OPERATIONS

Tiffany names new design director

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Tiffany has appointed Francesca Amfitheatrof as design director effective immediately. She will oversee design of all Tiffany product categories.

Amfitheatrof’s background is as a jewelry designer and silversmith. Her designs have been sold internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Colette in Paris.

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Report: Manufacturer sues J.C. Penney for breach of contract

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – Coffee press manufacturer Bodum Group is reportedly suing J.C. Penney Co. for breach of contract. According to Reuters, Bodum filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court on Aug. 30 alleging the retailer did not live up to an agreement to build an agreed number of in-store Bodum specialty boutiques by March 2013.

Bodum also accuses J.C. Penney of installing fewer boutiques than promised once the March 2013 deadline passed and of haphazardly displaying items. The company claims it spent $2.8 million preparing for the boutiques but has not yet asked for specific damages. J.C. Penney declined a Reuters request for comment.

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Wal-Mart launches smartphone trade-in

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Starting Sept. 21, consumers will be able to receive immediate credit toward the purchase of a new smartphone when they trade in their current smartphone at more than 3,600 participating Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations across the U.S. Wal-Mart’s trade-in program offers an immediate credit from $50 to $300 for more than 100 smartphones.

Consumers will bring their working smartphone to an electronics associate. In partnership with CExchange, the value of the smartphone will then be assessed by answering questions on the device’s condition and specifications. Once accepted, the trade-in value will be applied to a new smartphone of the customer’s choice. Wal-Mart customers can also apply the trade-in value to smartphones available with prepaid plans.

“Smartphones have become a part of our customers’ everyday lives and as new devices launch more frequently, trade-in programs are becoming more popular," said Steve Bratspies, executive VP of general merchandise for Wal-Mart U.S. "More and more, customers are choosing where they purchase new smartphones based on where they’ll get the best value for their trade-ins. Our goal is to give them more value for their old devices and the lowest price for their new one, all part of our promise to be the best destination for wireless."

In addition, customers looking to trade in electronics like tablets, MP3 players, video games, cameras, laptops and more can turn "gadgets to gift cards" on Walmart.com.

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