OPERATIONS

Staples expands Staples Connect

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Staples and Zonoff are expanding the Staples Connect platform in stores and online, including new ecosystem device partners, support for additional wireless protocols, and the opening of a Manhattan in-store display. Companies announcing support for the 2014 expansion of the Staples/Zonoff ecosystem include Kwikset, Netgear, Radio Thermostat, Centralite, Withings, Waxman, Goji, Koubachi, and Rachio.

These join existing partners already available in Staples stores or online at Staples.com including Lutron, Philips, Linksys, Honeywell, First Alert, Yale, GE, D-Link, Cooper, Leviton, Schlage, Ecolink, Aeotech, Ivee and Doorbot.

The Staples Connect platform is also planning to expand support for ZigBee, Bluetooth and Insteon based products, which will join Z-Wave, Lutron ClearConnect and Wi-Fi as radios/protocols supported.

"Staples Connect is already the most aggressive and interactive retail initiative to bring the connected home and office to the mainstream consumer," said Peter Gerstberger, director, technology merchandise, new business development, Staples. "We look forward to continuing to expand the device support and system capabilities over the coming weeks and months."

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OPERATIONS

Report: Apple opens store on Chinese online marketplace

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cupertino, Calif. – Apple Inc. has reportedly opened a digital store on the Chinese online marketplace Tmall. According to the Wall Street Journal, the design of the Tmall digital store is similar to the design of Apple’s own Chinese e-commerce site.

Tmall is owned by Alibaba Group Holding Inc., which operates a group of e-commerce businesses that earn more than $170 billion annually. Tmall hosts more than 70,000 global retailers, including Gap and Nike. A Tmall spokesperson confirmed that Apple does have a digital store on the site while Apple declined comment.

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FINANCE

Havertys reports higher sales for Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Havertys reported partial financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, with sales for the fourth quarter increasing 7.6% to $196.2 million, compared with $182.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. On a same-store basis, sales for the quarter increased 9.5%.

Sales for the 12 months of 2013 totaled $746.1 million, compared with $670.1 million in 2012, representing an increase of 11.3%. On a same-store basis, sales increased 11% for the 12 months.

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