OPERATIONS

Sears names winner in app developer challenge

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — “The Chore Score,” an app that allows parents to create chore lists for their kids with rewards that can be redeemed at Sears stores or Sears.com, won the recent Sears Startup & Developer Challenge. The contest, held for three days, featured more than 150 participants using the Sears development API to create apps that would strengthen the experience of the Sears Shop Your Way membership program.

"Part of our transformation into the world’s greatest integrated retailer is our ongoing commitment to drive industry-leading innovation, fueled by world-class talent," said Imran Jooma, executive VP and president, marketing, online, pricing, and financial services, Sears Holdings. "The Sears Startup + Developer Challenge showcased to some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley how we’ve used technology to make the shopping experience convenient and rewarding for our Shop Your Way members to drive the business. We’re thrilled and inspired not only by the enthusiasm the participants brought to the challenge but by their creativity around our APIs and data that we make available to developers and partners."

All participants received a test budget. The winning entry will be developed as an app by Sears.

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FINANCE

Report: College students loosely budget $450 for back-to-school

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oberlin, Ohio – College students budgeted an average of $447.75 for back-to-college shopping, not including textbooks. However, a recent student panel survey conducted by OnCampus Research, the research arm of indiCo, a division of the National Association of College Stores, shows that despite considering price the most important factor in back-to-school purchases, college students do not always follow or even create a budget.

When asked, 38.6% of college students indicated they set a budget, yet don’t always stick to it, 34.3% do not set a budget, and 27.1% say they both set a budget and stick to it. The majority (55.8%) of college students do most of their back-to-school shopping a few weeks before classes start. Only 2.2% wait until the day of classes to shop.

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REAL ESTATE

New Sam’s Club opens in Glen Carbon, Ill.

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – A new Sam’s Club store will open in Glen Carbon, Ill.. on Aug. 29. The store will feature a full-service pharmacy, an optical department and also debut the new Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Center, offering technology in hearing aid and personal listening devices with access to a certified audiologist.

The 136,000-sq.-ft. store will use LED lighting, including in the cooler, freezer box doors and jewelry counter that is 70% more efficient than traditional fluorescent lighting.

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