Supervalu embarks on IT transformation
Eager to strengthen operations across its enterprise, Supervalu is moving to the cloud.
Through a strategic relationship with Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), the grocery company is replacing its mainframe technology infrastructure with a new mainframe platform that will offer cloud, back-up, and other solutions and services. The new configuration is designed to improve operations across the independent retailers it supports.
Together, the two companies will replace Supervalu's legacy mainframe IT environment under a transformation program aimed at reducing costs, improving flexibility, and supporting service to its network of more than 2,000 grocery stores. This transition will enable the company to use technology smartly and better compete in an increasingly demanding and competitive grocery environment.
Through the agreement, Supervalu will upgrade the technology without requiring an upfront investment. It also offers Supervalu an opportunity to move many of its workloads into a secure, highly-scalable cloud platform. The company will also replace fixed-cost, in-house equipment with variable-cost services that can be scaled as needed. The platform enables Supervalu to also deliver a full suite of Sungard AS cloud and recovery services to its retailers.
"We plan to strengthen operations across our enterprise and add shareholder value by transforming our approach to technology," said Chad Mead, CTO at Supervalu. "Technology has become an essential factor in competing in this market, and our planning with Sungard AS suggests that we can build a more flexible and responsive mainframe infrastructure that drives growth."
jet.com’s strategic move takes aim at Costco
Walmart’s e-commerce arm is shaking up its private label offerings.
Jet.com will increasingly phase out its assortment of Kirkland Signature branded merchandise — Costco’s private label brand. The move is said to help augment efforts among Walmart’s Sam’s Club chain, which is focused on boosting sales among its own store brand, Member’s Mark, according to Bloomberg.
While the decision for Jet.com to stop carrying merchandise from a Walmart competitor seems logical, it could be a setback for both Jet.com and Costco. Jet.com has carried Kirkland products since its inception in 2015. The loss of these sales will impact the club retailer’s exposure to a large base of online shoppers, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Jet.com accounted for 5.5% of Kirkland’s online sales in the first half of 2016. It was the third biggest seller of Costco’s private label products behind Amazon and Costco, itself, according to Bloomberg.
This is not the first controversial move Jet.com has made since being acquired by Walmart last fall. In May, the company pulled the plug on its Jet Anywhere program. The loyalty program rewarded consumers for shopping at more than 600 retail partners, including Foot Locker, Land’s End, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales, among others, though its online retail portal.
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Best Buy to rent electronics
An electronics giant might is eyeing a program that could give it a leg up on online rival Amazon.
Best Buy is launching a rental service for gadgets ranging from cameras and audio equipment to fitness trackers. The try-before-you-buy program is a way for the retailer to develop a connection with customers earlier in the buying process, and encourage shoppers to make electronics purchases from Best Buy over Amazon, according to ReCode.
Here’s how the service works: A try-before-you-buy option will be available on Best Buy’s website. As shoppers click on the icon, they will be directed to Lumoid, a company that enables users to “try” electronics gear for a fraction of the cost of making a purchase.
When the rental is over, shoppers return the merchandise to Lumoid using a prepaid label. Users that participate in the program will earn Lumoid credits, which can then be applied to a purchase of the rented item, according to Lumoid.
Best Buy is providing the rental merchandise to Lumoid. Drones will not be part of the program, the report added.
The service could give Best Buy an advantage against online rival Amazon, since the online retailer does not offer a similar service. Other weapons Best Buy uses in the war against Amazon include a price-matching policy and buy-online-pickup-in-store service to shorten delivery windows.
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