ECOMMERCE

Shoppers see beam of hope for mobile loyalty

BY Dan Berthiaume

A number of major retail chains are leveraging a mobile app that allows scanners to read barcodes on smartphones.

Shoppers at retailers including CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Nectar, Rite Aid, Toys “R” Us, Best Buy, PetSmart, Staples, Safeway, and Giant Eagle are using the Mobeam 4.0 Beep’nGo app for Samsung Android mobile devices. The app, which can integrate with existing payment apps, allows customers to use barcode-based loyalty cards, gift cards and coupons on their smartphone at checkout scanners.

Mobeam’s light-based beaming technology enables POS laser scanners to read barcodes on Android mobile devices. Scanner interaction makes it easier for payment apps to carry barcode-based cards, tickets, vouchers and coupons.

Design improvements in the latest 4.0 iteration include location-based card reminders for faster checkout and an enhanced “Add Card” setup process, as well as separate destinations for cards and offers under the new menu drawer. Other new features include personalized offers, an upgraded search and navigation system, and offer discovery enhancements.

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OPERATIONS

Toys ‘R’ Us names new global leader

BY Gina Acosta

Toys “R” Us has promoted its senior VP of store operations to a global leadership role.

The retailer announced that Joe Venezia has been elevated to executive VPP, global store operations, effective Feb. 22. In this newly elevated role, Venezia will continue to be responsible for delivering an exceptional shopping experience across the company’s more than 850 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide, but with expanded responsibilities for providing strategic direction and support for global store operations. This includes leading global initiatives and facilitating best practices in the operations area. He will report to Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us, Inc. and serve as a member of the company’s Global Leadership Team.

“Since joining Toys “R” Us two years ago, Joe has played a critical role in our transformation process, leading efforts to drive the business forward and deliver consistent operational execution across all stores, as well as improving customer satisfaction and developing a strong store operations team,” said Brandon. “I’m proud to have Joe as a leader on my team and believe his guidance will be an asset as we seek to grow our brands globally and create a world-class shopping experience for our customers.”

Venezia joined Toys “R” Us, Inc. in February 2014 as senior VP, store operations. Earlier in his career, he held key operations and management positions at The Pantry, Walmart U.S., Wells Fargo Merchant Services and Procter & Gamble. Venezia also served as an Airborne Ranger Officer in the U.S. Army Infantry for nine years and was deployed abroad three times, receiving a Bronze Star Medal for demonstrated bravery during Operation Desert Storm. He received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

World to get glimpse of Canadian cool at summer Olympics

BY Gina Acosta

The contingent of athletes representing Canada at this summer’s Olympic games in Brazil will be feeling strong and confident during the opening ceremonies thanks to a new design deal announced by Hudson’s Bay Company.

Hudson's Bay, Canada's iconic retailer, announced that Dean and Dan Caten, Dsquared2 will design the outfit for Team Canada for the Opening Ceremonies at the upcoming 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

"The Opening Ceremony represents a moment of tremendous national pride for our athletes," said Liz Rodbell, president, Hudson's Bay. "We want them to feel strong and confident as they march into the stadium and we are excited that the Dsquared2-designed look will give them that extra boost of Canadian cool."

The Dsquared2 designed Opening Ceremony look, along with the full Team Canada collection will be unveiled in April 2016.

"We are constantly inspired by Canada, so it is an honour to partner with Hudson's Bay in dressing Team Canada. The Opening Ceremony look is made with our passion for our birth country mixed with the energetic spirit of Dsquared2," says Dan and Dean Caten.

HBC operates 90 full-line locations, two outlet stores and thebay.com.

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