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Study: H.E.B. ties for top spot in consumer forgiveness

BY Dan Berthiaume

Waban, Mass. – Grocery chain H.E.B. tied with the banking business of financial services provider USAA for the top spot in consumer forgiveness. Based on a study of 10,000 U.S consumers, the two companies both came in first in the 2014 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, which rates 268 companies across 19 industries.

There is a sizeable nine-point gap between these leaders and the next companies on the list. Other retailers the top 15 companies in the ratings are Amazon.com, Chick-fil-A, Apple (for software and retail), QVC, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Publix. The industries with the highest average ratings are grocery chains, retailers, parcel delivery services, and auto dealers. Apple and Best Buy both improved their ratings by more than 20 percentage points between 2013 and 2014.

"Forgiveness is an asset that companies earn from their customers," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group. "Every company makes mistakes, but the ones with high forgiveness ratings have customers who will work with them to more quickly and positively resolve the issues."

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Digital family wallet Oink strengthens leadership team

BY CSA STAFF

Virtual Piggy’s Oink has appointed Trent Walker to VP business development for key accounts.

Walker has more than 10 years of payments and finance industry experience, working with many of the world’s leading corporations, including Google and Facebook. For the past six years, Walker has held strategic leadership roles within the financial services department at Arvato, the $6 billion per year division of Bertlesmann.

“The award-winning Oink payment platform will revolutionize the teen payments landscape and give parents greater control over family finances,” said Walker. “I am very excited to join this innovative company and bring my experience in finance, payments, and e-commerce to their business development team.”

“Oink is the first new consumer-facing payment solution in recent years and has been designed from the start to handle digital goods payments,” said Dr. Jo Webber, CEO and founder at Oink. “Trent’s strong payments industry knowledge and experience will help us expand our commercial reach within the world’s largest providers of digital content.”

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Easter shift, weather dampen 1-800-Flowers Q3 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Carle Place, N.Y. – A shift in the Easter holiday from the third to the fourth quarter and severe weather negatively impacted financial results at 1-800-Flowers.com during the third quarter of fiscal 2014. 1-800-Flowers reported a net loss of $1.42 million, compared to net profit of $2.64 million in the prior fiscal year.

Net sales dropped 9% to $139.92 million, from $144.55 million.

“The results of our fiscal third quarter reflect the shift of the Easter holiday into our fourth quarter this year, compared with last year when the holiday was in our fiscal third quarter, as well as the impact of the severe winter weather experienced across much of the country beginning in January and culminating in the storm that hit on February 13, thereby disrupting the key Valentine holiday,” said CEO Jim McCann. “Regarding the Easter shift, we anticipate capturing all of the top and bottom-line benefits associated with the holiday across all three of our business segments during our current fiscal fourth quarter.”

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