OPERATIONS

Urban Decay launches online product discovery tool

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – L’Oreal cosmetics brand Urban Decay has partnered with Compare Metrics to launch its online product discovery solution. The Compare Metrics solution for Urban Decay includes content curation, adaptive navigation and shopping scenarios.

The Compare Metrics Content Curation Team has added a new layer of merchandising language to help shoppers quickly find desired Urban Decay product. The team was able to utilize existing product detail page content to create attributes such as “finish,” but decision-critical attributes like “color” and “shade” were created and tagged as new product data.

When compared to a control group running simultaneously, preliminary shopper response results include: 17% average engagement rate, above-average engagement rate of nine times per session, and 16% higher conversion rate.

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Tesco CEO to be replaced by Unilever exec

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — British retailing giant Tesco Plc on Monday said CEO Philip Clarke would step down in October, to be replaced by 27-year Unilever executive Dave Lewis, with the change effective Oct. 1. Clarke, who has been with Tesco for 40 years, will remain with the retailer until January 2015.

(See related story: Planet Retail commentary on Tesco’s new CEO)

Also on Monday, Tesco said recent sales had been more challenging than anticipated and its profit in the first half of its financial year would be below expectations. It was the second profit warning issued since Clarke took the reins of the company in March 2011.

"Having guided Tesco through a substantial repositioning in challenging markets, Philip Clarke agreed with the board that this is the appropriate moment to hand over to a new leader with fresh perspectives and a new profile," Tesco chairman Richard Broadbent said in a statement.

The incoming Tesco CEO, who is credited with revamping a succession of businesses at Unilever, currently serves as its global president of personal care.

“Dave Lewis brings a wealth of international consumer experience and expertise in change management, business strategy, brand management and customer development,” Broadbent said. “He is already known to many people inside Tesco having worked with the business over many years in his roles at Unilever. The board believes that with Dave’s leadership Tesco will sustain and improve its leading position in the retail market."

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Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited offers new flat fee service

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com is offering a new service, called Kindle Unlimited, aimed at consumers who do heavy book reading and/or listening. The service will work similar to Netflix in that users will pay a base monthly fee for unlimited access to a catalogue of content. Instead of movies and TV shows, however, Kindle Unlimited gives Kindle users access to more than 600,000 Kindle books (and thousands of Audible audiobooks) for a flat monthly rate of $9.99 a month.

Amazon customers will know which books are eligible for the program by locating the Kindle Unlimited logo on select titles and then clicking on the link, “read for free.”

Not all titles available on Amazon will be included in the Kindle Unlimited catalog, but some best sellers will be available such as The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Lord of the Rings.

In addition, thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible will also be available. The service launched on July 18 and to get customers hooked during the summer reading season the company is offering a free 30 day trial period.

“With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre — you can just start reading and listening,” said Kindle SVP Russ Grandinetti. “In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy.”

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