REAL ESTATE

Report: Costco gets OK to open store in Baton Rouge

BY Staff Writer

New York — Officials in Baton Rouge have approved more than $7 million in incentives to bring a Costco store to the Louisiana city, the Associated Press reported.

Costco is expected to open a 150,000-sq-ft. store by next April at the site of a former Coca-Cola bottling facility, the report said.

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FINANCE

Wet Seal to pay $7.5 million in discrimination lawsuit

BY Marianne Wilson

Philadelphia — Wet Seal Inc. agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a federal racial discrimination lawsuit that accused retailer of firing black employees because they didn’t fit the retailer’s “brand image.”

The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund represented the plaintiffs in the class-action effort. The lawsuit alleged that former top Wet Seal executives denied equal pay and promotion opportunities to black store managers or removed them outright, replacing them with white employees.

In a statement, Wet Seal CEO John D. Goodman, who took the reins of the chain in January, said that the company appreciates the insights gained in the lawsuit and is committed to nondiscriminatory employment practices.

“From the moment I became CEO of Wet Seal in January, I made clear that we value a diverse work force and believe that a dynamic and representative employee base allows us to best serve all our customers,” Goodman stated. “We are pleased to put this matter behind us.”

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News

Dillard’s taps OpinionLab for customer feedback solution

BY Staff Writer

Chicago — Dillard’s has selected OpinionLab to extend its omnichannel “Voice of Customer” program including its digital, mobile and in-store experiences, with precise insight into what its customers want and need.

OpinionLab’s patented solutions allow Dillard’s to systematically interpret customer feedback across all of Dillard’s brand touchpoints, including mobile platforms, online and in-store. Now, Dillard’s can monitor and optimize the customer experience in real-time with an end-to-end solution set that includes research design, data collection and integration, analysis and reporting. Location-specific, context-rich insight can be fed across the organization, from managers through executives, for the greatest impact from the voice of the customer.

“At Dillard’s, we are committed to providing the very best customer service and a great experience for our customers regardless of where they shop – whether that’s in our stores, at Dillards.com or through their mobile phones,” said Woody Chin, CIO of Dillard’s. “We believe our decision to select the global leader in Voice of Customer, is a true testament of our commitment – making it even easier for our customers to provide feedback and for our company to act on that feedback.”

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