SUPPLY CHAIN

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon develop a robot for use in retail stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The campus store at Carnegie Mellon University has a new attraction: a small robot called AndyVision. Developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Intel Science and Technology Center in Embedded Computing, the robot is designed to help keep track of store inventories and assist customers in finding products, according to a report on PCWorld.

The robotic device is outfitted with a Kinect sensor, a combination of image-processing and machine-learning algorithms and has an on-board computer that comes with a database of 3D and 2D images of the store’s products and a basic map of the store’s layout, the report said. It glides around the Carnegie Mellon store, checking the shelves for low stock or misplaced items. The information it gathers is sent back to the store’s iPad-equipped associates.

Once the initial campus store trial is finished, the researchers hope to test AndyVision in several local, PCWorld reported.

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FINANCE

Francesca’s taps Men’s Wearhouse CFO as new president

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Houston — Francesca’s Holdings Corp. announced Monday that it has appointed Men’s Wearhouse CFO Neill Davis to its newly created position of president. Both companies are based in Houston.

Davis, a 15-year executive of Men’s Wearhouse, has been a board member of the apparel and accessories chain for the past five years. He will officially become Francesca’s president on Aug. 6.

Men’s Wearhouse chief accounting officer and executive VP Diana Wilson will step in to the CFO role on an interim basis, said the company. VP finance and accounting Kelly Dilts will fill Wilson’s role of chief accounting officer.

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STORE SPACES

Conversion underway for Genuardi’s stores in Philadelphia area

BY Allison Cerra

Carlisle, Pa. — Ahold subsidiary Giant Food said it has commenced its conversion of 15 former Genuardi’s stores. The announcement follows FTC approval of Giant Food’s plan to acquire 15 Genuardi’s stores, located in the greater Philadelphia area, from Safeway.

During the conversion process, five stores at a time will temporarily close for about a week. The three-phase staggered approach is expected to be completed on July 22.

"During the three weeks of conversion, we will strive to minimize the amount of disruption to our customers," Giant Food Stores president Rick Herring said. "Giant is committed to this multi-million dollar investment to improve the overall shopping experience in these 15 stores to meet the quality, selection and savings that customers have come to expect from Giant."

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