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SLI Systems bolsters board with e-commerce exec

BY CSA STAFF

Site search specialist SLI Systems has elected New Zealand marketer and social media executive Andy Lark as a non-executive independent director.

"We are very pleased to add Andy’s wealth of global brand, e-commerce and marketing experience to the SLI Board," said SLI Systems Chairman Greg Cross. "With his direct experience of building and funding businesses, he is conversant with the challenges unique to a fast-growing technology company like SLI Systems."

"I’ve seen the power of SLI in accelerating e-commerce through improvements in search, traffic and analytics — it is a real privilege to be able to join SLI at a time when it has both technology leadership and market momentum," said Lark. "SLI is exceptionally well positioned to take advantage of the swing to e-commerce as customers’ preferred channel for shopping and I am looking forward to directly supporting its continued growth."

"Over the past three months Andy has played a key role in defining our marketing strategy for the coming year," said SLI co-founder and CEO Shaun Ryan. "Having built significant technology differentiation and leadership we are now translating that into our marketing and brand. This combined with the new marketing talent on the board and management team, positions us well to continue our growth through 2014."

Lark’s 25 years of experience across the business-to-business and consumer sectors spans building successful businesses, running multi-billion dollar e-commerce sites and leading marketing programs and teams for major consumer and technology brands, startups and advertising and communications agencies.

Today he leads Group Lark, where, according to a release, he “helps brands globally accelerate their digital transformations and harness the power of social media to improve customer experience and business productivity.”

Most recently he was the chief marketing and online officer at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), where he revitalized the CBA brand with the ‘Commonwealth Bank Can’ campaign and played a key role in establishing the bank’s digital and online leadership. Prior to this he was VP and GM of large enterprise marketing and online at computer manufacturer Dell. He has led marketing teams at LogLogic, Sun Microsystems and Nortel Networks. He is also a former SVP and partner at Fleishman-Hillard, touted as the world’s largest public relations agency. Lark has a bachelor of arts from Auckland University.

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Net-A-Porter sets same day benchmark

BY CSA STAFF

Holiday shoppers who order by 10 a.m. Christmas Eve can still receive same day delivery from online luxury goods retailer Net-A-Porter in the greater New York City area.

The retailer was offering customers shopping from, or sending gifts to New York City, and select areas of Bergen and Westchester counties on Tuesday, December 24th, the opportunity to receive merchandise the same day as long as orders were submitted by 10 a.m.

"We are thrilled to offer same day delivery service Christmas Eve to those living in the Greater New York City area," says Alison Loehnis, President of Net-A-Porter.com "We are always thinking of ways to provide our customers with the best service. Same day service allows people to avoid crowds at stores and spend more time with loved ones at home. With our premier delivery service, sudden wish list additions and last minute gifts are now easily accessible up until December 24. The best part is that all purchases will land on doorsteps within hours beautifully packaged and ready to be placed under the Christmas tree."

Shoppers outside the New York area who select express shipping for orders placed before 3 p.m. on December 23rd were also able to have delivery guaranteed before Christmas Day. Additional customer care services the retailer offered during the holiday season included free ground shipping and returns and guaranteed personalized service via one of Net-A-Porter.com’s 250 dedicated customer care agents by phone or email.

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Electrolux expands North American headquarters

BY CSA STAFF

Electrolux plans to expand its North American headquarters, their second expansion at this location in three years, and will be adding 810 new local jobs as a result.

The new jobs are in the areas of research and development, marketing, design, engineering, supply chain, finance, IT and executive management, and will be added by the end of 2017.

Jack Truong, president and CEO of Electrolux Major Appliances North America, was joined by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, together with state and local officials, community leaders and Electrolux employees, to celebrate the announcement as a major milestone in the company’s growth.

“Electrolux is committed to bringing innovative solutions to consumers and to advanced manufacturing,” said Truong. "As a leader in appliance R&D, innovation and beautiful design, we’re excited about what this new expansion means for the future of our business and that our continued investment in Charlotte will help bring jobs and drive economic growth.”

Electrolux will invest $85 million in the development of a second building adjacent to the existing headquarters. Features of the new six-floor, 375,000-sq.-ft. building will include LEED certification, solar panels, a roof garden and a courtyard.

“The $85 million investment will have an immediate impact on the local economy — beginning in January — as we engage local architects, designers and construction-related vendors and will last throughout the next two years as we build our second facility,” added Truong.

The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) to Electrolux in support of the project. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements.

“We’re proud to partner with Electrolux to help them bring more high-paying STEM jobs to North Carolina,” said Gov. McCrory. “This announcement helps solidify our position as a state with a skilled workforce and strong business climate, and a place where global companies operate their North American headquarters with much success.”

Electrolux’s total employment in N.C. is nearly 1,500 and the company’s presence puts approximately $150 million into the state’s annual economy from payroll and the purchase of goods and services. In Charlotte, the company now has 760 employees and 145 contractors.

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