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Survey: One-in-five in-store customers are connected

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Eighty percent of U.S. consumers use the Internet when they shop. And the fourth annual research study of shopper behavior by Cisco Consulting Services revealed the percentage of “Über-Digitals” shoppers, who regularly use their smartphones for their shopping decision-making, nearly doubled to 18% of the sampled population.

In addition, 39% of consumers research products in store before buying them online, and 51% of those consumers prefer to use a retailer’s mobile app for the purchase. The majority (52%) of digital shoppers are willing to share information with retailers if they get discounts on next purchase.

Other findings include:

• 31% of consumers highly trust retailers to protect their personal data.

• 34% of consumers are interested in scavenger hunt promotions that offer consumers special discounts if they scan/collect QBR codes while shopping through a store(s).

• 35% of consumers are interested in ‘beat the clock’ specials that offer consumers special discounts if consumer clicks on pop-up window while shopping on-line or smartphone.

• 29% of consumers were interested in getting on-demand advice from stylists, designers, product specialists, do-it-yourself-home improvement consultants, and other experts via video when shopping in the store.

• When ordering online and picking up merchandize in the store, consumer interest varies by store type; 44% at consumer electronic stores, 35% at home improvement stores, 30% apparel/fashion stores, and 22% at grocery stores

“Today’s mobile phone is a remote control for shopping,” said Jon Stine, North America lead, retail, Cisco Consulting Services. “The growing trend of consumers using mobile phones when shopping in the store is a wake-up call for retailers. The retailers that will win more revenues from customers today and in the future will be the ones that offer the best online experience and integrate it with the consumers’ in-store shopping experience."

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The Home Depot acquires Blinds.com

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – The Home Depot has acquired Houston-based window coverings retailer Blinds.com. As The Home Depot continues to implement its interconnected retail strategy, the company will work with Blinds.com to expand its technology into Homedepot.com and the company’s stores with the goal of improving the entire end-to-end buying process for window coverings.

The Blinds.com management team and staff will remain intact at its headquarters in Houston. The acquisition closed Jan. 23 and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We’re joining forces with The Home Depot because there is a huge opportunity to utilize each other’s strengths, take additional share in this category and move even faster toward our vision of making the design, purchase and installation of quality window coverings as easy and affordable as possible," said Jay Steinfeld, founder and CEO of Blinds.com. "We will continue to build the Blinds.com brand and culture in our own unique way, and we believe The Home Depot is the best partner to help us do this over the long term."

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Global Payments acquires PayPros

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta — Global Payments Inc. will acquire Payment Processing, Inc. (PayPros). PayPros, based in California, is a provider of fully-integrated payment solutions for 58,000 small-to-medium sized retailers in the U.S.

Under the terms of the agreement and pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, Global Payments will pay $420 million in cash to acquire PayPros, inclusive of tax assets. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Global Payments’ 2014 fiscal year. PayPros’ calendar 2013 annual revenues are anticipated to be approximately $100 million. Global Payments will provide further details when the transaction closes.

"Our acquisition of PayPros will expand our direct distribution, add new vertical markets, accelerate growth in our largest geography and further enhance our existing integrated solutions business with the addition of PayPros’ talented team," said Jeffrey S. Sloan, president and CEO of Global Payments.

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