OPERATIONS

Survey: 20% of smartphone users respond to savings notification

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Whiting, Ind. — Survey results released Wednesday by CouponCabin.com found that one in five smartphone owners have visited a store after receiving notification that specials, coupons or deals were available nearby.

The survey – conducted by Harris Interactive – also found that 70% of smartphone owners would be at least somewhat influenced to make an unplanned purchase at a store after receiving this type of alert.

Smartphone owners see saving money as a top priority, as 47% said they would like to receive geo-targeted coupons on their device for precisely that reason.

Nearly seven-in-10 (67%) said they would be at least somewhat interested in a mobile app that allows them to receive notifications for geo-targeted coupons.

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Jones Group to close 170 stores, cut workforce

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — The Jones Group Inc. announced Monday that it will put into action a series of events designed to shore up profitability, the most significant of which includes shuttering 170 underperforming stores in the U.S. by mid-2014.

The stores identified for closure include 50 units previously announced in the fourth quarter.

Jones, which owns the Nine West, Jones New York and Anne Klein banners among others, will emerge from the restructuring with a higher percentage of outlet stores in its portfolio, and some units will be converted to more viable sister banners.

"We remain focused on our mission to create the leading global fashion company defined by premier brands,” said CEO Wesley Card.

Other cost-saving initiatives announced by Card include consolidating DCs and cutting staff. About 18% of the company’s retail employees in the U.S. will be terminated, and another 2% of corporate, support and supply chain staff will be cut. Retail staff reductions are already underway and, said the company, will continue through the first half of 2014.

The aggressive cuts come as Jones has struggled to ride out the economy. The company said Monday that it projects first-quarter earnings to be half what they were in the same period last year.

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OfficeMax honored for disability hiring program

BY Staff Writer

Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax has been awarded the National Employment Team 2013 “Private Sector Business of the Year” by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) for its commitment to employing people with disabilities, including veterans.

OfficeMax is one of two organizations — and the only private sector company — to receive this year’s CSAVR distinction.

"OfficeMax is truly honored to be recognized for our commitment to employing associates with disabilities, including disabled veterans," said Ravi Saligram , president and CEO of OfficeMax. "We’re proud of building a diverse and inclusive culture which allows us to improve the products, services and solutions that we provide to our customers."

OfficeMax’s partnership with CSAVR began in 2009 to connect individuals with disabilities to retail and distribution positions nationwide within the company. Since then, OfficeMax has expanded its working relationship with CSAVR and its partner organizations across 17 states. The most recent hiring program, at OfficeMax’s PowerMax distribution center in McCalla, Alabama, has employed more than 35 people with disabilities.

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