OPERATIONS

Survey: More than one-third of consumers not happy with return policies

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco — More than one-third of customers who returned gifts they received this past holiday season were not satisfied with their return experiences, according to a new study released by MarketTools, which provides software and services for market research and enterprise feedback management.

The study found that of those not satisfied with the return process, 32% cited the retailer’s return policy as the main source of angst, 23% were unhappy with the form of refund the retailer provided, and 22% were dissatisfied with long lines.

“The return process is a critical element of the retail experience, and retailers should use this opportunity to gather feedback from their customers to improve the overall customer experience,” said Justin Schuster, VP of enterprise products at MarketTools.

The returned gifts fell into the following categories: clothing & shoes (62%); toys, games & hobbies (16%); consumer electronics (14%); and kitchen & bath (13%). Beauty & cosmetics and jewelry & watches tied with 10% each.

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REAL ESTATE

Consolo and Aquino awarded top honors by Prudential

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — For the fifth consecutive year, Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, along with longtime partner Joseph Aquino, executive VP, was awarded Prudential Real Estate Affiliates’ "Top Retail and Commercial Agent — Highest GCI" for her group’s tremendous deal volume in 2010. The two joined the firm in 2005.

Additionally, they have been inducted into the Chairman’s Circle, and honored with the coveted Diamond Award, given to the top 1% of sales professionals in the Prudential global network.

The Retail Group provides comprehensive retail leasing, sales and consulting expertise to an array of tenants and landlords, locally, nationally and internationally.

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News

Davis named Walmart’s global consumer chief

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has named Cindy Davis EVP of its global consumer insights business unit created two weeks ago as part of a larger corporate restructuring.

Davis, who joined Walmart in 2007 and previously served as EVP membership and marketing for Sam’s Club will continue to report to Sam’s Club president and CEO Brian Cornell, although she will be responsible for understanding broad consumer trends world wide and to create advanced analytical tools to support the business.

“Cindy is uniquely suited to lead the development of our new world-class global customer insights team for Walmart,” Cornell said. “She is a leader that understands the importance of putting the customer at the center of everything we do, and the power insights can have on business decision making. She has demonstrated an ability to build teams and capabilities that deliver business performance today while preparing us to capitalize on our business potential for the future.”

Prior to Sam’s Club, Davis spent more than 20 years with companies such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Starwood and Promus Hotels, Pizza Hut, BBDO, Tracy-Locke and Rapp Collins Worldwide.

"One of the greatest benefits of being a global organization is the opportunity to share best practices and talent across each of our divisions and around the world,” Davis said. “Understanding customer insights enables us to focus on what our customers want and make informed decisions throughout the organization – bringing shoppers the products, brands and services they want in every country we serve.”

The appointment of Davis follows creation of the new global insight unit two weeks ago, which essentially combines existing insights teams headed by Pam Whiteside, VP customer insights for Walmart, Lind Vytlacil, VP member insights and innovations for Sam’s Club and Jim Scantlin a senior director in information systems.

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