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Things Remembered taps former David’s Bridal exec as CMO

BY Staff Writer

Cleveland — Personalized gifts retailer Things Remembered announced the appointment of Catalina Maddox-Wagers to senior VP, chief merchandising and marketing officer, effective Sept. 3.

Maddox-Wagers previously served as executive VP and general merchandising manager for retailer David’s Bridal. In her new role, she will further evolve the Things Remembered brand in product development, brand marketing, in-store and online merchandising,

“Things Remembered is a company that enjoys a long legacy of helping people celebrate and memorialize their most treasured milestones in life,” said Maddox-Wagers. “They have the largest market share in North America in the personalization space, as well as a tremendous record in customer satisfaction for over 40 years.”

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Hideaway Pizza installing March Networks video surveillance solution

BY Staff Writer

Ottawa, Ontario — March Networks, a supplier of intelligent IP video solutions, announced that Hideaway Pizza, a dine-in and takeout restaurant chain in Oklahoma, has selected the company’s next-generation retail solution to enhance security, reduce shrink, and optimize operations.

Hideaway Pizza has already started deploying the video surveillance solution. It is using the high-quality video to help improve loss prevention (LP) efforts, as well as increase store performance and profitability.

“Deterring and minimizing losses due to theft impacts the bottom line, but the true success of a restaurant is measured by the performance of the kitchen and wait staff, interactions with customers, and the quality of its food, and we are using the March Networks video surveillance platform to help our restaurants excel in all of these areas,” said Tyson Smith, IT director, Hideaway Pizza. “With cameras installed throughout each establishment, we can observe all steps in the food service process, from food preparation in the kitchen to its delivery to the customer’s table. The video information helps us identify ways to better serve our guests and optimize our businesses while enabling us to thoroughly monitor and protect our business assets.”

Working with systems integrator and March Networks certified partner SageNet, Hideaway Pizza has already installed the retail solution in several of its newer restaurants. It will also deploy the platform in other locations as required to replace a Windows-based legacy system that cannot be centrally managed.

Hideaway Pizza equips each location with as many as 25 cameras, ensuring extensive coverage of its kitchens, cash drawers, bar areas, entrances, exits and parking lots.

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Survey: Small businesses optimistic about holiday

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Small businesses are optimistic with regards to the upcoming holiday season, with 41% of businesses expecting a much stronger holiday season in 2013 than 2012, according to a survey by Kabbage, an online provider of working capital.

Small businesses also plan to increase their borrowing for the remainder of 2013 in order to meet the robust demand, the survey reported.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 65% of companies expect to borrow more working capital in 2013 versus 2012. Of those, 64% plan to borrow more based on expectations of stronger sales, while 20% plan to borrow more because they are more optimistic about the economy.
  • The top four sources of working capital for small businesses are credit cards, online cash advance sites, banks, and friends & family.
  • Q4 remains the busiest time for small businesses. 44% report that Oct-Dec is their busiest selling season, while 38% report consistent sales throughout the year.

The survey was conducted in July 2013 of Kabbage customers.

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