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Verizon unveils lifestyle store concept

BY Marianne Wilson

Bloomington, Minn. — Verizon Wireless unveiled its Verizon Destination Store format, at Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn. The new concept is designed to help customers discover all that wireless technology can do for their mobile lifestyles.

The 9,715-sq.-ft store features interactive lifestyle zones where customers can engage with associates and experience wireless gadgets, apps and tech gear, running on the Verizon Wireless 4G. The zones include Get Fit, for the active sports and fitness buff, Have Fun, for gamers, and Home on the Go, for home monitoring and energy management. Additional departments include Amplify it, for music aficionados, and Anywhere Business, for the mobile professional and entrepreneur.

The new store also includes a dedicated workshop area with seating where an education specialist can share tips about getting the most out of a device and lead classes in front of a large touch-screen digital display screen. Customers also can visit the Customize It Zone and create colorful covers for their smartphones and personalize them with photos. For a fun experience, a huge Focal Wall toward the back of the store beckons customers to approach and see themselves appear as avatar surfers, guitarists and more.

The Verizon Destination Store is part of a broader initiative that includes the redesign of Verizon Wireless’ more than 1,700 retail stores throughout the country. Called Smart Stores, the newly designed locations showcase the same mobile lifestyle zones as the Verizon Destination Store on a smaller scale. In addition, the company plans to open a number of Verizon Destination Stores in the next few years in high traffic locations across the United States.

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Prosper Insights predicts holiday winners and losers

BY Marianne Wilson

Worthington, Ohio — Target, Kohl’s, Costco, Macy’s and Old Navy, with an honorable mention to J.C. Penney, are the holiday 2013 retail winners, according to business intelligence provider Prosper Insights & Analytics. The firm on Tuesday released its Holiday 2013 Retail Winners & Losers list at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference.

Prosper Insights noted that the terms “winners” and “losers” are relative with consumer spending expected to be down this year. Still, the company said, there are some bright spots this year: Retailers that have an effective omnichannel strategy, are promotion-heavy, and carry a strong consumer base of higher-spending Gen X’ers will likely perform better than others in a zero-sum game.

“Knowing who your consumers are and how they are feeling is even more critical when you are grasping for a smaller piece of the pie in an off holiday season,” said Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst and consumer insights director for Prosper. “We’ve identified a mix of key metrics that enables us to look at a holistic view of shoppers to predict which retailers may be positioned for a better holiday season this year.”

Holiday 2013 retail losers include Kmart, Walmart, Toys “R” US and Sam’s Club. In announcing its holiday losers, Prosper Insights noted some retailers have a customer base that is more susceptible to uncertain economic conditions, which will likely impact their outlook for the holiday season.

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Fairway Market launches new mobile app

BY Staff Writer

New York — Fairway Market has launched a new mobile app that is designed to provide an enriched experience for its shoppers who love to cook and explore the unique products that make Fairway an iconic market shopping destination. It is available on the iPhone App Store, and can be downloaded right in Fairway Market because all Fairway stores offer free Wi-Fi.

App users can create individual food profiles by choosing dietary preferences, and then explore beautifully photographed products along with step-by-step gourmet recipes curated by Fairway experts.

"Our new mobile app brings the best of Fairway to our customers’ fingertips," said Arthur Tisi, CIO of Fairway Market. "I’m excited to be a part of the great team that designed and developed an innovative app that enhances our customers’ foodie knowledge and helps them to better plan and cook delicious meals."

As mobile customers, users can enjoy access to exclusive offers only available on the iPhone app. By simply filling out the app profile, they are provided with a unique personal barcode that can be scanned at checkout to redeem the offers. Not only can Fairway shoppers figure out what’s for dinner with their iPhone, but they also can find the perfect recipe, a wine pairing to complement it, and take pleasure in specially selected music to cook with from a playlist with more than 12 hours of easy listening by local tri-state artists.

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