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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OPERATIONS

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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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Sephora taps Epsilon for permission-based email marketing program

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — Epsilon, an Alliance Data company, has signed a multi-year agreement with Sephora to provide targeted email marketing services focused on driving sales and creating a more personalized experience for customers across Sephora’s omnichannel marketing platforms.

Under the terms of the deal, Epsilon will provide a full suite of permission-based email marketing services including account and campaign management, strategy and email delivery.

"Sephora is a highly innovative multichannel retailer linking e-commerce and its stores to the digital ecosystem (social, Web, email, mobile). Our companies are closely aligned in many ways including our shared focus on understanding consumer behavior and leveraging data to drive results," said Bryan Kennedy, CEO of Epsilon.

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