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Study: Who are the five most important retail e-commerce vendors?

BY Dan Berthiaume

In the next few years, retailers around the world are set to substantially increase their investments in e-commerce software, with five vendors spearheading the growth.

According to a new study from Research and Markets, the global retail e-commerce software market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.95% during the period 2014-2019. Research and Markets has identified Magento, Oracle ATG Commerce, PrestaShop, Shopify and WooThemes as the five key retail e-commerce vendors.

Other important vendors cited in the study include Adobe, Demandware, hybris, IBM Websphere, and JDA Software.

The study also finds that e-commerce retailers are moving from on-premise to cloud-based approach. More decision-makers are leveraging on SaaS-based e-commerce solutions to ensure critical information is accessible at all times, with lower cost and no infrastructure requirement.

Furthermore, retail e-commerce organizations are focusing on providing better and innovative solutions to new customers and better support to existing customers. This has led to increased competition among solutions providers support competitive strategies that improve customer satisfaction for retailers.

The report also states that selecting a platform in the initial phases of building up an e-commerce site is a major challenge.

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American Apparel board rejects Charney-supported takeover bid

BY Marianne Wilson

Has founder and ousted CEO Dov Charney made his last stand at American Apparel?

The board of American Apparel Inc. rejected a $300-million takeover bid from Hagan Capital Group and Silver Creek Capital Partners — the investors aligned with Charney — according to the Los Angeles Times.

In December, the same investors submitted a $200 million offer for the embattled company. While they could come back with yet another bid, there is not much time left. American Apparel is scheduled to seek approval from a bankruptcy court judge on a hearing set for Jan. 20 for its reorganization plan, which has received approval from most of its creditors.

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Ikea touts kid’s education accomplishments

BY Gina Acosta

In pursuit of its altruistic mission of creating a better everyday life for people, Ikea’s efforts go beyond selling opening price point home goods in cavernous stores.

This year's Ikea Foundation Soft Toys for Education campaign, which ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 26, raised over $1.4 million in the U.S. alone through soft toys, Ikea Family children's books and card games sales.

"Education is the most solid road leading out of poverty. All children have the right to an education but still too many are left behind. Partnering with UNICEF and Save the Children for 13 years has allowed us to address this issue strategically and invest in improving the quality of education in some of the world's poorest communities — and we're incredibly grateful to the Ikea customers and co-workers who have worked so hard to make that right a reality for over 12 million children," said Per Heggenes, CEO Ikea Foundation.

Since 2003, the Ikea Foundation's Soft Toys for Education campaign has contributed $97.7 million to Save the Children and UNICEF, helping to increase school attendance for some of the world's most marginalized and vulnerable children, the company says.

"Over the last 13 years, the incredible support of the Ikea Foundation and Ikea employees and customers has been invaluable in helping UNICEF transform the lives of the world's most vulnerable children through education," said Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Thanks to this partnership, millions of children around the world will have the opportunity to receive a quality education and build a better and brighter future for themselves and their communities."

In China, Ikea Foundation funding helped develop early-childhood development centers for disadvantaged children living in selected rural communities, according to I kea. With the support of the Ikea Foundation, Save the Children has worked in 17 countries in Asia and Europe to provide educational opportunities for previously out-of-school children, to improve the learning environment and to train teachers on child-centered, nonviolent and inclusive teaching methodology.

"With the help of the 'Soft Toys for Education' campaign, Save the Children is creating a better and brighter future for children — giving the most vulnerable kids access to learning, and teachers the tools to provide a better quality education," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "We are extremely thankful for our partnership with the Ikea Foundation, and all the support we've received from Ikea employees and customers the past 13 years. Together we have made an enormous difference in the lives of children."

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