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Under Armour to acquire fitness technology company

BY CSA STAFF

Under Armour is in the process of acquiring MapMyFitness, a fitness technology company powering one of the world’s largest digital fitness communities.

Under Armour will leverage the fitness platform to expand its digital capabilities. MapMyFitness has one of the largest connected fitness communities in the world and offers a diverse suite of websites and mobile applications under its flagship brands MapMyRun and MapMyRide. Utilizing GPS and other advanced technologies, MapMyFitness provides users with the ability to map, record and share their workouts.

"This partnership is about Under Armour enhancing our digital expertise to drive the future of performance innovation for the global athlete community," said Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour. "We will build on the community of more than 20 million registered users that MapMyFitness has cultivated in the connected fitness space, and together we will serve as a destination for the measurement and analytics needs of all athletes. Innovation has always been at the core of our company, and now we are better positioned to design open, digital products for the athlete of tomorrow and become more proactive in providing solutions that will help people across the world lead healthier lifestyles."

"MapMyFitness has engaged and built a global community, making advanced training tools more accessible through our web and mobile platforms,” said Robin Thurston, MapMyFitness co-founder and CEO. “The combination of Under Armour’s powerful commitment to athletes and innovation and our connected fitness technology allows us to better serve the needs of athletes around the world."

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Under Armour, MapMyFitness will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2013 and the company’s previously provided 2013 guidance and preliminary 2014 outlook remain unchanged.

Under Armour was advised by the investment banking advisory firm Peter J. Solomon Company and the law firm King & Spalding LLP. MapMyFitness was advised by the investment firm Allen & Company and the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati, Professional Corporation.

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Rue21 opens 1,000th store

BY CSA STAFF

Rue21 has opened store number 1000 in the Enid Crossing Shopping Center in Enid, Okla. The location is one of the company’s new RueGuy format stores and features an expanded assortment of young men’s apparel and accessories in addition to the girls’ apparel, jewelry, footwear and beauty products.

“This was a pivotal year for our company: we launched our online website, introduced our new RueGuy store format, and transitioned from a publicly held to a privately owned company. We are looking forward to continuing our store expansion strategy and developing our brand as we grow past the one-thousand-store mark," stated president and CEO Bob Fisch.

Rue21 has opened more than 100 stores each year since going public in 2009. The retailer anticipates growing to more than 1,700 stores in the continental United States

"Our real estate model gives us the opportunity to open successfully in strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers in small or midsized communities where there are few teen specialty apparel retailers," said SVP of real estate Bob Thomson.

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Meijer takes original approach to Black Friday

BY CSA STAFF

Meijer is taking an original approach to Black Friday and generating return visits. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer will offer deals on three different days — Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Saturday — along with coupons for additional deals that consumers can use on their next shopping trip.

"Meijer means a lot of things to a lot of people, but around the holidays we’re especially focused on making the experience easier for our customers," said Peter Whitsett, EVP of merchandising and marketing. "By offering our special deals beginning at 6 a.m. on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, our customers won’t have to worry about setting that alarm for the early hours of the morning and can choose how early or late they want to shop for the hottest holiday gifts."

Deals on electronics, apparel and toys begin at 6 a.m. and continue throughout the day, while supplies last. For example, shoppers who venture out Thanksgiving Day can purchase one iPad Air with retina display or iPad 2 and receive a coupon for $100 off their next Meijer shopping trip.

Customers who have signed up to receive email alerts from the retailer already have links to the Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day ad previews, as did the more than 1.1 million Meijer Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

Meijer will also be bringing back digital Santa Bucks beginning Saturday after Thanksgiving for customers who have signed up for the mPerks digital coupon program. Customers can digitally clip coupons using their text-enabled cell phones.

"Customers continue to be very strategic, focusing on special sales and promotions," Whitsett said. "We hope that providing the opportunity to create their own deals with custom coupons and shopping without the need for an alarm clock will prove once again that Meijer is the destination for all our customers’ holiday shopping needs."

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