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Target expands installation services

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Beginning Sunday, Target Corp. will rollout a new TV delivery and installation service for customers.

As part of an expanded partnership with Zip Express Installation, a third-party service, the discounter is offering TV delivery, basic setup and installation, starting at $99. Mounting a TV on the wall costs $249, including delivery. For installation that involves concealing wires inside the wall, the price is $299.

“Our goal is to create an intuitive and easy electronics shopping experience for our guests — ensuring they are 100% satisfied with the services they receive in-store, and with the products they take home,” said Mark Schindele, senior VP, Target.

Customers can also have a video-game console set up for $99 and a home network for $99.

Target’s announcement follows the company’s move in July 2008 that offered shoppers who buy TVs, home theaters, computers and certain other electronics on its Web site the option to buy home-installation services through the same third-party installation service. However, the program doesn’t include delivery.

The discounter began testing the service at about 200 Target stores late last fall, attracting strong customer response. The average time for installation is three days.

In addition, Target piloting a full-service mobile solution service in over 100 stores. Bullseye Mobile Solutions is an in-store wireless service that enables Target shoppers to purchase mobile phones and activate contracts from three of the nation’s top carriers.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores, which has been expanding its offerings in consumer electronics, has been quietly rolling out its own installation service since October. The discounter teamed up with N.E.W. Customer Services Cos., a provider of extended service plans.

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Zale shakes up management

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS Zale announced that Neal Goldberg, CEO and member of the board of directors, William Acevedo, chief stores officer, and Mary Kwan, chief merchandising officer, have left the company effective immediately. The board of directors has appointed Theo Killion, president, to the additional role of interim CEO.

Killion joined Zale in January 2008 as EVP and was appointed president in August 2008. Previously, Killion held senior management positions at Tommy Hilfiger, Limited Brands, Macy’s East and the Home Shopping Network. HE will assume initial responsibility for all store operations.

 

In addition, Zale also announced that Gil Hollander, EVP and chief sourcing and supply chain officer, has assumed the additional role of chief merchandising officer. This change will bring all aspects of diamond sourcing and merchandising under Hollander’s oversight. He has over 35 years of experience in the jewelry industry, joined Zale in September 2000 with the acquisition of Piercing Pagoda and has served in various senior management positions with the company.

“Our board is determined to do all in its power to put in place effective leadership to help return the company to profitability. At the same time, these management changes will help facilitate renewed focus on Zale’s core diamond business. We are fortunate to have executives with Theo Killion’s and Gil Hollander’s experience to assume greater leadership responsibilities as we refocus on our core strengths,” said John Lowe, Jr., chairman of Zale.

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Home Depot steps up software

BY CSA STAFF

New York City

In a deal announced at the National Retail Federation trade show here, Home Depot will transition to Fujitsu U-Scan self-checkout software, making it easier for the retailer to make upgrades to its point-of-sale system.

The new software is described by Fujitsu as an “open integration architecture utilizing a unique virtual point-of-sale like messaging framework.”

Home Depot’s Cara Kinzey, senior VP IT store, field and corporate support, explained in a prepared statement that the focus of the company’s IT efforts is to improve the shopping experience. “Fujitsu U-Scan self-checkout software will help us accelerate delivery of business-critical POS software changes to our stores,” she said. “Taking advantage of the U-Scan self-checkout software architecture’s flexibility means that we can better respond to changing business conditions, making us more efficient, competitive and responsive to customer needs.”

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