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Study: More than one-third of retailers considering cross-channel platform

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Integrating store and online operations is a key focus for retailers as e-commerce capable solutions increasingly supplant traditional POS and mobile technologies. According to a new study conducted by the NRF, Demandware and the University of Arizona that polled more than 200 U.S. and European retail business technology executives, more than one-third (35.8%) of retailers surveyed are considering a single platform to manage interactions and transactions across all channels.

During the next three years, eight-in-10 (80%) retailers surveyed expect to maintain or increase store technology investments, and seven- in-10 (70%) say their organization is currently deploying or planning to refresh its existing software.

In addition, while traditional point-of-sale software has been a mainstay for physical stores for decades, many retailers recognize e-commerce software as an emerging and logical approach to evolve and establish the sought-after single platform. According to the survey, nearly four in 10 (38%) surveyed plan to leverage an e-commerce software platform for their next generation store software — that is two times the number that plan to use traditional point-of-sale software.

“The future of retail will envelope business platforms that enhance the endless opportunities that new technologies offer, such as systems that allow retailers to provide seamless, relevant and personalized interactions for all of their customers,” said NRF VP of retail technologies Tom Litchford. “In this consumer-led industry, retailers are working overtime to keep up with the expectations and demands of their savvy customers, and are intent on integrating the digital shopping experience like never before.”

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Consumers will spend cautiously, seek value in 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco — Shoppers will continue to be cautious in their spending in 2014, and they expect to make more money, save more money and afford the things they need. According to a forecast from digital coupon and discount site AnyCodes.com, this is because of a combination of three factors: consumer confidence in the future is climbing, they are focused on investing in themselves and paying off debt, and they are much confident about their job prospects.

As a result, AnyCodes.com says consumers intend to shop the same amount or more in 2014 compared to the prior year, but will find value in the money they do spend, stretching every dollar as far as possible.

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Litespeed Management buys 8% share in RadioShack

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Hedge fund Litespeed Management has purchased about 8.1 million shares, or an 8.1% stake, in RadioShack. Litespeed, founded by Jamie Zimmerman in 2000, specializes in investing in troubled companies that have viable businesses.

Litespeed disclosed the purchase in an SEC filing. The filing does not specify purchase price, but analysts have estimated the company probably did not spend more than roughly $17 million on the investment.

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