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Toys ‘R’ Us launches digital wish finder site, app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wayne, N.J. – Toys ‘R’ Us is launching its digital wish finder, a dedicated website providing an online version of its “The Great Big Toys"R"Us Wish Finder” holiday catalog, on Nov. 2. The retailer is also launching The Toys"R"Us Wish List Wizard, a free iOS and Android app that turns parents’ smartphones into a scanner and lets kids scan items they want in-store for automatic inclusion on a digital wish list.

Toys “R” Us will give fans and followers of the company’s official Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram pages a sneak peek of all 80 pages of The Great Big Toys"R"Us Wish Finder beginning Oct. 29. And, throughout the holiday season, wishers and wish-granters alike can follow the conversation using the hashtag #WishinAccomplished.

"Among the truest signs that the holiday season has begun, is the arrival of ‘The Great Big Toys"R"Us Wish Finder’ on families’ doorsteps,” said Peter Reiner, senior VP, marketing, Toys “R” Us. “Every year, kids carefully comb through this beloved book, studying each item, and checking off the toys they hope to unwrap on Christmas morning, While children tackle the project of making their wish lists with great determination, parents also are steadfast in their hunt for great deals, and will be thrilled to find incredible savings, as well as Free Layaway, Extended Returns and Price Match Guarantee, to help make all their kids’ wishes come true when shopping at Toys ‘R’ Us."


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1-800-Flowers.com keeps steady net loss in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Carle Place, N.Y. – 1-800-Flowers.com reported a net loss of about $4.5 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, essentially unchanged from the prior year. Revenues grew 2.9% to $123 million, from $119.6 million.

1-800-Flowers said the revenue growth for the quarter, the company’s smallest due to the lack of gifting holidays during the summer months, was driven by its gourmet food and gift baskets division and its BloomNet wire service business. This growth more than offset slightly lower revenues in the company’s consumer floral segment during the quarter.

“The revenue growth we achieved in our first quarter reflected a number of factors that we believe bode well for the current fiscal second quarter, which includes the key holiday season, and our full fiscal year,” said Jim McCann, CEO of 1-800-Flowers.com. “In particular, we saw a continuation of the rebound in our mass market gift baskets business with both increased order volumes and an expanding customer base.”

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Amazon expands footprint in California

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon.com is finalizing plans to open a new 1.2 million-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in Moreno Valley, Calif., which will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs ahead of the holiday shopping season.

This will be Amazon’s fourth fulfillment center in the state. The company’s other sites are located in Patterson, San Bernardino and Tracy.

“We are excited to grow our presence in the great state of California, bringing more than 1,000 new full-time jobs to Moreno Valley to join the thousands of Californians we employ currently in our fulfillment centers in Patterson, San Bernardino and Tracy,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s VP of North America operations. “Amazon’s fulfillment center positions are full-time jobs that offer competitive wages, benefits, company stock awards, 401(k) and programs like Career Choice where Amazon will pre-pay the cost of tuition for employees to go back to school. We look forward to joining the community.”

According to the company, Amazon fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30% more than traditional retail jobs — not taking into account the stock grants that full-time employees receive.

"The innovative spirit of Amazon fits well with the creative and entrepreneurial environment in California," said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. "The investment today means hundreds of new jobs in the Inland Empire."

At the facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship small items to customers like books, electronics or consumer goods.

Trammell Crow Company and Clarion Partners are building the site as part of a joint venture.

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