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Virtual assistants help promote sweets in Belgian supermarkets

BY Staff Writer

Bay Shore, N.Y. — Confectionary giant Mondelēz International is deploying digital signage displays that resemble a store assistant to promote its new sweet treats in Carrefour, Cora and Makro stores across Belgium.

The Tensator Virtual Assistants displays, which have a 20- by 20-inch footprint, will stay in each location for two weeks before continuing on their retail tour. The displays use cutting edge technology to project the image of a real person that can deliver a variety of messages.

“The Virtual Assistant Ultra has proved to be a great asset to our marketing as it takes up a relatively small area of valuable shop floor space,” said Frank Hoeckx, in-store activation expert at Mondelēz International. Thanks to its dimensions and weight, and the fact that the device is on wheels, it can easily be transported in a small van by one merchandiser. This made it budget friendly and easy to roll out for us.” The Virtual Assistant has real stopping power in-store and we see it as way of creating an event that delivers real sales results.”

Tensator Group CEO Ben Gale said that consumers have become “de-sensitized to traditional marketing methods, so it is important to us to ensure that brands can interact as much as possible with their customers in-store.”

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Ace Hardware launches free in-store pickup April 1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – Ace is the place with the helpful in-store pickup of online orders. Ace Hardware is nationally launching its free store pickup program beginning Wednesday, April 1 at participating Ace stores.

Free store pickup will allow customers to check their neighborhood Ace store's available inventory on Acehardware.com and either go in-store to make their purchase or place their order online and pick it up in-store the same day.

Free store pickup first launched in select Ace stores in 2014 and helps eliminate unnecessary shipping costs and shipment wait times by allowing consumers to identify items already in-stock at their neighborhood Ace. Consumers can visit acehardware.com, click "Check Availability" on any product they are interested in purchasing to determine which local stores have that item in stock, and order and pick up that item in-store the same day or visit the store to purchase it directly. Users can also utilize free store pickup on their mobile devices through the acehardware.com mobile website, as well as Ace's iPhone and Android apps.

"Free Store Pickup enables consumers in neighborhoods across the country to complete their home maintenance projects more quickly and easily than they were able to before," said Jeff Gooding, senior director, consumer marketing, Ace Hardware Corp.

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Dollar General goes digital with spring coupons

BY Dan Berthiaume

Goodlettsville, Tenn. – Dollar General is helping customers spring into savings with the launch of its spring Fast Way to Save digital coupon program. Fast Way to Save offers customers approximately $200 each week in total online coupon savings through April 19.

Customers will see additional weekly specials on dozens of discounts on Easter merchandise and a buy-one, get-one free sale on select apparel and accessories.

All digital coupons may only be redeemed one time through April 19. Dollar General’s digital savings also includes an exclusive coupon for $2 off any $10 pre-tax purchase through March 31. To enroll or upload these coupons, customers may login to their electronic DG Digital Coupon account either through Dollar General’s website or through the DG mobile app.

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