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San Diego repeals limits on Walmart Supercenters

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The City Council of San Diego repealed strict limits on new retail supercenters Tuesday amid concerns over the cost of a ballot measure forced by a Walmart-led petition drive, the Associated Press reported.

The 7-1 vote came less than two months after the council required retailers such as Walmart to study how so-called "big-box" stores would affect the economy and traffic. Opponents of the measure said it amounted to a ban.

Wal-Mart Stores gathered more than 50,000 signatures after its setback in December to force a special election this year that would have cost taxpayers up to $3.4 million at a time when the nation’s eighth-largest city is weighing severe spending cuts.

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Staples promotes tech commitment

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples Inc. announced that it will showcase its enhanced focus on new technologies and services in its retail stores with a new television spot airing regionally during the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.

“We’re already a force in technology and now we’re taking our game to the next level with EasyTech associates and store redesigns that provide even more space for technology and services,” said Jevin Eagle, EVP merchandising and marketing, Staples, Inc. “Staples is staying at the forefront of technology, building off the phenomenal success with the Amazon Kindle during the holiday season, and gearing up to be a major destination for tablets this spring.”

According to Staples EasyTech associates are available at every U.S. store toassist customers with a wide range of technology services such as new computer set-up, computer diagnostics, hardware and software installations, data transfer, security, repair and troubleshooting, and Free PC Tune-Up – regardless of where the computer was purchased.

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Gap announces major changes

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. has announced a series of significant management and organizational changes at Gap brand designed to drive more consistent results in North America and to provide a new and dynamic creative leadership structure that will deliver sustainable global growth. The changes are effective immediately.

“I expect more from our Gap business in North America,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap Inc. “The changes we’re making are intended to propel the brand to deliver the product and brand experiences our customers demand worldwide.”

Art Peck, the leader responsible for growing the company’s highly-profitable Outlet business for the past three years, will take on the role of president of Gap North America. During his six years with Gap Inc., Peck has been a primary architect of the company’s franchise business and international growth platform, Gap reported.

Pam Wallack, the current president of Gap Adult North America, will become head of Gap’s new Global Creative Center. As part of this role, Pam will move from San Francisco to New York to centralize creative resources, including design, marketing, fashion public relations, and production. She’ll work closely with the company’s divisional presidents based in London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and San Francisco. The global design team, led by Patrick Robinson in Adult and Jennifer Giangualano for Kids and Baby, will be a central part of the Global Creative Center.

As part of the move to support the global business, the company also announced the selection of a new advertising agency and the appointment of a new chief marketing officer in New York. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide will become the agency for Gap brand globally, and Seth Farbman will become Gap brand’s global chief marketing officer. Farbman is currently worldwide managing director at Ogilvy & Mather, where he developed marketing campaigns for consumer brands such as Coca-Cola, UPS, Unilever and Time Warner Cable. Farbman also founded OgilvyEarth, a top-ranked sustainability marketing practice. He will report to Wallack.

The company also announced the strategic decision to merge together the operation of its Outlet division with the Gap and Banana Republic brands.

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