OPERATIONS

Shopko stores to debut revamped open-sell jewelry departments and expanded women’s apparel

BY Marianne Wilson

Green Bay, Wis. — Shopko will unveil the results of a partial store remodeling project in all of its 133 Shopko stores on Sept. 18.

The remodel includes the removal of the stores’ large glass jewelry cabinets to make shopping in the jewelry department more convenient and accessible to consumers. Customers will no longer have to wait for a store associate to unlock and remove jewelry items, but will be able to easily see, touch and try on jewelry pieces.

The removal of the jewelry cabinets allows for more floor space to expand the assortment of fashion jewelry.

In addition, Shopko is expanding its selection of misses and plus size active wear and outerwear and swimwear assortments, categories that have seen significant growth over the past few years.

"We are confident our customers are going to love this change to our stores," said Jill Soltau, Shopko president and chief merchandising officer. "Our jewelry selection will be much easier to browse and experiment with; and with jewelry playing a key role in individualizing and completing your look, that convenience and access, combined with a new expanded selection of on-trend pieces, will be a big plus for our customers."

As part of the expansion of its active apparel, Shopko will be significantly expanding its exclusive offering of its Energy Zone active wear.

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Study: India top offshore outsourcing destination

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – India, China, and Malaysia are the top-ranked offshoring destinations. According to the 2014 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) from A.T. Kearney, India, China, and Malaysia remain the top three offshoring destinations, and Asia continues to dominate, with six of its countries among the top 10.

Rounding out the top 10 offshore outsourcing destinations are Mexico, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Bulgaria and Egypt. Central Europe offers mature industry and highly skilled players at around 50% of the cost of Western Europe, and that cost advantage increases in Southeast Europe. However, the Middle East and North Africa benefit from their proximity to Europe and a large pool of talent. Meanwhile, North America continues to offer attractive opportunities outside of its tier 1 metropolitan areas.

Other findings from A.T. Kearney include:

• Bangladesh enters the GSLI ranking for the first time, at number 26.

• Despite expectations regarding second-ranked China, India maintains, and even increases, its lead against China.

• Automation, using robots to perform for even less than low-cost labor, is becoming increasingly accessible.

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Starbucks in agreement with ICA Sweden to open stores in Sweden

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — ICA Sweden has signed a licensing agreement with Starbucks Coffee Company to open Starbucks retail stores in the grocery store channel in Sweden. The cafés will be operated by ICA according to the Starbucks licensing concept and under the Starbucks brand.

Initially, the plan is to open three Starbucks retail stores during 2015. These will then be evaluated before a decision is made on the possible establishment of more cafés.

“We are very pleased with our partnership with Starbucks. Just like ICA, Starbucks has a strong brand and a clear focus on quality and ethics and shares the vision of satisfied customers. This is a good example of how we can increase customer benefit and highlight our stores as destinations,” says Anders Svensson, deputy CEO of ICA Gruppen and CEO of ICA Sweden.

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