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SymphonyIRI Group, 8th & Walton to offer insights on Walmart POS data

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO and BENTONVILLE, Ark. — In light of Walmart’s recent decision to share its point-of-sale (POS) data with select research companies for the first time since 2001, research company SymphonyIRI Group has partnered with 8th & Walton, a Walmart supplier education and Retail Link training business, to offer courses that will educate suppliers on the use of Walmart and multi-outlet POS data. Classes began Jan. 15 and are open to all interested Walmart suppliers with approved access to multi-outlet POS data.

“In talking with our clients, it’s evident that the renewed availability of Walmart’s POS data is drastically impacting the marketplace,” said Jeff Clapper, chief marketing officer, 8th & Walton. “Many suppliers weren’t ready for it and are now scrambling to invest in new hires and add Walmart data to their data sets. We’re excited to offer this deep, pervasive training to help get attendees up-to-speed quickly and share SymphonyIRI’s valuable insights.”

SymphonyIRI, which is one of only three research companies currently receiving POS data from Walmart, and 8th & Walton each bring a unique, complementary perspective and authority to the supplier community.8th & Walton and SymphonyIRI are teaching these courses in partnership, and classes will touch on diverse subjects, such as:

  • Best practices for new multi-outlet POS data analysis and insights

  • Leveraging the category management process to drive growth

  • Building strategy through understanding shopper behavior

The partnership also includes SymphonyIRI’s Data Detective workshop series, which is a set of interactive forums where attendees learn how to maximize the potential of SymphonyIRI retail sales scanner data and consumer and shopper household panel data. The workshop series focuses on how to apply best-practice data analysis techniques in real-world business issues and utilize actual examples of SymphonyIRI reports.

“SymphonyIRI considers training and professional development essential to the effective use of our solutions,” said Bernhard Nann, president of operations and technology, SymphonyIRI. “By learning to get the most out of our sophisticated solutions, our clients maximize the value of the data and obtain deep, valuable insights efficiently. Collaborating with 8th & Walton is another outstanding way for us to educate suppliers and help them foster better partnerships with retailers.”

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Shopping mall developer announces promotions

BY CSA STAFF

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–CBL & Associates Properties has announced the promotions of Gary Roddy to VP collections, Tricia Tweedie to VP billings and Jim Ward to VP branding.

Commenting on the promotions, CBL’s president, Stephen Lebovitz said, “These individuals have established themselves as leaders within CBL in their respective fields and the shopping center industry. We are pleased to recognize their accomplishments and significant contributions to the company with these promotions.”

Lebovitz added, “Gary has shown tremendous initiative with his approach to collections, ensuring the company is always minimizing the receivables balance. His oversight has been critical to the program. Tricia continually demonstrates her amazing work ethic and dedication to CBL. Her leadership and direction help to ensure the accuracy and promptness of billings. Jim’s strong entrepreneurial spirit sets a great example for his team. He is continually focused on finding new opportunities to push the CBL branding program to even greater heights. Each of these individuals deserves to be recognized for their achievements and to be congratulated on their individual excellence.”

Gary Roddy joined CBL’s collections department in May 1985. He was promoted to director collections in May 1999 and to senior director collections in January 2002. Roddy is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the company’s collections efforts. During his more than 25 years with CBL, Roddy has effectively minimized the company’s year-end net receivables balance and has helped to develop new tools to enhance the effectiveness of home office and property collections coordination. Roddy graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

Tricia Tweedie joined CBL as a maintenance coordinator in January 1988, moving to the billings department in 1990. She coordinated the billings of the mall property accounts managers and home office billed centers. Tricia was promoted to director billings department in May 1999. In January 2002, Tricia was promoted to senior director billings. Under Tweedie’s direction, the billings department bills over 14,500 tenants annually in an accurate and timely manner. Tweedie graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education.

Jim Ward originally joined CBL in September 1998 as an assistant manager at Hickory Hollow Mall in Nashville, Tennessee. In July 1999, he left CBL to attend the University of Cincinnati Law School. After graduating and passing his Tennessee Bar Exam, he joined the law firm of Husch Blackwell. In October 2003, he rejoined CBL as manager of Georgia Square in Athens, Georgia. In May 2005, he became the manager of Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, North Carolina. In February 2006, he was promoted to Director of Sponsorship & Branding. Ward graduated from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry and received his Juris Doctor from University of Cincinnati Law School.

CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns, holds interest in or manages 163 properties, including 94 regional malls/open-air centers. The properties are located in 27 states and total 91.7 million square feet including 9.4 million square feet of non-owned shopping centers managed for third parties.

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Octonauts swim into Toys’R’Us

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J.— Toys"R"Us announced that it will be the first retailer in the United States to offer Fisher-Price’s Octonauts toys.

The increasingly popular series, Octonauts, inspired by the beloved children’s books of the same name, follows the whimsical underwater adventures of brave Captain Barnacles Bear, swash-buckling Lieutenant Kwazii Cat and their expert medic, Peso Penguin, as the group sets out to explore the world’s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats – above and below the waves. Produced by Silvergate Media with animation by Academy Award-nominated Brown Bag Films ("Doc McStuffins"), the series initially launched in the Unitd Kingdom in 2010 before making its U.S. debut on Disney Channel in January 2012 to great ratings.

"The Octonauts franchise has already won the hearts of young U.S. fans who are eagerly anticipating the introduction of this preschool toy line so they can be among the first to recreate scenes from the popular series with its adorable and captivating characters," said Jamie Uitdenhowen, VP divisional merchandising manager, Toys"R"Us, U.S. "We are thrilled to partner with Fisher-Price to launch this line of toys which will allow children to interact with their favorite undersea friends."

Octonauts action figures, playsets and vehicles from Fisher-Price that will be available exclusively at Toys"R"Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com include:

Octonauts Figure and Creature Pack Assortment

Whether on land or at sea, little oceanographers will love acting out scenes from their favorite Octonauts episodes with these adorable figures. From Captain Barnacles Bear to Lieutenant Kwazii Cat, each pack comes with an Octonauts character and a color-changing sea creature. Ages 3 years and up. Available beginning in early March.

Octonauts Deluxe Action Figure Rescue Assortment

Kids can take their favorite rescue scenes to the bathtub with Octonauts figures, animals and rescue tools. With two options to choose from – Barnacles with a Tunip water-squirter and a clamshell, or Kwazii with a water-squirting eel and a treasure chest – little ones are sure to be delighted when they see their creatures’ spots and stripes change color when placed in warm water. Ages 3 years and up. Available beginning in early March.

Octonauts Vehicle Assortment

Using their fleet of aquatic vehicles called GUPS, Octonauts explore new underwater worlds and save sea creatures from danger during every episode. Now, kids can create their own heroic underwater missions with Kwazii, Barnacles, Shellington and their vehicles. The assortment includes the super-fast, shark-inspired GUP-B, the versatile Manta Ray GUP-D and the extra strong GUP-C that mimics a whale. Each GUP includes its own unique activation features and an Octonauts character, color-change creature and tools that can be used to complete rescue missions. Ages 3 years and up. Available beginning in early March.

Octonauts GUP-A Vehicle Playset

Little adventurers can travel around Octonauts-style with the GUP-A Deluxe Vehicle Playset. Kids will love cranking the propeller to drive along the ground in a wavy motion or speed across water during bath time. The playset includes a Barnacles figure, angler fish, urchin, arm grabber, seaweed moustache and hook with rescue net. The vehicle can also store all pieces after playtime, making clean-up even easier. Ages 3 years and up. Available beginning in early March.

Octonauts Octo-Compass

Kids can easily navigate their own deep sea expeditions with help from the Octo-Compass. Featuring phrases from little ones’ favorite Octonauts characters, Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso, each compass comes complete with creature sounds and, of course, the Octo-alert to signal the start of a new mission. Ages 3 years and up. Available beginning in early March.

Octonauts Octopod Playset

Stationed at their home base, the Octopod, the Octonauts are ready to dive into action whenever there is trouble underwater. With this multi-level playset, young explorers can bring their own underwater adventures to life while having fun with the characters they love. Packed with over 10 play pieces, including Barnacles and Kwazii figures, a mini GUP-A vehicle, three collectible creatures, four rescue tools and the clip-on Octo-alert, intrepid tiny tots can send Octonauts down the slide to the Launch Bay or lower the rescue tools to retrieve injured sea creatures. 1 "AG13" button cell battery required (not included). Ages 3 years and up. Available beginning in May.

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