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Toshiba Tec and IBM announce initial closing of acquisition of IBM’s Retail Store Solutions unit

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Toshiba Tec Corp. and IBM announced the initial closing of the transaction in which Toshiba Tec will acquire IBM’s Retail Store Solutions (RSS) business. The agreement was announced on April 17, 2012.

Toshiba Tec has established Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Holdings Corporation, a holding company, of which Toshiba Tec holds 80.1% ownership and IBM holds 19.9% ownership.

Under the holding company, Toshiba Tec also has established Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which has begun business operations in four countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions has its headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C. With the newly formed subsidiaries, Toshiba Tec has become the world’s leading integrated in-store solutions company, offering products and solutions that provide new value to customers.

As part of the transaction, Toshiba Tec and IBM will enter into a multi-year agreement where Toshiba Tec will join IBM’s Smarter Commerce business partner program as a Premier Business Partner for Smarter Commerce. This agreement will help ensure that IBM’s portfolio of enterprise-level Smarter Commerce solutions and services, which extends from the corporate data center to the local retail store, and Toshiba Tec’s customer-facing retail store solutions, are available to customers worldwide to meet the growing demand for multichannel commerce.

“As we have seen over the first half of the year, consumer expectations are rising for flawless retail experiences that extend from the store floor to their favorite mobile device," said Craig Hayman, general manager, Industry Solutions, IBM Software Group. "By partnering with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, we combine IBM’s enterprise offerings with a strong suite of in-store products, expanding our Smarter Commerce capabilities to provide multi-channel buying solutions for the growing Smarter Commerce market opportunity."

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RedPrairie helps Foot Locker boost customer service

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Foot Locker has rolled out retail technology provider RedPrairie’s Enterprise Work force Management (EWFM) solution at approximately 2,700 retail stores throughout North America. Foot Locker, which operates retail brands Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction, CCS, and Champs Sports, partnered with RedPrairie to help enable store associates to offer exceptional, highly interactive customer service.

“At Foot Locker, we realize that the passion, knowledge, and performance of our store associates is a tremendous asset for our customers,” said Dick Johnson, EVP and COO at Foot Locker Inc. “We felt that RedPrairie’s work force management solution was the most intuitive, robust and scalable resource available to help us achieve our vision of being the leading global retailer of athletically-inspired shoes and apparel."

Foot Locker’s deployment of RedPrairie EWFM began as a 21-store pilot that was completed in April. The solution was then deployed at all remaining North American locations between April and July.

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Costco’s same-store sales up 5% in July

BY Marianne Wilson

Issaquah, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. posted a 5% increase in same-store sales in July, helped by strong sales at its U.S. stores. But the stronger dollar and lower gas prices pressured its results.

Same-store revenue at U.S. locations open was up 7% for the period ended July 29. The figure was flat for its international stores.

Taking out the impact of lower gas prices and a stronger dollar, same-store sales rose 7% for the month. In the U.S., the metric was up 8% while overseas it rose 7%.

Total revenue for July increased 8% to $7.25 billion from $6.74 billion.

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