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Report: Zappos overhauls management structure

BY Dan Berthiaume

Las Vegas – Zappos is reportedly instituting a radical overhaul of its management structure that will eliminate traditional managers and flatten the corporate hierarchy, even eliminating internal job titles. According to the Washington Post, this management structure is known as a “holacracy.”

Holacracy is designed to create overlapping circles of self-governing employees, giving workers more autonomy. Employees typically belong to several circles and while there are designated employees that assign tasks, each circle collaboratively makes decisions about how tasks should be completed. There is still some corporate structure and employees are still held accountable for their performance.

Zappos currently has 10% of its employees working in the new holacracy system and reportedly intends to move all employees into the new structure by the end of 2014.

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Report: Federal hearings on Target breach possible

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) reportedly may seek federal hearings on the recent data breach at Target. According to the Associated Press, Menendez said in a press conference held outside a Jersey City, N.J. Target store that he has also requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether it can levy fines against Target and whether laws protecting sensitive consumer data need to be strengthened.

Menendez reportedly said he does not think the FTC can currently assess any fines. The FTC did not fine T.J. Maxx for a similar data breach that occurred in 2006 and was resolved with a settlement agreement. The Department of Justice and Secret Service are both investigating the breach and at least three class-action lawsuits have been filed against the retailer, seeking more than $5 million in damages.

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Flooring products manufacturer launches retail franchise division

BY Dan Berthiaume

Avon, Mass. – SelecTech, Inc., a provider of flooring products made from recycled materials, is launching a retail/franchise division. Based out of the company’s corporate headquarters in Avon, Mass., the new division will feature customer service and marketing representatives specifically dedicated to retail and franchise customers with multiple locations.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) is one of SelecTech’s recent retail customers. EMS wanted an attractive and comfortable floor for its shoe department to provide customers with the proper setting for selecting new shoes. EMS chose SelecTech’s FreeStyle flooring.

“Uniformity is one of the benefits of chains and franchises,” said Thomas Ricciardelli, president of SelecTech Inc. “You want the customer to have the same experience no matter which location they visit. That goes from the way they are greeted to the look and feel of the store. In addition to utilizing a breakthrough interlocking technology that minimizes installation materials and down time, our flooring products are easy to customize for multi-location organizations.”

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