REAL ESTATE

Von Maur’s new store in Oklahoma is designed for hazardous weather

BY Marianne Wilson

Davenport, Iowa — Von Maur Department Stores will open its 30th store, at Quail Springs Mall in northern Oklahoma City, on Oct. 18. The split-level, 150,000-sq.-ft. store will be the company’s first location in Oklahoma.

Located at the mall’s former Sears location, the store will undergo a complete remodel in order to feature Von Maur’s signature exterior brick facade, which includes arching entryways accented by copper cupolas.

After consulting federal guidelines, Von Maur took the initiative to build a severe weather area within its store to ensure the ongoing safety of its customers and associates during hazardous weather conditions. The 2,200-sq.-ft., partially underground structure, which can accommodate up to 430 people, is fortified by 10-inches of concrete and is equipped with separate bathrooms, battery backup and a dedicated natural ventilation system.

Inside, open expansive floor plans will accentuate Von Maur’s residential ambiance, complete with antiques, original artwork and music from the store’s grand piano. An interactive, life-sized tree in children’s will be designed to entertain Von Maur’s youngest shoppers while an antique pub, motorcycle and television will offer enjoyment in the men’s areas.

"We are thrilled to introduce our brand to this thriving metropolitan community," said Jim von Maur, president of Von Maur. "Whether providing the latest styles or an unmatched shopping experience, satisfaction will always remain a top priority for us, and we look forward to ensuring this experience each and every time our customers step into our store."

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OPERATIONS

U.K. shopping mall deploys ‘virtual’ employee

BY Marianne Wilson

Cambridge, U.K. — Grafton Shopping Centre, Cambridge, is hoping to dazzle shoppers with a “virtual” employee who greets customers when they enter the mall. The shopping center is using the Tensator Virtual Assistant, innovative technology which projects a life-like image of a person.

The display interacts with customers, answering common questions and promoting mall offers. This is the very first use of the technology in a United Kingdom shopping mall.

“We are proud to introduce the newest addition to our team. She is the first of her kind in a U.K. shopping centre and we believe she will be a real help to all our customers. Cambridge is known as the Silicon Fen for its new technology and we are proud to be introducing innovation in Cambridge’s popular retail destination,” said centre manager Lance Stanbury.

The Virtual Assistant has been supplied by customer journey technology specialist Tensator.

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FINANCE

Starbucks Q3 revenue up 11%; increases Americas store openings

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks that its consolidated net revenue growth accelerated 11% in the third quarter, to $4.2 billion. Consolidated operating income increased 25%, to $769 million.

The coffee giant raised the number of net new stores it expects to open in its Americas region from 600 to 650.

Global same-store sales increased 6%, marking the 18th consecutive quarter of global comp growth of 5% or greater. Same-store sales in the United States rose 7%.

“Starbucks record Q3 results demonstrate both the power of our innovation and the opportunities for growth, globally and in the U.S., that lie ahead. Importantly, record revenues and operating margin reflect an acceleration of top-line growth and meaningful contributions from all operating regions and our Channel Development segment,” said Scott Maw, Starbucks CFO.

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