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Report: Merchandisers seek speed in applications

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walnut Creek, Calif. – Retail merchandisers are expressing a pragmatic need for speed in future merchandising applications. According to a new study from RSR Research, “Merchandising Today: Benchmark 2013, 28%” top-performing retail “winners” are already investigating simplifying their IT environments with cloud-based merchandising technology.

In contrast, only 13% of underperforming retail “laggards” are investigating cloud-based merchandising systems. More than 50% of underperforming retailers see themselves spending their next three to five years just trying to get away from home-grown applications. Half of them (27%) in an effort to move toward point solutions and the other half (27%) trying to get towards an integrated suite.

RSR Research concludes that winners have moved on from home-grown merchandising applications while laggards are letting them inhibit technological progress.

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Fairway unveils new mobile app

BY CSA STAFF

Fairway Market has launched a new mobile app designed to provide an enriched experience for its shoppers who love to cook. It is available on the iPhone App Store, and can be downloaded in any Fairway location since the stores all offer free Wi-Fi.

App users can create individual food profiles by choosing dietary preferences, and then explore beautifully photographed products along with step-by-step gourmet recipes curated by Fairway experts.

"Our new mobile app brings the best of Fairway to our customers’ fingertips," said Arthur Tisi, CIO of Fairway Market. "I’m excited to be a part of the great team that designed and developed an innovative app that enhances our customers’ foodie knowledge and helps them to better plan and cook delicious meals."

As mobile customers, users can have access to exclusive offers only available on the iPhone app. By filling out the app profile, users are provided with a unique personal barcode that can be scanned at checkout to redeem offers.

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Snap36 adds former OfficeMax, Office Depot exec to leadership team

BY CSA STAFF

Snap36, a leading provider of complete 360-degree spin photography services, has added retail industry veteran Steve Embree to its executive leadership team. Embree will act as director of business development.

The company plans to leverage his experience to accelerated Snap36 adoption throughout the online retail and distribution industries. Embree will be responsible for driving business development and go-to-market strategies for Snap36 across both B2C and B2B markets.

Embree spent six years as EVP of merchandising and e-commerce at OfficeMax, where he was responsible for the development of strategic merchandising plans and repositioning the merchandising portfolio. Embree also spent 16 years at Office Depot in a number of leadership positions, including EVP of merchandising and replenishment. He has additional experience in running successful business development programs for retail startups, supply chain management and management consulting.

“Steve brings immeasurable experience and vision to Snap36,” said Jeff Hunt, founder and CEO of Snap36. “He has a track record of growing sales, gross margin and market share that will lend tremendous value to our company as we continue our dramatic growth. We are pleased to welcome him to our leadership team.”

"Having been on the transactional side of e-commerce and closest to the end user, I have a unique understanding of the value Snap36 offers to the marketplace,” said Embree. “Early adopters are experiencing longer engagement times, larger transaction sizes, improved customer satisfaction and lower return rates. This technology is exciting stuff in our industry! The next generation of rich content that Snap36 provides is driving brand recognition and trust along with improved market share and loyal customers. I’m thrilled to be part of the momentum we are generating across the retail and distribution marketplaces.”

Embree has a degree in business administration from Lynchburg College and resides in Hinsdale, Ill.

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