ECOMMERCE

Tommy Bahama in deal with FiftyOne Global Ecommerce to expand global reach

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Tommy Bahama has partnered with FiftyOne Global Ecommerce, a provider of global e-commerce services to U.S. retailers, to immediately expand the Tommy Bahama’s international reach by delivering goods to 100 countries around the globe.

“We’re very excited about our partnership with FiftyOne and the opportunity to ship to 100 countries,” said Doug Wood, President and COO of Tommy Bahama. “The launch of this next phase in our international strategy will give Tommy Bahama the ability to reach more customers around the world with our relaxed lifestyle message.”

The retailer started its international expansion earlier this year with the opening of retail stores in Macau and Singapore. Additional locations are planned for Hong Kong, Tokyo and other markets. The partnership with FiftyOne expands Tommy Bahama’s international reach. It gives ecommerce customers the opportunity to shop for Tommy Bahama products, and to purchase and checkout with automatic currency conversions, local payment options and landed cost delivery guaranteed to more than 100 countries globally. FiftyOne also assists in key site optimization and localization, and cross-border delivery and import processes.

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News

Walgreens teams with app developers on photo printing

BY Michael Johnson

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday extended its innovation in mobile technology with the introduction of a developer portal that allows third-party software developers to integrate the Walgreens QuickPrints software development kit, enabling photo printing directly from iPhone and Android mobile devices.

“Our new QuickPrints SDK enables third-party software developers to tap Walgreens Web services, building a broad selection of apps that deliver our convenient store capabilities to more customers,” Walgreens e-commerce chief technical officer Abhi Dhar said.

The launch of the QuickPrints SDK marks the first time that Walgreens has provided an open interface for third-party application developers to integrate Walgreens in-store services. QuickPrints, currently available in the Walgreens iPhone and Android applications, allows mobile users to print photos directly from their phone in about an hour.

"With almost 30% of photos today taken on smartphones and the popularity of photo applications growing, the opportunity for consumers to benefit from the convenience of printing their memories to Walgreens through a variety of photo apps is tremendous,” said Jasbir Patel, senior director of Walgreens photo.

The QuickPrints SDK already has been adopted by GroupShot, Kicksend, Pic Stitch, Pinweel and StillShot, with more partners expected to join the program in the coming weeks. Walgreens also is partnering with Aviary, a digital photo-editing platform currently used by more than 1,200 app developers and 8 million consumers, to leverage its growing group of photo application partners.

To encourage mobile developers to include new features using the QuickPrints SDK within their application, Walgreens will host its first Mobile Photo Hack Day event Aug. 11, at its downtown Chicago e-commerce office at 36 S. Wabash Ave. The event will provide developers the opportunity to meet, collaborate and showcase their creative implementations of the QuickPrints SDK in their applications.

Developer demos will be reviewed by a panel of top industry professionals with a total of $5,000 in cash prizes available to the top developer integrations.

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FINANCE

First Data: Card spending growth inched lower in June as consumers remained cautious

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — A report by FirstData Corp. found that year-over-year dollar volume growth was 6.4% in June, down from May’s 7.0% growth as continuing high unemployment and economic anxiety caused consumers to pull back on spending. The report tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

The First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of June 2012 compared with June 2011 found that average ticket growth at retail stores slowed to 0.1% in June from 1.0% in May. Many retailers engaged in aggressive promotional activity in order to stimulate demand. Low inflation levels also contributed to the slowdown in average ticket growth. Average ticket growth at retail stores was 1.5% in June after rising 1.9% in May.

“Consumers became increasingly cautious with their spending in June. Unseasonably warm temperatures accompanied by storms further dampened spending growth late in the month,” said Mark Herrington, executive VP of global product management and innovation, First Data.

Here is more information from the report:

June Dollar Volume Growth Change
Credit +4.8%
Signature Debit +6.5%
PIN Debit +9.5%
Check -7.5%
Closed-Loop Prepaid -4.3%

Note: All transactions are same-store growth.

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