OPERATIONS

Supervalu plans streamlined independent business operation

BY Dan Berthiaume

Eden Prairie, Minn. – Supervalu plans for a streamlined independent business organization. As part of the new structure, Supervalu’s independent business will consolidate from three regions to two regions, forming new East and West teams.

The new East and West independent business regions will be located in Mechanicsville, Va., and Hopkins, Minn. To lead the new organizations, Supervalu has named Kevin Kemp president of the East region and Bill Chew president of the West region.

With this new independent business organization, Supervalu hopes to streamline the organization and reduce operating costs while continuing to drive sales growth with its current and prospective customers.

Initially, Supervalu anticipates reducing its employee workforce by approximately 200 positions throughout its independent business regional teams. Impacted employees will have an opportunity to apply for open positions within the new organization. The company expects to fill approximately 120 new independent business jobs resulting in a net workforce reduction in its independent business organization as a result of this consolidation of approximately 80 positions. Employees who do not have employment with Supervalu going forward as a result of this workforce reduction will receive an offer of assistance related to this transition.

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OPERATIONS

IBM launches Big Data anti-fraud service

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – IBM Inc. has introduced new software and services to help organizations use Big Data and Analytics to address fraud and financial crimes. IBM launched its “Smarter counter fraud” initiative, drawing on the expertise and innovation from more than 500 fraud consulting experts, 290 fraud-related research patents and IBM’s Big Data and analytics software and services capabilities.

The initiative is designed to help public and private organizations prevent, identify and investigate fraudulent activities. To address these complexities, IBM is delivering new software that allows organizations to gain better visibility and take a more proactive, holistic approach to countering fraud. This includes the ability to aggregate Big Data across a variety of internal and external sources – including mobile, social and online – and apply sophisticated analytics that continuously monitor for fraudulent indicators.

The new offerings feature advanced analytics that understand non-obvious relationships and co-occurrences between entities, new enhanced visualization technologies that can identify and connect fraudulent patterns closer to point of operation, and machine learning to help prevent future occurrence based on previous attacks and behaviors.

“With today’s news, IBM is applying many of the same tactics, techniques and procedures used by the intelligence and law enforcement communities to help commercial organizations take a holistic view of this growing and pervasive threat,” said Robert Griffin, VP, IBM Counter Fraud Solutions. “These technologies allow line of business leaders to quickly adapt to emerging threats across the entire organization. Our new initiative puts Big Data and Analytics into the hands of those tasked with defending their organizations from financial losses, protecting the brand and delivering exceptional customer service.”

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REAL ESTATE

RadioShack opens second concept store in California March 22

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack will open the company’s second California concept store in Sun Valley on March 22. This RadioShack had been in Sun Valley since the store opened in its original location in 1982.

All concept stores in the company’s portfolio feature an upgraded shopping experience, which showcases the company’s new look. Concept store features include:

• A speaker wall controlled by in-store tablets, empowering customers to experience a dozen different speakers.

• Interactive displays that encourage shoppers to compare products, including headphone demo stations where they can listen to leading brands; a remote control toy exploration center; and a GoPro camera display, demonstrating the capabilities of several camera models.

• Idea Center where consumers can bring their ideas to life through collaboration with store associates at a convenient workspace.

• Technology including touch-screens and apps to help shoppers understand product benefits.

• Newly configured displays highlighting in-demand brands.

RadioShack is opening a select number of these highly experiential stores in neighborhoods throughout the nation. The Sun Valley location is one of more than 25 concept stores to open since the company began converting to such stores in July 2013. The first California concept store opened in Lynwood in January.

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