OPERATIONS

Stein Mart extends credit card program with GE Capital

BY Staff Writer

Stamford, Conn. — Stein Mart and GE Capital’s Retail Finance business announced Friday the multi-year renewal of the Stein Mart co-branded credit card program.

Plans with the new agreement include launching a private label Stein Mart credit card in early 2012 that will be integrated into the customer loyalty program to drive sales and customer engagement.

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Target’s online president resigns

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Target Corp. said Thursday that the president of Target.com, Steve Eastman, has departed the company to pursue other opportunities.

The retailer said the decision is unrelated to the performance of its online business. However, the crash of its website last month during the launch of its exclusive Missoni collection led to much criticism.

Eastman is the second major executive to leave Target this month.

Target’s top marketing chief, Michael Francis, recently resigned to join J.C. Penney Co. as its new president.



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Sears Holdings equipping store associates with iPads and iPod Touch devices

BY Marianne Wilson

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings has begun the staged roll out of Apple iPads and Apple iPod Touch devices, starting with nearly 450 stores nationwide. The move is designed enhance the relationship between customers and associates while improving the overall in-store shopping experience, Sears said.

"Leveraging wireless access and mobile technology and putting new tools into the hands of our associates and customers is another step toward becoming a truly integrated retailer," said Deidra Merriwether, senior VP and president, Retail Services, Sears.

The devices and their applications will immediately help associates improve customer service and create a more personalized shopping experience, according to Sears. Associates will be able to help customers check available inventory, order products online, access product information and videos, and utilize enhanced purchasing tools to buy products they want.

The rollout is being significantly supported by the company’s Information and Technology Group.

"We are upgrading the entire network and technology infrastructures, including enhanced wireless coverage, to provide our customers with free Wi-Fi access," said Keith Sherwell, senior VP and CIO. "This will provide our associates with innovative tools and applications to support our customers at the highest levels of personal engagement while also offering customers a uniquely rich, integrated retail experience."



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