News

Verizon: Mobile, cloud among leading holiday retail IT trends

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Cloud-based e-commerce, mobile apps and mobile wallets are among the most important IT trends affecting retailers as they enter the 2013 holiday shopping season.

Verizon Communications, Inc. has compiled a list of the biggest IT trends for this year’s holiday season. Following are highlights:

Cloud-based e-commerce: Retailers are now spending more on cloud services to implement e-commerce point-of-sale and online purchasing applications which are both aimed at enhancing the customer experience. In addition, the cloud’s flexible usage model responds well to varying seasonal demand and it provides safe storage for large volumes of critical data.

Mobile apps: Retailers are providing both customers and associates with mobile apps to ease and extend activities such as checkout, marketing, and providing access to product data. In addition, data generated by mobile apps can help retailers improve the accuracy and depth of analytics.

Mobile wallets:
Growing mobile wallet options are encouraging retailers to integrate more special offers for consumers, which is helping to fuel spending across this digital channel while attracting new retailers to sign on.

Intelligent networking: More bandwidth and faster speeds are in high demand by retailers for optimizing video content, offering omni-channel selling and delivering the mobile shopping experiences that consumers have come to expect. Intelligent networking allows retailers to mobilize applications and keep business processes running smoothly, transport high volumes of data across their organizations, and provide secure access on any mobile device to bring sales associates out to the showroom floor.

Preparing for the unexpected: Business continuity and disaster recovery planning and implementation are now topping the priority lists of retailer’s business concerns. Network back-up solutions for quickly re-opening branch and store locations have become popular. As the holiday shopping season kicks off, nobody wants to get caught with shuttered store locations and flooded data centers.

Security: Data breaches can be harmful to a retailer’s customers and can also be damaging to a company’s brand, especially during the shopping season when customers are spending large sums of money and are emotionally charged.

Pop-up stores: Retailers are continuing to leverage pop-up stores to temporarily create a market presence in locations such as malls, street fairs or events. Pop-up stores can be especially appealing to customers in a hurry looking for quick access to specific items and brands.

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News

Report: Another board shakeup at JCP

BY CSA STAFF

Vornado Realty Trust chairman and CEO Steven Roth has resigned from J.C. Penney’s board of directors, according to a Reuters report.

The article went on to say that Vornado, which owns office buildings and retail properties in New York and Washington, took a 9.9% stake in Penney at the same time that Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management bought a 16.5% stake in 2010 to push for big changes at the company.

Click here to read the entire Reuters article.

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FINANCE

California poised to raise minimum wage to $10

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — In the final hours of its 2013 regular session, the legislature in California voted to approve a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour within three years. Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated he would sign the bill into law, saying "The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs. This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy."

The bill would gradually raise California’s minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $10 by 2016. While California’s minimum wage is among the highest in the country, it hasn’t been raised since 2008.

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