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Survey highlights role of mobile in in-store shopping

BY Staff Writer

New York — Consumers worldwide are increasingly using multi-platform devices, especially mobile, to enhance their in-store shopping experience, according to a study by global digital and technology agency DigitasLBi.

In the study, "Connected Commerce: A Snapshot of the Modern Shopper,” 71% of Americans say that using a mobile phone while shopping inside a store could affect their buying decisions.

The percentage of consumers who have purchased an item online via smartphone in the last three months varies by country: 70% so in China, 22% in the U.S., 13% in France, and 6% in Belgium. Additionally, 79% of people in China go online on their phone while shopping in-store, compared to 37% in the U.S., 27% in France, and 16% in Belgium.

The practice of ‘showrooming’ has become a prevalent global trend. It is most common in Sweden, where 88% of consumers research a product in-store before buying online, followed by 84% in China, 66% in the U.S., and 48% in Belgium.

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Mattress Firm completes acquisition of Sleep Experts

BY Marianne Wilson

Houston — Mattress Firm Holding Corp. announced it has completed its acquisition of the outstanding partnership interests in Sleep Experts Partners.

With the acquisition, Mattress Firm expects to operate an additional 55 stores in the Dallas and Austin markets, two of Mattress Firm’s core markets.

Mattress Firm operates 1,400 stores across 33 states.

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Staples online competition yields big response

BY Marianne Wilson

Framingham, Mass. — Staples is letting the public help determine the top three winners of its “Make Your Idea Happen” contest, which allowed entrepreneurs to share their ideas for a chance to receive all the products they need to bring their business to life. The retailer received more than 16,000 entries online and via Facebook.

The contest was announced in early January, and entrants were asked to submit a 100 word or less overview of their idea. Staples narrowed the submissions down to 10 finalists.
Voting is open to the public from April 3 through April 16 on the Staples Make Your Idea Happen Contest website or Facebook tab. Consumers can cast one vote per day and all voters will be entered to win one of three $100 Staples gift cards. Voting is open until April 16 with the winner to be announced on April 22.

"The enormous response shows the creativity, innovation and spirit in the small business community," said Tim Williams, Staples director of social media. "We’re thrilled to share these great ideas and look forward to helping the winners make more happen."

The top three winners will receive consulting sessions with small business experts who will offer advice on how winners can "make more happen." In addition, a combination of Staples gifts cards and cash will be given to the top finalists at a value of $25,000 for the grand prize, $15,000 for the first prize and $10,000 for the second place prize. Each of the remaining finalists will receive a combination of Staples gift cards and cash in total valued at $5,000.

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