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Sam’s Club deploys FICO solution to boost member loyalty

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Wal-Mart Stores’ Sam’s Club division is achieving higher-than-expected results from its eValues program, which creates customized offers based on purchase history. The program employs Minneapolis-based FICO’s Retail Action Manager as its core predictive technology platform.

The FICO solution is a marketing decision application that uses a combination of predictive analytics, rules, and optimization technology. Sam’s Club is the first retailer to automate the combination of these technologies to target highly customized digital offers to its members, according to FICO.

“Our strategy for success is based on employing member insights to make the best choices for our members, and with FICO predictive analytics and optimization, we can take into account a member’s preferences, purchase history, and in-club product availability to maximize offer relevancy and profitability through our eValues program,” said Linda Vytlacil, VP for member insights at Sam’s Club.

The eValues offers are loaded electronically onto Sam’s Club’s shoppers’ membership cards.

“Members can view their offers any time at samsclub.com and via in-club kiosks, and the offer is applied automatically at check-out,” said Cindy Davis, executive VP for marketing, membership and e-commerce at Sam’s Club. “To date, the results have included a higher-than-expected response from members.”

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Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site

BY CSA STAFF

Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.

Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:

  • Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home.
  • Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.

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Borders announces exec changes

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR , Mich. (Jun. 4) Borders Group announced that Mike Edwards has been appointed president of Borders Group and president and CEO of Borders Inc., the principle subsidiary of Borders Group. Bennett LeBow, who recently became chairman of the Borders Group board of directors, will serve as CEO of Borders Group. Edwards will report to LeBow.

Edwards has been interim CEO of Borders since January. He joined the company in September 2009 as EVP and chief merchandising officer. Before joining Borders, he most recently served as president and CEO of Ellington Leather, a Portland, Ore.-based leather handbags and accessories wholesaler. From 2004 through 2007, Edwards was president and CEO for lucy Activewear, a division of VF Corp. He has also held executive management positions in merchandising and operations with Jo-Ann Stores, West Marine Inc., Golfsmith and CompUSA, as well as buying and merchandising posts with Target and the May Department Store Company.

LeBow, who recently made an equity investment of $25 million in Borders through an entity he controls, is chairman of the board of Vector Group, a company he’s been affiliated with since 1986. In March of 1996, under his leadership, Liggett Company, owned by Vector Group, became the first tobacco company to settle smoking-related litigation. Before devoting himself completely to private business in 1968, LeBow served in the Pentagon initially as a First Lieutenant and subsequently as a civilian, serving as assistant to the assistant vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army.

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