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C-SUITE

Turnover in Sears’ CFO suite continues

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Holdings has a new finance chief — again.

The struggling retailer announced that Rob Riecker, currently controller and head of capital market activities, has been appointed CFO, effective immediately. He replaces Jason Hollar, who resigned “to pursue another career opportunity,” the retailer said. Hollar was appointed to the role in October 2016.

Riecker joined Sears in 2005 as assistant controller and served in various senior positions within the company's Finance organization.

"Rob is a strong leader with significant institutional knowledge through his 11 year tenure with the company. Rob's financial acumen, as well as his long-standing relationships with our vendor and lender partners make him highly qualified for the role,” stated Edward Lampert, chairman and CEO, Sears Holdings.

Hollar is the fifth member of Sears’ senior management team to depart the company in the last four months, with the most recent being John Moore, who had served as head of Sears retail services.

The turnover comes as the chain struggles to restructure its operations and reduce costs.

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FINANCE

Retailers increase spending on lobbying efforts

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers concerned over the pending border-adjusted tax have boosted their lobbying efforts in Washington.

Target Corp., Gap Inc., and Best Buy Co. Inc. spent nearly $3.2 million combined on lobbying during the quarter – as opposed to just $830,000 in the same period a year ago – according to federal lobbying disclosures filed Thursday, Bloomberg reported, while Wal-Mart spent almost $2.2 million in the first quarter, an increase of $140,000 over the same time last year.

Both the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have strongly denounced the proposed tax.

“No other issue galvanized the industry like this one,” Brian Dodge, RILA’s senior executive VP of public affairs, said earlier this month, the report said. “Until the sponsors declare it dead, we will continue to fight against it.”

Click here to read more.

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MOBILITY

Study: Mobile coupon usage on the rise

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Not only is coupon app usage increasing, but discounts received via mobile devices are influencing where consumers decide to shop.

Mobile coupon usage has increased 42% from 2016, while in-store shopping rewards app usage has increased 34% during the same time period. More importantly, the discounts received via smartphone or other mobile devices are influencing where 67% of consumers decide to shop.

This was according to the “2K17 Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report: Influencing Consumers Along the Path to Purchase.” It found that 55% of shoppers search for discounts on their smartphone or mobile device in the store.

With the opportunity to reach and influence consumers at every point along their path to purchase, marketers can use mobile to drive foot traffic to stores near a shopper’s home, along their daily commute and near their place of work. Over 40% of full- and part-time employed respondents noted they would shop for consumer packaged goods (CPG) products close to work more often if they received coupons from nearby stores.

“Mobile discounts are increasingly important to consumers even as we see the highest rate of overall use coming from printed coupons,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer, Valassis. “The ability to influence customers along their shopping journey is not limited to one avenue – in fact, a combined print and digital strategy will produce the greatest results for marketers.”

Additional key findings include:

•51% of shoppers make a purchase based on a mobile notification in store;

• While at the store, 69% of brand loyal shoppers (self-defined) will switch brands based on a discount notification they receive on their mobile device; and

• 53% of consumers scan their receipts with a mobile app to receive cash back and/or points.

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