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In-Store Experience Goes ‘Virtual’ at Rookie USA

BY CSA STAFF

A new, kids-only sports store in Manhattan, Rookie USA, is utilizing the latest in innovative HD projection and audio-visual technology to engage and inform shoppers.

The technology, the Tensator Virtual Assistant, projects an image of New York Knicks’ player Carmelo Anthony that, at nearly 7 ft., captivates shoppers with its 3D look and feel. The image provides store and branding information, and even shares basketball tips. It also incorporates surround-sound audio and video.

The virtual Carmelo Anthony also explains how to use the store’s various interactive features. It directs kids to the Hero’s corner, where they can compare their footprints to those of their favorite athlete. It also invites them to experience the iPad bar, shoot hoops at a virtual basketball court, and use the interactive touch screens and kiosks located throughout the store. It also has a feature that allows customers to scan QR codes, using their smartphones to gain exclusive information and deals on Rookie USA brands.

“Rookie USA has gone the extra mile in creating a one of a kind shopping experience by leveraging the global appeal of a world-renowned superstar like Carmelo Anthony and combining it with our next generation digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant,” said Bill Vetter, senior VP and general manager, Tensator. “Because the Tensator Virtual Assistant is completely customizable there is no limit to the kind of marketing, or in-store experience that can be created to increase traffic, boost sales, inform customers about promotions, and generate excitement, all while building brand awareness.”


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Kmart joins trend of cutting layaway fees

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The trend of doing away with layaway fees continues, this time with Kmart announcing that it has removed its layaway service fee both in stores and online through Nov. 17.

The retailer follows suit with Toys"R"Us, which said it would drop the $5 upfront service fee and eliminate the minimum purchase requirement for all orders created in stores through Oct. 31 and Walmart, which, while not cutting back its layaway fee, has rolled it back to $5 from $15.

Kmart, which offers the program year round, said the decision to make the program free "emphasizes the company’s commitment to delivering value and convenience to customers, acknowledging family budgets are strained during the holiday."

"At Kmart, we understand the excitement holidays bring, and the budget concerns that come with them," Sears Holdings VP financial services Jai Holtz said. "By providing free layaway we want to help make holiday shopping less stressful."

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Are you ready for some Snickers?

BY CSA STAFF

Football fans and chocolate aficionados can satisfy both cravings this season at Walmart thanks to an initiative with Mars Chocolate North America.

The candy company teamed up with Walmart to offer a 40 ounce bag of Snickers limited edition NFL Minis in which product wrappers feature logos of all 32 NFL teams.

"As an NFL sponsor we know how passionate and dedicated fans are to their favorite teams," said Roy Benin, chief consumer officer of Mars Chocolate North America. "With Snickers Limited Edition NFL Minis, fans don’t have to wait until game day to get into football mode – now they can get a taste of the NFL any day of the week."

The 40 ounce pack will sell for a suggested retail price of approximately $8.98.

 

 

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