enjoy personalizing their savings even more when they checkout."

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Dollarama COO takes top role at 99 Cents Only Stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

City of Commerce, Calif. — Stephane Gonthier, COO of Canadian dollar store chain Dollarama Inc., is leaving that company to take the role of president and CEO at 99 Cents Only Stores. Gonthier will remain with Dollarama during a transitionary period and Richard Anicetti, interim CEO of 99 Cents Only, will return to his position as board member once Gonthier arrives.

Prior to joining Dollarama in 2007, Gonthier spent nine years in different executive positions at Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc, operator of the Circle K convenience store chain. Gonthier’s final role there was senior VP, Eastern North America.

“The growth of 99 Cents Only Stores has been outstanding for the past several quarters and we are excited to bring on Stéphane as our president and CEO to help us capitalize on our recent accomplishments and guide the company toward long-term success as a leader in the extreme-value category,” said David Kaplan, chairman of the board and senior partner of Ares Management LLC, operator of 99 Cents Only.

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